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Recruiters increasingly rely on social media to find talent

Sarah K. White | May 24, 2016
The talent war is on in tech, and recruiters are taking advantage of every weapon at their disposal. A recent study found that recruiters are getting creative in how they source candidates -- moving towards social media and messaging apps.

When you decide to start looking for a new job, Twitter and Facebook might be the last places you'd expect to connect with recruiters. But that's quickly becoming the reality, as more recruiters turn to social media to find viable candidates to fill open job requisitions. Alexander Mann Solutions, a talent acquisition and management service; and Social Talent, a recruiting software and analytics company, released their 2016 Global Recruiting Survey, which shed light on how some recruiters use social media in their efforts.

The survey looked at 998 recruiting professionals around the globe including in-house recruiters, recruiters working at third-party providers and recruitment agencies. The results revealed some changes in the way recruiters are sourcing talent, including an uptick in the number of recruiters turning to social media outlets. But they aren't using social media the way you might think -- to reach out and directly approach candidates -- rather, it's becoming one important element in a far more complex process.

Social media

Social media has pulled ahead of most typical recruitment services. The study found that 37 percent of recruiters felt that their primary source for finding talent was social and professional media outlets. Comparatively, 26 percent cited using paid job boards, 11 percent said they worked from direct applications, nine percent said they sourced recruits from internal referrals or alumni and just three percent cited recruitment agencies as their main source of talent.

"Not only do the results of our 2016 Global Recruiting Survey demonstrate that social media usage across the board is on the rise, but 37 percent of respondents believed that social wasn't just an option, it was their primary source for finding top talent. That's huge. We're fast approaching a day when those that don't embrace social recruiting will be left behind, and there won't be any distinction between being an effective recruiter and being social media savvy," says Ian Cluroe, director of Global Brand and Marketing at Alexander Mann.

LinkedIn is still the most popular social media outlet to source talent, with 97 percent stating that they used the platform in 2015, up just one perfect from 2014. However, Twitter saw a decrease in use, with 56 percent stating they found talent on the platform in 2014 dropping to 37 percent in 2015. Facebook remained generally the same, with 37 percent citing they used the social network to find talent in 2014 and 35 percent saying the same in 2015.

However, the numbers do show that social media recruitment has pulled ahead of other resources, and become a staple in the industry. Ben Martinez, vice president of People and Culture at HireVue, a digital talent interaction company, says that social media has opened up a new dialogue with candidates. It not only allows recruits to get to know other employees better as well as the company, but for the employer to get to know the recruit as well.

 

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