More companies using social media for job recruiting

If a recent Jobvite survey is any indication, social networks will be leading all other recruiting channels in terms of planned investment by many employers as the economy continues its recovery. SNEWS has the insight and report on linking up for jobs with LinkedIn and more.
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An updated resume, skilled recruiting firm and a bank of personal contacts may no longer be enough to help land that perfect new job if findings from the 2010 Jobvite.com Social Recruiting Survey are any indication. In fact, 83 percent of respondents to the survey -- which includes HR and recruiting professionals -- are already using or planning to use social media for employee recruiting.

While LinkedIn still holds the lead in use and reliability of successful hires by recruiting professionals at 78 percent, companies are now beginning to employ multiple social networks. As a result, Facebook is used by 55 percent of companies for recruiting (up 15 percent from 2009) and Twitter is right on its heels at 45 percent (up 32 percent from 2009).

Social media is proving itself to be a successful recruiting tool. It is able to cast a very wide net by allowing both candidates and recruiters to digitize referrals, market themselves, conduct research, publicize their intentions and needs, and connect with those who have similar professional interests and goals. If that sounds like an online dating service for job candidates seeking to hook up with companies seeking to hire, it is. In fact, 58 percent of companies surveyed reported successful hiring of employees through a social network, with 89 percent of those being hired using LinkedIn.

According to the survey report, social networks lead all other recruiting channels for planned investment by employers:

•46 percent of respondents plan to spend more on social recruiting in 2010 than 2009

•36 percent will spend less on job boards

•38 percent will spend less on third-party recruiters and search firms

•For candidate quality, respondents rated social networks significantly higher than job boards which landed in last place, just above search engine optimization

•Referrals were the most highly rated for candidate quality

Among those companies that are actively hiring in 2010, adoption of social media recruiting as a tool is very strong:

•92 percent of those hiring in 2010 currently use or plan to recruit via social networks

•Of this group, 86 percent use or will use LinkedIn, 60 percent use or will use Facebook, and 50 percent use or will use Twitter for recruiting

•50 percent of hiring companies plan to invest more in social recruiting, while only 17 percent will spend more on job boards and 36 percent will spend less on job boards

One very telling statistic from the survey compares candidate experience between 2009 and 2010.

•Just over 83 percent more applicants are reporting being unemployed in 2010

•73 percent of applicants are willing to accept lower salaries

•Approximately 54 percent of applicants have more work experience, while 50 percent have more education

•46 percent of applicants are more qualified for the jobs they are seeking compared to 2009

Are you ready to be hired through your social networks?

Knowing employers are using social media far more to recruit, prospective employees should be sure their social media face is ready for primetime. Catchfire Media, a social media consulting firm in Des Moines, Iowa, offer some tips for ensuring employees and employers hook up under the most positive of circumstances:

•Clean up your Facebook profile -- adjust privacy settings or take down content that is inappropriate or that could be misconstrued as such.

•Make sure your LinkedIn profile is current and accurately represents your skills and capabilities. Seek recommendations from former co-workers and supervisors.

•Delete any inappropriate Tweets from your Twitter stream, including those espousing views that could be interpreted as offensive, hurtful or controversial.

•Take advantage of your professional contacts who have large social media networks, and let your online contacts know that you are looking for work through occasional Tweets and status updates.

•Don’t think that you can get a job without sending a great resume and cover letter. Just because you might have found out about a position via Twitter doesn’t mean that you can approach applying for the position in an informal or relaxed way.

•Link to an online version of your resume using a tool like VisualCV (visualcv.com) or Scribd (scribd.com).

•Find and reach out to the source of the opportunity by following him or her on Twitter. Clarify details about the job via direct messages, but don’t exploit this connection. Once you know how best to apply and what the company is looking for, apply using the employer’s preferred method.

•Set up searches within a Twitter client like Tweet Deck or a Twitter RSS feed for terms such as “outdoor industry job.”

--Michael Hodgson

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