All Articles Marketing Does social recruiting make sense for your company?

Does social recruiting make sense for your company?

3 min read


This post was written by Mirna Bard, a blogger, speaker and consultant. She serves as the social-media chairwoman of the Orange County (Calif.) chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners, and she teaches social media at the University of California at Irvine.

SmartPulse — our weekly reader poll in SmartBrief on Social Media — tracks feedback from leading marketers about social-media practices and issues.

Last week’s poll question: In what ways have you used social media to recruit qualified job seekers?

  • We list job openings on job portals and social sites, but don’t perform searches — 49.21%
  • We don’t know how to use social media for recruiting — 17.46%
  • We use social-networking sites to find qualified candidates and/or to conduct background checks — 17.46%
  • We have not looked into social recruiting yet, but we are planning on it — 12.70%
  • Social recruiting is a fad, and we are not planning on using it — 3.17%

The recruitment process has unsurprisingly shifted to the online world, and social media seems to be the right fit for recruiting qualified job seekers. Many companies are increasingly using social-media recruiting to track down candidates for employment and to retrieve more information about applicants they are considering hiring.

Our SmartBrief readers showed this, as more than 49% of respondents say they are listing on job portals and social sites, but don’t perform searches. Of course, only listing and not engaging is not considered very social, but it is still part of social-media recruiting. On the other hand, over 17% say they are using the social aspect of online recruiting by using social networking sites to find qualified candidates and/or to conduct background checks. Also, a 2010 survey conducted by Jobvite, a social search platform for recruitment, showed that 83% of recruiting professional are now using or planning to use social media for recruiting.

The recruiting process has always been naturally social — as it is based on building relationships, speaking with a potential candidate, understanding candidates, communicating effectively, asking contacts in your network to share a job opening, and attending networking or trade shows to seek out candidates. But the process of social-media recruiting is a new venture for the many companies that are still experimenting and trying to figure out what works and what doesn’t. Our poll also showed that there are still more than 17% who don’t know how to use social media for recruiting, and close to 13% who are not using social recruiting but plan to do so.

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for every company, but there are many obvious benefits to be had. Social-media recruiting:

  • Provides a cost-effective and efficient way to find and pre-screen new talent, achieving a far greater return on investment
  • Facilitates interaction with potential candidates, assisting in learning more about their experiences, goals and background.
  • Permits the involvement of all employees in the hiring process by asking them to post positive online comments about the company.
  • Empowers employee referrals by providing them an easy way to spread the word about job openings.
  • Enables more referral-based hires, which have been known to produce quality hires.

Does social-media recruiting make sense for your company now? How has your company benefited from using social-media recruiting?