Social Media and Recruiting: Strategy for Locating your Next Top Performer, OR Crossing the Boundaries?


10 years ago, companies were shuffling through resumes to find the right candidate. Today, things have totally changed.

Social media has taken the recruiting landscape by storm, with nearly two-thirds of companies recruiting via Facebook, over half using Twitter and nearly all companies using LinkedIn to find candidates, according to a recent Jobvite survey, which polled over 1,000 human resources and recruiting professionals.

The swift changes are leaving many questions, such as “What are the potential risks, with employers getting access to massive amounts of candidate information, with just a few keystrokes?”

It’s a virtual Pandora’s Box.

If you haven’t thought about your company’s social media and recruiting strategy, it may be time.

The Upside of Social Media  

Experts speculate social media is gaining traction for one reason: it gets results. The spike in usage for recruiting paints a clear picture, with 92 percent of U.S. companies using social media to recruit talent in 2012, up from 78 percent just five years ago. The recent Jobvite survey revealed:

  • 73 percent of employers have successfully hired a candidate through social media (up from 63 percent in 2011 and 58 percent in 2010)
  • Of these hires, 89 percent of companies hired using LinkedIn, 25 percent Facebook and 15 percent Twitter
  • 20 percent of companies surveyed reported spending less time hiring, when using social media to recruit

Also, with social media, employers are getting access to candidates who aren’t actively seeking work – the passive job seekers, which expand the talent pool.

Social Media and Referrals  

Some companies are leveraging social media to generate more employee referrals. For example, existing employees can easily share job openings in their social network, to boost the chances of landing an employee referral bonus.

The Jobvite survey revealed 1/3 of respondents are experiencing a hike in employee referrals through social media, which generally result in valuable hires.

Staying in Boundaries*

Right now, privacy rights and employers crossing ethical and legal boundaries with social media is a hot topic. Employers can avoid this issue by developing intelligent polices that capture relevant information from social media, without overstepping.

Specifically, employers should be mindful of the information they’re restricted from using during the selection process. For example, social media reveals information defined as “protected,” such as race, gender, ect.

Companies who find ways to stick to ethical and legal boundaries, while leveraging social media, may have an opportunity to boost their recruiting efforts – and locate talent more efficiently.

Do you need help? If you need assistance evaluating or refining your social media recruiting strategy, CERS can help. Also, don’t forget to sign up for your blog! Subscribe to our RSS feed and we’ll deliver upcoming “Hire This, Not That” posts conveniently to your inbox!

* This is not intended to provide legal advice. Seek the advice of your legal counsel as it relates to your company.  


Jobvite. 2012 Social Recruiting Survey. Retrieved 12/12/12 from

Forbes Magazine. Recruiting, Reinvented: How Companies are Using Social Media in The Hiring Process. Retrieved 12/12/12 from


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