Social Media Recruiting: Trending to Commonplace


In 2000, Bill Clinton said, “Today many companies are reporting that their number one constraint on growth is the inability to hire workers with the necessary skills.” Back then, the internet was booming domains, unemployment was 4%, and Mark Zuckerberg was just getting his driver’s license.  Well Bill, you may still find yourself in the Oval Office, but you are sitting in a different chair. There are more people on the Facebook today than people on the entire internet in 2004 (Buddy Media). In the social web, identifying who has the necessary skills has become a whole lot easier.

When you search for a fact or anecdote, such as “Facebook’s first hire,” it is not about the experience of typing in “Facebook’s first hire.” There is no interactive experience. Searching for Facebook’s first hire, is about figuring out if Facebook’s first hire was Steve Chen or Taner Halicioglu. NHL’s Social Media Marketing Director Mike DiLorenzo explained, “Social networks aren’t about Web sites. They’re about experiences.”  This means two things for social media’s impact on recruiting:

  • a candidate’s past experiences are more viewable, and
  • candidate engagement on social networks (and through social plugins) can be as important to the recruiting experience as email and phone calls.

In a recent survey of recruiters, 69% of companies have admitted to rejecting a candidate based on ‘negative things’ found in their social media profile. The less publicized and more important piece of this survey was, 68% of companies admitted to hiring a candidate based on ‘positive things’ found in their social media profile. You are (not counting the margin of error) only 1% more likely to not get hired because of your social media profile as you are to get hired because of your social media profile … What this all means: 7 out of 10 companies consider the social media profile such an accurate and important indicator of work performance that it has determined their decision to hire or not hire someone. Let that sink in.

“Social marketing eliminates the middlemen, providing brands the unique opportunity to have a direct relationship with their customers,” said Bryan Weiner, CEO at Digital Agency 360i.  Your traits, your history, your skills, and those of your candidates have all become a bit more public. Every time you post online you are building your employment brand. Candidates often build a reputation of your company before they ever interactive with you. And if they haven’t heard of you before, they will often check out your Facebook Page, Twitter Accounts, Blog, and LinkedIn profilesbefore you even hear back from them. Good candidates are well informed of what you do, and are interviewing the company as mush as the company is interviewing him of her.

The survey also revealed that 56% of candidates would actually turn down a job offer if the company bans social media. This expression. This need to express. We all have it. And 56% value the open use of social networks above the immediacy of your paycheck. MmMm, democracy. So when recruiting candidates, show them how their social media content (i.e. their mindset) aligns with your company’s value proposition.

When practicing social media recruiting, remember there are a lot of places to search for the necessary skills and when you find those social profiles you will learn more about their likes and charisma. However, to separate the personas from personalities, you must engage, engage, engage.