Careful, SMB owners, it seems social media isn’t just for chatting anymore. According to new research from the recruiting platform Jobvite, 73.3 percent of business owners say they have used social networking channels as a way of recruiting  new hires. Even more impressive, 58 percent of those polled said they had actually hired a prospect they discovered through a social network. Newspaper classifieds and online job boards? Please. The times they are a’changin’.
Jobvite president and CEO Dan Finnigan said:
“While the economy begins to recover, companies looking to make new hires are seeking the most cost-effective, efficient ways to find new talent. Job boards launched a revolution in recruiting more than 15 years ago. And now, social networks are doing the same-but in a targeted way. Through social recruiting, companies are learning they can find the best talent efficiently, without making a major investment.”
For those companies participating in social media, using the networks to scout out and recruit new hires is a natural evolution. The relationships business owners can create with customers also extends toward business contacts. With people sharing their lives on these social networks, it makes it easy for recruiters or business owners to get a feel for a prospect. You can watch how they perform in social situations, how they handle conflict, see their hobbies and interests, get access to their work history, and much more. It’s the perfect head hunting tool for the modern era.
When it comes to the social network that converts the best, not surprisingly LinkedIn came out on top. Nearly 80 percent of companies said they used LinkedIn when recruiting new employees, with 90 percent of those who used it being successful finding and hiring a new employee. Facebook and Twitter were used 55 percent and 45 percent of the time, respectively, with 27.5 percent and 14.2 percent leading to hires.
If you want to use a social media net for hiring, where you should start?
- Search for potential job candidates using specific keyword searches: LinkedIn allows you to search profiles based on industry, company, language, company size, or other criteria. If you have a paid account, there are additional breakdowns like seniority level, years of experience, etc. On Twitter or Facebook you can search by company name, industry keywords, or combine your zip code with other job-related keywords.
- Monitor status updates of your contacts: One of the best features added to LinkedIn was the Twitter-like status update because it allowed contacts to share more about what they were doing in their business. Keeping tabs on these updates is a good way to find out who’s looking for a job, who started on a new project, etc.
- Build relationships with candidates: The same way you build relationships with customers, build relationships with candidates you think you may be interested in hiring. By establishing that level of trust and openness right out of the gate, you’ll help each other to learn more about one another and any opportunities to work together.
- Screen candidates: When someone is active on social networking sites, it gives you quite a bit of information to use about that prospect. For example, as I mentioned earlier, you can get a glimpse at how they handle conflict situations, how well they engaged people, how they handle customer service issues, the kind of things they’re passionate about, where they went to school, what their hobbies are, etc. Use this information to help you find someone who will be a match with your organization. Befriend the social media background check .
How have you used social media to recruit new employees? Have you hired anyone you “met” on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook?