LinkedIn Dominates Social Media Sourcing and Recruiting

Jobvite social media 2013 popularIf you need any more evidence that LinkedIn is the sourcing tool of choice, then look to this morning’s Jobvite survey on social media recruiting, which says 94 percent of recruiters who use social media use LinkedIn.

This sixth survey of recruiters and HR professionals shows the steady increase in the use of social media for recruiting, and especially LinkedIn’s dominant position as the network of choice. From 2008, when 78 percent of respondents said they will or are using social media, to today’s report when 94 percent say that, LinkedIn’s popularity has been a constant.

In that first report, 80 percent of the survey takers said they use LinkedIn to find candidates. Facebook then was used by 36 percent. 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%)

Recruiters use social media sitesFacebook 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. Sixty-five percent of the respondents say they use Facebook for showcasing their brand. That’s the top rated use recruiters make of the site.

Both 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.

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

What the survey doesn’t report is how many hires employers attribute to social media. CareerXroads, which surveys its roster of clients, most of whom are in the Fortune 500, found employee referrals, company career sites, and job boards to be the source of well over half the external hires. Social media accounted for 2.9 percent.

Jobvite, however, found that social media recruiting has other benefits. According to Jobvite social media 2013 spendthe report:

  • 49 percent of the respondents say the quality of candidates is higher;
  • 43 percent say the quantity is higher;
  • 60 percent 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.

No surprise then that almost three quarters of the respondents say they plan to invest more this year in social media recruiting.

John Zappe is the editor of and a contributing editor of 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.