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Bullhorn Report Finds LinkedIn Dominates Social Media Use By Firms

Apr 30, 2013

Bullhorn social media power usersIf you’re beginning to think every one is using LinkedIn to source candidates, you’re close to right.

Nearly every survey on source of hire or use of social media by recruiters shows LinkedIn to be a key part of the mix; often it leads all the listed social media sites. The company itself reported adding 2,400 customers in just the last quarter of 2012, bringing the total to 16,400 organizations under contract.

Now comes a Bullhorn survey to report that of the 160,000 registered users on Bullhorn Reach, 97% use LinkedIn to source candidates. That’s not as surprising as it might seem at first glance. Bullhorn Reach is a freemium site specifically for managing a social media program and posting jobs to the sites and to some job boards. Bullhorn Reach users, a large number of them staffing firms, search, and independent recruiters, are all committed to at least some level of social media interaction.

Yet, so strong is the draw of LinkedIn, that almost two-thirds of the Bullhorn Reach recruiters use nothing but the business network to find candidates. Far fewer are exclusive to either Facebook (2%) or Twitter (1%). Instead, these two networks are used in addition to LinkedIn.

However, only 12% of Bullhorn Reach recruiters source on all three platforms. A fair number of these so-called power users are niche recruiters, with IT recruiters by far the largest group. Bullhorn says 3,249 tech recruiters use LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. With tech talent so competitive, “it’s not surprising that
recruiters specializing in IT would try to reach as many potential candidates as possible through a variety of social networks,” the report notes.

Finance and banking, and healthcare recruiters are also well represented on Bullhorn’s power user list. Staffing and recruiting firms also make the list, but well behind the more targeted groups.

The LinkedIn influence is also reflected in the size of recruiter networks. Of the three major social networks included in the report, LinkedIn has more North American recruiters with large networks than either Twitter or Facebook. More than 20% of the Bullhorn Reach recruiters have more than 1,000 contacts in their LinkedIn network.

TBullhorn social media reporthe average for recruiters in the U.S. and Canada is 692 LinkedIn connections.

Facebook, which has about five times as many registered members as LinkedIn, is far behind in recruiter use. Twitter is even further to the rear, with half the Twitter recruiters having fewer than 50 followers. Only 2% have networks in the 1,000-2,,000 follower range. On Facebook, 3% have that many connections; the majority, though, have fewer than 500, and 26% have under 200 Facebook friends.

The Twitter average is 290 followers. On Facebook, recruiters average 251 friends.

About Facebook, the report says:

Its perception as a purely personal tool and the lack of awareness of its targeting features (such as friend lists) may account for why recruiters haven’t yet fully embraced it. However, our research indicates that it works better than Twitter for identifying place-able candidates.

Bullhorn’s 2013 North American Staffing and Recruiting Trends Report shows that while 22% of recruiters on Bullhorn reach use Facebook, versus 27% who use Twitter, Facebook produced more placed candidates. According to the report, 16.7% of recruiters successfully used Facebook to place candidates versus just 12.7% with Twitter.

However, 92.9% of recruiters reported LinkedIn produced candidates they placed.

Job postings on LinkedIn also got many more views (179 per) than they did on Facebook (10) and Twitter (45) combined. And LinkedIn yielded more job applications per job application than did either Facebook or Twitter.

Even when the size of the network — connections, friends, or followers — is factored in, LinkedIn is still the bigger producer by multiples. As you might expect, the bigger the network, the more applications each job posting gets. For Twitter and Facebook, thos numbers rise slowly; on Linkedin, even recruiters with fewer than 50 connections average 5.7 apps for each job they post. Those with mega networks of 5,000 or more get 22.6 applications. On Twitter and Facebook, no matter how large the network, the average number of applications maxes out at just under six.

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