Social Networking Sites: An Increasingly Bountiful Boon for Recruiters and Job Searchers

As revealed in NelsonHall’s latest recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) market analysis, social networking sites are the most rapidly emerging source of job candidates, and were identified as the third top hiring sourcing channel, preceded only by job boards and employee referrals. Further, according to the results of a recently released Social Recruitment Survey conducted by a provider of next-generation recruitment solutions, 80 percent of companies use or are planning to use social networking to find and attract candidates this year. And those looking for jobs are increasingly leveraging these sites for networking, connections, job referrals and marketing methods.

Let’s look at why social networking sites are proliferating as a tool for both RPO providers and job searchers.

RPO Providers

The top business-oriented social networking sites, LinkedIn and Plaxo, respectively cite over 41 million and 40 million members. Massive candidate bases! Further, search capabilities and these sites’ special interest-focused Groups can assist recruiters in drilling down to a smaller group of potential candidates for a specific job to be filled. Additionally, LinkedIn referrals can serve as an initial vetting point for RPO providers looking for specific qualities and characteristics in a potential candidate. While these referrals may be viewed as a bit biased as they are often from personal or work friends, no referrer will risk damaging his or her reputation by stretching a referral too far. Given all this, an increasing number of RPO providers are leveraging their recruitment technology and Applicant Tracking Systems to search for both active and passive candidates on these sites.

A lesser known job networking site is JobAngels.org, a non-profit founded in January 2009 whose stated mission is, “To help bring people together in a community setting where each person commits to a single goal: to help just one person find gainful employment.” With more than 6,000 members in its Linkedin Group, 4,000 members in its Facebook Group and nearly 10,000 Twitter followers, JobAngels is another candidate sourcing site ripe for recruiters.

Note to RPO clients: If your RPO provider isn’t using social networking sites to source candidates for you, it should be.

Candidates

As recruiters – both in-house and from RPO firms – are increasingly using social networking sites as a sourcing channel, candidates both active and passive should up their game in this realm as well. If you don’t yet have a profile on these types of sites, establish one. It’s not only a solid way to create your own enhanced business network, but could also lead to a potential job opportunity (even if you’re not actively looking for one.) Your comprehensive profile should include your background, specific achievements, key capabilities, education, etc., as well as some referrals if you can obtain them. But a quick word of caution here: be careful how you respond to incoming emails and of the content in the postings you may make directly on these sites. Assume whatever you say resides in the public domain.

And let’s not forget the Groups on these sites. Once you’ve created your profile, join Groups in your industry and your areas of interest, and interact with the other members by posting or responding to posts. They are a great place to “see and be seen.”

The bottom line is that social networks are an increasingly useful channel for recruiters to find candidates and candidates to be found.  As a result, they are an opportunity both sides of the equation should exploit.

Gary Bragar, Lead HRO Analyst, NelsonHall

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2 Comments on “Social Networking Sites: An Increasingly Bountiful Boon for Recruiters and Job Searchers”


  1. While I’m an avid fan and a frequent user of social media sites for recruitment, there are still issues in authenticity of information.

    It doesn’t mean that you see a candidate knowledgeable on Twitter or has an excellent profile on LinkedIn, he would be the top candidate for you.

    I think old school personal interview and background check will still be a solid tool for recruiters.

  2. Gary Bragar Says:

    Thanks for your comment. I agree completely! While social networking sites are a good source to find candidates, personal interviews and background checks are still imperative!


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