There are some very compelling reasons that social job search and social recruiting are just good business.
In a study of over 1,800 individuals by The A-List, over 60 percent of those who used personal connections to get hired reported being extremely satisfied with their jobs. The rest, about 40 percent, who got jobs via other means (think job boards), reported dissatisfaction with their new work.
The study also looked at 136 companies and found that employees who were referred into positions, including through social media connections, had only a 12.8 percent turnover, whereas traditionally hired staff (again, think job boards) had a 19.3 percent turnover. Any business owner could tell you exactly how much money they lose each year for each percentage point of turnover. Clearly, it’s in an organization’s best interests to hire through social media and personal referral. So why aren’t all organizations hiring this way all the time?
The A-List study further reveals that Facebook, more than LinkedIn, is used significantly more by job seekers. When candidates were asked which social network gets them jobs, 17 percent said Facebook and only 4 percent said LinkedIn. Meanwhile, Jobvite’s State of Social Recruiting 2012 study reports that 93 percent of recruiters use LinkedIn and only 66 percent use Facebook.
This last point reveals a significant disparity between how recruiters think about social media and how candidates think about social media. From my experience, it seems this disconnect isn’t getting any smaller.
On one hand, there’s no better source for up-to-date candidate résumés than LinkedIn. Recruiters see it as a huge database that they can’t live without. In stark contrast, job seekers are far more comfortable reaching out for help from their family and friends, who are all on Facebook.
The question of how to get the left hand to speak to the right hand is complex. Most career professionals try to encourage job seekers to use LinkedIn more. Yet despite years of goading and prodding, most job seekers still have crappy profiles and do little to network into their target organizations. The average time a user spends on LinkedIn hovers at less than four minutes a day; on Facebook, that time is over an hour.
Meanwhile, companies (and recruiters in particular) remain reluctant to use Facebook for fear of invading the privacy of their candidates. At the ERE conference this year, a room of corporate recruiters shifted uncomfortably in their seats when the presenter asked them who uses Facebook to find talent. No one raised a hand. Most of the session was devoted to issues of OFCCP compliance, and some horror stories where companies narrowly escaped lawsuits.
News of Facebook’s professional platform has indeed created some stirrings. So, as we gaze into the future, let’s see how the business need for Facebook recruiting evolves.