Recent research by CareerBuilder found that 43 percent of employers currently use social networking sites to research job candidates, and an additional 12 percent plan to start soon.
A report by PwC surveying 10,000 workers worldwide and 500 HR professionals predicts that online monitoring of social media profiles by employers will rise over the next ten years.
With the entry of recruiters, human resources professionals, and hiring managers on social media, it is important for job seekers to understand this growing arena of recruiting.
While most social media networks had roots in personal use and have only recently expanded to include business applications, professional networking sites like LinkedIn allow candidates to brand and market themselves to the job positions and employers they are interested in.
Bullhorn’s recently published annual “Social Recruiting Activity Report” finds that 97 percent of U.S. recruiters use LinkedIn, a slight decrease from the year before.
One of the growing areas of LinkedIn usage is groups. LinkedIn groups give job seekers the opportunity to join communities that are relevant to their profession or industry or HR and recruiting groups. By joining groups, job hunters can connect with group members and expand their first-degree network or communicate via direct messages. Having access to recruiters and hiring mangers is often invaluable to those looking for job positions.
Twitter is used by employment experts for real-time communication on topics such as job search advice, on-the-job performance, and work-life balance. Often, employers use their Twitter accounts to point to job opportunities, even before they are posted on job boards.
Many leading companies actively communicate with their talent communities, giving job seekers the opportunity to follow and engage with them. Recruiters are increasingly using live Twitter chats to engage with potential talent and keep them aware of upcoming job openings.
Recent research by Bullhorn shows that there are approximately 271 million active Twitter accounts, but the percent using the network has dropped by five percent from the previous year to 21 percent.
The percentage of recruiters in the U.S. using Facebook rose to 19.3 percent in 2014 from 19.0 percent in the previous year. While LinkedIn is still the predominantly used network for recruiters, Facebook is the only social network that has had an increase in job search activities this year. Also, while Linkedin job postings receive twice as many applications as Facebook or Twitter postings, Facebook is the only network through which job applications increased in 2014.
Research shows that often the biggest and best job leads come from a friend, family member, or other acquaintances on Facebook. Companies are increasing their recruiting presence on Facebook, making it an instrumental resource for job hunting.