Hands typing on computer, Facebook connections float aboveWhen it comes to sourcing, it’s very important for recruiters to understand where to find the best candidates. This often means knowing 1) what type of candidates you’re looking for and 2) their job search habits.

For example, if you’re looking to hire millennial talent, as most companies are, you’ll need to understand where this group of workers thrive: social media.

laddersAnd millennials don’t just actively use social media, they trust these mediums. In fact, a 2013 Edelman Annual Global survey found that 82 percent of millennials reported that they would have more faith in a company or institution if it was involved in social media. And according to an infographic from How Cool Brands Stay Hot:

  • More than eight out of 10 millennials internet users are members of at least one social network;
  • On average, Gen Yers join 2.5 social networks; and
  • Around 80 percent of millennials logs onto social networks each day.

It’s pretty clear to see that social media can be a great destination for sourcing candidates. The question is, “Which networks are the best?”

Well, the folks at Bullhorn Reach aimed to help recruiters answer this question through its “How Recruiters Are Using Social Media” infographic. Based off of its 2013 North American Social Recruiting Activity Report, the data explains how recruiters are using LinkedIn and Twitter more than Facebook when sourcing.

Let’s look at the data:

  • Forty-eight percent of recruiters only use Facebook, 19 percent only use LinkedIn and Twitter and 10 percent only use LinkedIn and Facebook. Only 21 percent of recruiters use all three.
  • Twenty-eight percent of recruiters have 1,000+ LinkedIn connections, 75 percent have more than 100 Twitter followers and 21 percent have 50 Facebook friends or fewer.
  • LinkedIn gets 8.8 times more applications than Facebook and 3 times more applications than Twitter.
  • LinkedIn also gets 3 times more job applications per contact than Facebook.

Yet, the How Cool Brands Stay Hot infographic reported that 91 percent of millennials are aware of Facebook compared with the 42 percent who are aware of LinkedIn. And 66 percent of millennials have a Facebook account while just 29 percent are on Twitter and 13 percent are on LinkedIn.

Data shows that millennials are using Facebook the most, yet recruiters use the social networking site the least.

The Bullhorn Reach report noted that Facebook is the largest social network on the planet, yet only 22 percent of recruiters used Facebook for recruiting in 2012. Why the discrepancy?

Well, based off of data, the report concluded that recruiters failed to use Facebook simply because it is unpopular—among themselves.

The data suggests that Facebook isn’t a highly-utilized social recruiting tool because it just isn’t popular among recruiters—not because it doesn’t work. Its perception as a purely personal tool and the lack of awareness of its targeting features (such as friend lists) may account for why recruiters haven’t yet fully embraced it. However, our research indicates that it works better than Twitter for identifying place-able candidates.

The report also said it believes that the real barrier to successful recruiting on Facebook may be an unwillingness to try it and acknowledge that it works differently than other networks.

If you want better sourcing results in 2014, recruiters will need to step up and embrace social media—and that includes Facebook.

The social network has more than 1 billion active users, and believe me, I constantly see job seekers on Facebook updating their statuses and posting on others’ timelines. People definitely utilize Facebook and recruiters should follow suit.

Many millennials have the “personal branding” mindset and they use social media to promote themselves and their crafts. Recruiters may be missing out on a huge chunk of talented individuals simply because they’re under-utilizing social media platforms.

Facebook now has its Facebook Graph Search, which helps recruiters discover top talent in a new way. Termed “people search,” the new tool allows users to access data from people, photos, places, and interests. And the new Social Job Partnership has an app that allows recruiters to share their job postings with Facebook’s billion-member community.

When it comes to sourcing and social recruiting, the benefits of using Facebook are evident. Recruiters must be willing to step outside of their ‘LinkedIn mindsets’ and try this different, yet still effective, approach to sourcing top talent. You never know, your next quality hire could be one “like” away.

A special thank you goes out to TheLadders, a Leadership Sponsor of this month’s featured series on Sourcing Best Practices. Please visit their site to understand how TheLadders can elevate your sourcing and recruitment efforts.

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