Employers Expanding from LinkedIn to Other Social Media Sites for Recruiting

February 6, 2013

Social media has transformed the way we interact with people and what information we choose to share. Now it's changing the way we look and hire for jobs. According to a new survey published by the recruitment software firm Bullhorn, those looking for a job may be wise to invest a good amount of time in establishing and refining their social media presences, as more recruiters than ever before are turning to sites like LinkedIn and even Facebook to find potential hires.

Forbes reports that the Bullhorn study surveyed 1,848 staffing professionals about various recruiting trends, including their use of social media when searching for job candidates. Almost all of the respondents -- 98.2 percent -- said they relied on some form of social media in 2012, up from 94 percent in 2011.

LinkedIn was by far the most popular network among respondents: 97.3 percent said they used it as a recruiting tool in 2012. Facebook (51.3 percent) and Twitter (45.8 percent) were less popular among recruiters, though the survey's results suggest this is likely to change: 37.4 percent of recruiters said they planned to increase their use of Facebook in 2013, and 38.3 percent said they will up their Twitter use this year. Bullhorn CEO Art Papas told Forbes that this may change even more dramatically in the next 18 months, as Facebook unveils a powerful new search tool called Graph Search, currently still in its beta phase

"Once (Graph Search) goes mainstream, I think it could become very very powerful and there could come a point where Facebook starts to tap into this opportunity that LinkedIn has essentially had to itself," Papas told Forbes.

Another survey published last year found that recent and future college graduates are already relying on the network extensively when hunting for jobs. According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the 2012 Future Trends Survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers found that 90.7 percent of participating students used Facebook in their job search. LinkedIn and Twitter were far less popular: only 40 and 35 percent of respondents, respectively, said they used these tools in their job search.

Perhaps one insight that could benefit all job seekers regardless of their career search method of choice is the importance of maintaining a professional social media presence, even when not overtly marketing themselves in this way. According to CBS News, recruiters may increasingly look to Twitter and Facebook to find candidates who could be a good cultural fit for a company, so it is important to protect your digital image to avoid inadvertently undermining your job prospects.

Compiled by Aimee Hosler


"2013 North American Staffing and Recruiting Trends Report," bullhorn.com

"New Survey: LinkedIn More Dominant Than Ever Among Job Seekers And Recruiters, But Facebook Poised to Gain," forbes.com, February 5, 2013, Susan Adams

"Students turn to social media to find jobs," ajc.com, February 5, 2013, Gracie Bonds Staples

"Twitter and Facebook also key sites for recruiters," cbsnews.com, February 5, 2013, Suzanne Lucas

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