businessman with social network icons floating around his headThere’s a problem in the job recruiting process for the long-term unemployed: they are discriminated against more than the currently employed. That’s the finding of a professor from the MIT Sloane School of Business who suggested they need to fully embrace social networking to get hired.

Speaking on the NPR radio show “Where We Live,” Ofer Sharone of the MIT Sloan School of Management said long-term unemployment is not decreasing at the same rate as overall unemployment—something he insisted is largely due to discrimination during the hiring process.

During the broadcast, Sharone said, “The idea is that someone that is six months unemployed or longer will be discriminated against simply because of the fact that they have been unemployed. We see that people with no relevant prior experience are much more likely to get a callback, who have short-term unemployment, than people who have relevant experience but are long-term unemployed.”

Social networking might be the best tool for the long-term unemployed, Sharone said, because traditional networking might be difficult for them because they are out of the job market and not as in touch with valuable contacts prepared to get them back to work.

Jobvite, a recruitment platform for the social web, conducted a study that determined:

This year’s data underscores that social recruiting is an essential HR practice used by 94% of surveyed recruiters across industries, up from 78% in 2008, the first year the survey was conducted. In an indication of the increasingly competitive hiring environment, only 1.5% of respondents predict that hiring will become less competitive in the coming year.

The results were announced in September 2013 after more than 1,600 recruiting and human resources professionals were surveyed.

The Jobvite survey also found:

  • Recruiters use LinkedIn 93 percent of the time to search, contact, and keep tabs on candidates in the hiring process.
  • Facebook and Twitter are the main channels that recruiters use to showcase employer brand – 65 percent of recruiters surveyed use Facebook and 47 percent of recruiters use Twitter to post about company culture.
  • Recruiters continue to use social media even after sourcing and contacting candidates—a reported 18 percent use Twitter and 25 percent use Facebook to vet candidates after the interview process.

The survey also determined, “The best employees tend to attract the best candidates. Whether there is an overlap from college or at a previous job, every employee contact is also a potential candidate. Social media has opened candidate networks far larger than recruiters have ever used before.”

  • 1 in 3 recruiters report that social media recruiting improved both the quantity and quality of candidates
  • Referrals represent the highest quality source of candidates (64%); social networks and corporate career sites have also jumped in significance (59%)
  • 43 percent of employees from referrals and company career pages stay longer than three years, while only 14 percent of job board hires stay longer than three years.
  • Referrals are the highest-rated source of new hires, and it’s far easier for employees to share jobs through social networks
  • 73 percent of recruiters reported that they would increase their investment in social networks in 2013, while 62 percent reported they would increase their referral incentives

“It’s no longer a question of ‘are recruiters using social media?’” Dan Finnigan, president and CEO of Jobvite, said in a news release. “It’s a question of how. We’ve seen a significant jump in social media engagement over the years. Companies are ready and willing to pay for the best talent, and now they’re looking for ways to optimize spend on their recruiting programs to find those people. Social recruiting provides a way to quickly and easily find those ‘under the radar’ candidates – people who might not be actively looking for a role, but who are a perfect fit for open positions at your company. This data speaks to the power of social recruiting, and it is exciting to think about what’s on the horizon.”

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