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Looking to Hire or Be Hired? Turn to Social Media (Job Recruiters Love It, Too)

by Vinda Rao  |  
May 21, 2013

With 98% of recruiters using social media in 2012 and the greatest opportunity for the staffing industry in 2013 being “access to passive candidates via social media,” the potential payoff for taking advantage of LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter for recruiting has never been stronger.

My company, Bullhorn Reach, recently published the  2013 North American Social Recruiting Activity Report, based on data culled from the activities of more than 160,000 recruiters in the Bullhorn user network in 2012. Here's what we discovered.

Which Platforms Are Popular for Job Recruiters?

LinkedIn continues to be the dominant social network for recruiting due to its age, reputation as a professional destination, and penetration among recruiters and jobseekers alike. Some 64% of recruiters relied exclusively on LinkedIn for their social recruiting efforts in 2012. LinkedIn yields considerably more job views and applications than Facebook and Twitter.

A key finding was that while social recruiting has gained momentum in the past year, a smaller percentage of recruiters are taking advantage of all three major social networks. Interestingly, early adopters of social recruiting are considerably more likely to use all Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter for recruiting than later adopters.

Twitter, while still ahead of Facebook in terms of adoption, isn’t yielding impressive dividends. While in last year’s report we speculated that Twitter would gain ground from LinkedIn in 2012, that prediction has proven inaccurate. If anything, Twitter lost ground in the past year as a social recruiting resource. While Twitter is actively working to further monetize its features and recruiters are becoming more adept at sharing both job posts and content with their followers, the effectiveness of the social network’s micro-messages is highly dependent on timing.

Despite Facebook being the least-used network in Bullhorn Reach, data suggests that Facebook provides recruiters with candidates of the same and potentially higher quality than Twitter. The real barrier to successful recruiting on Facebook may be an unwillingness to try it and acknowledge that it works differently than other networks. Only 22% of North American recruiters used Facebook in 2012, despite it having one billion active users.

However, new use cases for Facebook recruiting such as Graph Search and nascent initiatives like the Social Jobs Partnership signal that Facebook is serious about courting recruiters and may prove to increase its popularity in the staffing industry. We predict that in next year’s report we’ll see Facebook overtake Twitter in terms of applications per job post and grow considerably in average network size.

Visit here to download the full report.

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Vinda Rao is Bullhorn’s marketing manager, where she handles public relations for the company and marketing strategy for Bullhorn.

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