If You Think Everyone’s Sourcing On LinkedIn, You’re Close to Right

Jobvite social media 2013 spendIf it seems like everyone is sourcing on LinkedIn, you are almost exactly correct. With 94% of corporate recruiters using or planning to use social media , virtually all of them report that LinkedIn is where they look for candidates.

This morning’s Jobvite survey on social media recruiting makes it clear that LinkedIn is the most popular site for sourcing, communicating, and posting jobs. Of the 1,600 Jobvite survey takers, 94% of them now using social media use LinkedIn.

No surprise, then, that 73% of the respondents say they’re increasing their  investment in social media this year. The smallest percentage — 19% — say they’ll be spending more on outside search firms and third party recruiters.

What’s ironic about the spending plan, is that even though the majority of Jobvite respondents reported making hires via social media, a CareerXroads survey of mostly Fortune 500 companies found only 2.9% of their external hires are attributable to social media. That source of hire survey found 3.1% came from third party recruiters.

Jobvite social media 2013 popularNevertheless, this sixth annual Jobvite survey of recruiters and HR professionals shows the steady increase in the use of social media for corporate recruiting, and especially LinkedIn’s dominant position as the network of choice. From 2008, when 78% of respondents said they will or are  using social media, to today’s report LinkedIn’s popularity has been a constant.

In that first report, 80% of the survey takers said they use LinkedIn to find candidates. Facebook then was used by 36%. So thoroughly has LinkedIn preempted the field, that in today’s survey sourcing doesn’t even appear in the top five uses recruiters make of Facebook.

LinkedIn, however scores big  for just about every activity involved in sourcing and hiring workers. By overwhelming percentages the survey takers said they use LinkedIn to:

  • Search for candidates (96%)
  • Contact candidates (94%)
  • Keep tabs on potential candidates (93%)
  • Vet candidates pre-interview (92%)
  • Post jobs( 91%)

Facebook and Twitter, the two next most popular sites with the survey respondents, aren’t even in the same league. Neither site rates anywhere close as a sourcing tool, and even posting jobs to them — one of the earliest Twitter services — is favored by less than half those using LinkedIn for that purpose.

Instead, both sites are most used for brand building and generating employee referrals. 65% of the respondents say they use Facebook for showcasing their brand. That’s the top rated use recruiters make of the site.

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Recruiters use social media sitesBoth Facebook and LinkedIn offer company pages; Facebook calls them Facebook for Business. Using LinkedIn for employer branding didn’t make Jobvite’s list of the top five uses, but that’s most likely because of the high percentage of recruiters who use the site for sourcing and direct hires.

Accounting for the popularity of social media recruiting is that it works Three years ago, only 58% of the Jobvite survey takers said they’d made a hire via social media. In this survey, that number has jumped to 78%.

What the survey doesn’t report is how many hires employers attribute to social media. The CareerXroads survey found employee referrals, company career sites, and job boards accounted for well over half the external hires.

Jobvite, however, found that social media recruiting has additional benefits. According to the report:

  • 49% of the respondents say the quality of candidates is higher;
  • 43% say the quantity is higher;
  • 60% estimate that the value of the hires they make through social media is greater than $20,000 annually; 20 percent put the figure at better than $90,000 annually.

John Zappe is the editor of TLNT.com and a contributing editor of ERE.net. John was a newspaper reporter and editor until his geek gene lead him to launch his first website in 1994. He developed and managed online newspaper employment sites and sold advertising services to recruiters and employers. Before joining ERE Media in 2006, John was a senior consultant and analyst with Advanced Interactive Media and previously was Vice President of Digital Media for the Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

Besides writing for ERE, John consults with staffing firms and employment agencies, providing content and managing their social media programs. He also works with organizations and businesses to assist with audience development and marketing. In his spare time  he can be found hiking in the California mountains or competing in canine agility and obedience competitions.

You can contact him here.