Social Recruiting: Who’s on First?

Three BaseballsSocial recruiting is coming into its own. In fact, we’re even having arguments over which social network is the most effective recruitment marketing platform. Look at the statistics and they’ll tell you…well, basically any story the marketing execs want it to tell you. Ask your consultant and they’ll tell you that it’s whatever social networks you’re most comfortable with. Here, we take a look at the different research, studies, infographics and latest news stories and try to figure out, who IS on first when it comes to social recruiting?

Much was made of titan Facebook when the triumvirate of Facebook recruiting solutions came out: Branchout, BeKnown and Work4Labs. Tech media writers from Mashable,TechCrunch and ReadWriteWeb all fawned over the solutions, insisting that recruiters and candidates alike were more comfortable on Facebook, citing reason after reason why the mammoth social network (nearly 750 million! would be the third largest country in the world!) was clearly the leading solution for the social recruiting issues, if not for executive positions, at least for the entry level and graduate set.

According to …an…infographic by HireRabbit, 48% of all job seekers (and 63% of those with a profile) did social media job hunting on Facebook in the past year. That’s a lot of eyes searching for opportunities, and if your brand is already active on the network, it could be worth engaging power users to recommend applicable candidates.

The HireRabbit infographic also mentions that 84% of jobseekers have a Facebook profile, which sits at odds with new Bullhorn research focusing on how many recruiters use the big three networks and with what frequency. According to the Social Recruiting Activity Report, 48% of recruiters are using primarily or only LinkedIn. In fact, Jobvite research shows that last year, 87% of recruiters used LinkedIn, up from 78% the year before.

So what’s the disconnect? Why are jobseekers comfortable with one technology or platform and recruiters are plainly looking at another? In all the speculation about whether Facebook or LinkedIn will wind up at the top of the heap, savvy recruiters and candidates are hedging their bets on both and throwing Twitter in the mix for good measure. The Bullhorn survey cited earlier found that Twitter followers resulted in an average of roughly 8 times more applications per posting than Facebook and about 2 times more applications per follower than LinkedIn.

It’s a chasm that might soon be bridged. When you look at straight up user numbers LinkedIn has a respectable 115 million, and Twitter’s numbers vacillate between 100-175 million, depending on the report, with Facebook dwarfing both with its most recent count of 845 million. Based on this alone, analysts predict that while LinkedIn and Twitter will be very useful for recruiting, ultimately, recruiters will have to move more toward where jobseekers are congregating, rather than the other way around. When you look at the numbers based on jobseeker responses, this is what you see:

Consider that more than 22 million Americans said they found their current jobs through social networks, according to a survey released in November 2011 by Jobvite, a recruiting platform for the social web. The breakdown is as follows: 18.4 million found employment through Facebook; 10.2 million through LinkedIn; and 8 million through Twitter. (Since respondents could choose more than one option, the numbers don’t add up to 22 million.)

But numbers aren’t everything, because as any good recruiter will tell you, it’s about finding the needle in the haystack, not about getting a bigger haystack. While recruiters do need to drift toward jobseekers, the bottom line is that recruiters will continue to use the network that most naturally fits into their chosen industry and recruiting processes. In effect, recruiters AND candidates will use the network that brings them success. Who’s on first? That’s up to you.

in Social Recruiting]
Maren Hogan
Maren Hogan is a seasoned marketer and community builder in the HR and Recruiting industry. She leads Red Branch Media, an agency offering marketing strategy and content development. A consistent advocate of next generation marketing techniques, Hogan has built successful online communities, deployed brand strategies in both the B2B and B2C sectors, and been a prolific contributor of thought leadership in the global recruitment and talent space. Hogan speaks and writes on all career and workforce related subjects. Her clients include Fortune 500 companies and SMBs around the globe. Red Branch Media was formed in 2006 as a simple consultancy. Today, the firm is a full-service B2B Marketing Agency that serves clients in the U.K., Africa, China, Israel, Europe and North America. Primarily focused on the Human Resources and Global Workforce vendors, Red Branch Media handles clients of all shapes and sizes.
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