Most Miss the Mark on Social Recruiting

social media followSocial recruiting represents an incredible opportunity for the staffing and recruiting industry, and with the vast majority of recruiters leveraging LinkedIn in 2012, the groundwork has been laid.

Bullhorn recently released the findings of our 2013 North American Social Recruiting Activity Report, based on data culled from the actual activities of more than 160,000 recruiters in the Bullhorn Reach user network in 2012. The results show that the potential payoff for effectively utilizing social networks to recruit candidates has never been more favorable.

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Despite the promise of social recruiting, though, our results found that a surprisingly small percentage of recruiters are actually taking advantage of the three primary social networks — LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter — to target passive candidates.

In 2012, only 12 percent of recruiters were connected to all three of the networks, with 14 percent of recruiters using a combination of LinkedIn and Twitter for recruiting versus eight percent using LinkedIn and Facebook. Fifty percent of North American recruiters using Twitter for recruiting have fewer than 50 followers, and 26 percent of North American recruiters using Facebook have fewer than 200 Facebook friends.

Why do the majority of recruiters who use these platforms have significantly smaller network sizes than many who use these channels purely recreationally? It’s clear that most recruiters aren’t getting the most out of social recruiting and it’s a huge missed opportunity.

LinkedIn continues to be the dominant social network for recruiting, likely due primarily to its reputation as a professional destination. As of this writing, LinkedIn has the highest percentage of recruiters with large network sizes (15 percent have between 1,001-2,000 connections).

Data suggests that Facebook provides recruiters with candidates of the same and potentially higher quality than Twitter. In 2012, only 22 percent — fewer than one in four — of North American recruiters used Facebook, despite it having an impressive one billion active users.

While we expect LinkedIn to remain the top dog in the social recruiting game, we predict that in next year’s report, we’ll see Facebook grow considerably in average network size and will overtake Twitter in terms of applications per job post.

We’d love to know — what changes do you expect we’ll see to the social recruiting landscape? Over the next year, do you plan to rely on one network more heavily for recruitment than the others? Or do all three play important roles in your social recruitment strategy? We welcome you to share your comments below or to join the discussion on Twitter.

Click here to download the full 2013 North American Social Recruiting Activity Report.

MORE: Blending traditional recruiting methods with newer social tools can get the job done

Andrew Hally

Andrew Hally
Andrew Hally is vice president of product and marketing at Bullhorn.

Andrew Hally

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