Survey shows social media is popular recruitment tool for majority of companies

Job applicants advised to maintain updated, professional profiles

Posted September 17, 2015

Nearly two-thirds of companies (65 percent) found new hires through social media in the past year, according to a recent Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) survey.

SHRM’s survey, “The Importance of Social Media for Recruiters and Job Seekers,” which was produced in collaboration with and commissioned by Ascendo Resources, showed that over one-half (57 percent) of organizations reported finding new employees through LinkedIn, 30 percent through professional or association network sites, and 19 percent through Facebook. Overall, 87 percent of HR professionals said it was either very or somewhat important for job seekers to be on LinkedIn.

More than three-quarters of respondents said it was very or somewhat important for job seekers in a range of professions — from information technology to construction — to have a social media presence. Careers that human resources professionals ranked as most important to have a social media presence included communications, media and public relations (82%), marketing and sales (79%), and advertising (76%).

“The use of social media has been incorporated into business practice,” said Evren Esen, director of SHRM’s survey programs. “Social media helps recruiters find passive job candidates that might not otherwise apply for traditional job postings. With recruiting difficulty continuing to rise on a month-by-month basis, recruiters are turning to social media to find their ideal candidates.”

The survey polled 400 randomly selected HR professionals from across the United States in July. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percent.

When those surveyed were asked what advice they would offer to job applicants, top answers included:

  • Having a complete profile including employment history, education, skills on relevant sites (77 percent).
  • Keeping public content professional (73 percent).
  • Joining groups relevant to one’s career (47 percent).
  • Focusing posts on accomplishments and skills that are helpful to an employer (39 percent).

The survey also showed that almost two-thirds of organizations (64 percent) said they outsource at least some recruitment. The top reason was the need to hire quickly (cited by 49 percent).

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