HR and Recruiting

Why social recruiting is the next big thing for recruiters

Written by Kate Lopaze

When you think about what’s changed the job search more than anything else over the past 10 years or so, it’s probably the exponentially growing influence of social media. Job seekers have learned to be more cautious about what they post online (at least they should be), and it’s opened up a whole new pool of recruitment potential for employers. To a certain extent, companies still follow the old recruitment model—put out a job opportunity and the response will include a number of qualified candidates. But more and more, organizations are looking to take advantage of the organic networking of social media to boost their recruiting.

This focus on outreach to potential candidates via social platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter is known as “social recruiting.” This isn’t just posting job ads on sites and hoping for the best—social recruiting is a proactive method for reaching new candidates by searching for profiles with specific qualities, interacting with potential candidates on the platform, and letting people know about specific job opportunities. This is a huge growth area for hiring companies and recruiters—in fact, nearly 60% of recruiters rated candidates that came in through social recruiting as “highest quality,” according to a JobVite survey.

So why should companies consider embracing this trend more fully?

It’s cost-effective

Job advertisements are getting more expensive all the time, and the results can be…mixed. Social recruiting gives recruiters more control over the talent pool and more visibility into the talent available. Unlike advertising, associated costs (if there are any) are minimal.

The right platform can yield great results

There are obvious places to start (like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook), but more specialized platforms can really step up your recruiting game. For example, if you’re looking for a designer, you might want to try Instagram or other visually-oriented social media platforms.

It’s an update on word-of-mouth hiring

Referrals are a time-honored way to bring in good candidates for a particular job—someone who knows what’s required of the job (an employee or colleague) refers someone he or she knows who might be a good fit. The “insider track” helps narrow the field, but it also yields high-quality results. Plus, the eventual turnover rate is lower, as referred employees have a turnover rate of about 13%, versus 19% for employees hired through more traditional recruitment channels. The difference here is that the “referrer” is the candidate’s publicly searchable information.

It reflects the changing workforce

The early adopters of social media, Millennials, are now the largest segment of the American workforce. Social recruiting signals a willingness to meet these potential employees on their own terms in an increasingly digital landscape. Facebook is currently the most popular platform among this group, but developing a strong social recruiting platform now means being able to adjust to whatever social networks come next.

It makes recruiting more active, less passive

Being able to reach out directly to potential candidates is an advantage. Job seekers spend a lot of time and energy building and refining their online presence in the hopes of getting that next big opportunity. Companies who go looking for candidates are able to find these savvier, well-prepared candidates faster and more efficiently, rather than waiting for them to come through a traditional pipeline.

Social recruiting is the wave of the future because it makes sense for recruiters who want to find the best candidates while making the most of their recruitment resources. It’s an opportunity for people on both sides (job seekers and job fillers) to work together to make the hiring process a better, more informed proposition for everyone involved.

About the author

Kate Lopaze

Kate Lopaze is a writer, editor, and digital publishing professional based in New York City. A graduate of the University of Connecticut and Emerson College with degrees in English and publishing, she is passionate about books, baseball, and pop culture (though not necessarily in that order), and lives in Brooklyn with her dog.