Two-thirds of companies expect to increase hiring in the coming year, and many of them will turn to social media to find high quality candidates, according to a Jobvite survey of more than 800 employers and recruiters in the US.
The study, titled Social Recruiting Survey 2011, found that most recruiters (89 percent) are either already using some form of social media in their recruiting or plan to do so in the next year – that’s up from 83 percent in 2010. Among companies expecting to hire more workers this year, 95 percent are using or plan to start using social recruiting. This stands to reason: social recruiting works. Nearly 64 percent of respondents said they have successfully hired someone through a social network.
The most frequently used network, LinkedIn, continues to grow in popularity. Some 87 percent of the survey respondents use it, an 8 percent increase over last year. Meanwhile, Facebook and Twitter are holding steady at 53 percent and 47 percent, respectively. Two-thirds of the respondents said they use at least two networks for recruiting, and 40 percent use all three of the top channels.
The survey also found that:
- LinkedIn is the most effective social recruiting channel, by far. Nearly all (95 percent) of the respondents have had success hiring someone through LinkedIn. Less than one-quarter could say the same about Facebook, and only 16 percent successfully hired someone through Twitter. A mere 3 percent had hiring success with a blog.
- Social medial leads all categories for investment. More than half of the survey respondents said they will increase their social recruiting budgets, whereas only 16 percent plan to spend more on job boards. About 30 percent will actually spend less on job boards, third party recruiters and search firms.
- Social networking is good, but personal connections still better. The quality of candidates found through social networking was above average (seven out of 10), but referrals, internal transfers and direct sourcing were rated higher (eight and above).
- Online profiles matter. Nearly half (45 percent) of respondents now “always” search for candidate profiles.
This study provides yet more evidence of how mainstream social media has become. What remains to be seen, however, is which strategies result in the best quality candidates for which positions, and whether any ancillary benefits of social recruiting (such as building brand awareness) emerge.