Hiring Managers Hitting Social Networking Sites for Candidates

April 19, 2011 (PLANSPONSOR.com) – More than half of human resource professionals are making use of social networking Web sites for potential candidates, a significant increase from 2008.

According to a news report from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), its poll found that 56% of organizations frequently scan LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and other professional networking sites for recruitment purposes, compared with 34% who used the same networks to find new employees in 2008.

“Employers are increasingly using social networking sites to engage passive job seekers—those who aren’t really actively seeking new jobs but might change for the right opportunity,” said Mark J. Schmit ,director of research at SHRM, in the news report. “These sites can be valuable tools for organizations to find prospective employees with the specific skill sets and experience that they might not necessarily find through more traditional recruiting methods.”

Reasons employers said they use social networking Web sites to identify applicants are:

  • To seek professionals who might not otherwise apply or be contacted by recruiters at the organization (84% of respondents).
  • To use a less expensive method to recruit job candidates (67%).
  • To increase employer brand and recognition (60%).
  • To target specific job seekers at a certain career level, such as entry-level candidates, managers and executives (54%).

SHRM reported that most organizations using social networking Web sites to search for job applicants check LinkedIn (95%), followed by Facebook (58%), Twitter (42%) and other professional sites (23%). HR professionals report that social networking Web sites are efficient in recruiting:

  • Directors and managers (58%).
  • Non-managerial salaried employees (58%).
  • Executives and upper management (52%).

Forty-one percent  of HR professionals said they find social networking sites to be effective for identifying employees for non-managerial hourly jobs.

Approximately one-fifth of the companies polled do not use social networking sites but plan to at a later date. Only 21% stated that they do not use social networking sites and have no plans to do so, down from 45 % in 2008.

 More information is  at http://www.shrmM.org/Research/SurveyFindings/Documents/Social%20Networking%20Flyer_Staffing%20Conference_FINAL1.pdf .