Even Before a Facebook Jobs Site, 92% Will Use Social Recruiting This Year

When you look to recruit this year, you’ll almost certainly be looking at social media as one of your methods for getting the word out.

That’s what the latest numbers from Jobvite’s annual social recruiting survey said for 2012. And while more than 9 in 10 are using social media for recruiting, 73% have made a successful hire using social media.

In the survey, they also asked about what specific networks employers are using, as well as attitudes toward candidate behavior on social networks.

Here’s a hint: don’t worry too much about the political and religious posts but do make sure you’ve practiced up on your grammar.

Network Importance

Not surprisingly, LinkedIn is the No. 1 social recruiting source (with 93% of respondents using it). Of course, the very definition of job posting on LinkedIn’s network might not meet some people’s ideas of what is and isn’t social recruiting.

Facebook continues to grow as a source, with two thirds of those surveyed using it for recruiting purposes (and perhaps more will be if and when the company launches its new jobs section).

Twitter is growing at a similar pace, with more than 50% using the social network for recruiting.

When it comes to hiring, 89% of respondents have hired from LinkedIn, 25% through Facebook, and 15% through Twitter. That’s a huge disparity in numbers for recruiting versus hiring on Facebook and Twitter. While many seem to be using social networks, the only one they’ve really mastered when it comes to finding future employees is LinkedIn.

Using social recruiting didn’t necessarily improve time to hire. Only 20% saw improvements.

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Attitudes Regarding Candidate Social Media Content

While the survey focused heavily on social network metrics, it also examined recruiter attitudes about the types of content they like to see when recruiting for positions.

Garnering the most positive recognition was involvement in professional and non-profit organizations (80% and 66% respectively).

Some of the more unpopular topics include illegal drug use, sexual content, and profanity. All of those received higher than a 60% negative rating from recruiters. And while topics revolving around alcohol consumption might be in bad form for 47% of respondents, they were even harder on people with poor grammar, with more than half responding negatively.

Political and religious posts were seen as neutral content by most respondents.

Survey Background

According to a Jobvite representative, the survey reached 1,000 respondents (with only 13 of the 1,000 respondents being Jobvite customers). The respondents came from mostly U.S. companies with outliers in Canada, UK, and a few others. Respondents covered a wide swath of industries including agriculture, communication, construction, education, finance, government, healthcare, internet, manufacturing, mining, real estate, retail, services, software/technology, telecommunications, and transportation.

This is the fifth year of the annual survey. In last year’s survey, 89% of companies surveyed planned on using social media to recruit while 64% had hired via social networks.

Lance Haun is the practice director of strategy and insights for The Starr Conspiracy, where he focuses on researching and writing about work technology. He is also a former editor for ERE Media, broadly covering the world of human resources, recruiting, and sourcing. 
He has been featured as a work expert in publications like the Harvard Business Review, The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, MSNBC, Fast Company, and other HR and business websites.
He's based in his Vancouver, Wash., home office with his wife and adorable daughter. You can reach him by email or find him off-topic on Twitter.