According to the Jobvite 2012 Social Recruiting Survey results, social media has become a dominant force in the war for talent.  The survey posits, “Because it allows employers to tap extended networks for candidates that would not be found otherwise, social recruiting offers tremendous value to companies of all sizes. It has become an essential avenue for recruiters to successfully compete in the war for talent.”  TalentWoo discusses the one glaring statistic, and the underlying truth,  that hiring managers need to take seriously:  time-to-hire!

No one can argue the near-ubiquitous usage of social media sites like LinkedIn for finding qualified talent, nor would we ever dispute the quality and caliber of successful hires that can be made using these sites.  Indeed, 73% of recruiters have successfully hired a candidate who was identified or introduced through social media or a social network.  We’d simply like to point out an often-overlooked statistic that can help set your expectations when attempting to do social media recruiting on your own.  Below, presented in a table format, are some numbers found in Jobvite’s survey of 1000 global HR  and Recruiting Professionals.

Increased Decreased Stayed the Same
Time to Hire 14 20 38
Candidate Quantity 49 3 24
Candidate Quality 43 3 30
Employee Referrals 31 2 38

The time it takes to hire a qualified applicant using social media stayed the same or increased in 52% of the cases.  In other words, half the time using social media won’t get you a hire any faster.  It does give you access to passive candidates that are not really in the job market and whom you might not otherwise find, but let’s remember that recruiting passive candidates is always a time-consuming practice.    Social media has not changed this fact. What was not mentioned, interestingly, were two more important statistics:

  • how many more days did it take to make a hire using social media (ie how efficient is it)?
  • how many more hours of a recruiter’s day is involved in making a hire using social media (ie how labor-intensive is it)?

In future blogs we discuss specific best practices when recruiting on LinkedIn, but suffice it to say that when using social media your goal is simply to create a back-and forth conversation that stimulates interest and ultimately leads to an interview, and ideally a hire.  This process is done in stages, consumes a lot of time, and will usually require at least one dedicated resource. Again, while the success rate of quality hires clearly makes social media recruiting a worthwhile endeavor, the hiring manager must understand that it is also a much more time- and labor-intensive proposition.  Most times, social media user information (ie phone number and email is private), so conversations about the job will go back and forth over e-mail through the specific social medium, until the prospect feels comfortable giving out a phone number.  Expect to wait a while:  for prospects to get around to the email about a job they weren’t considering in the first place; for them to forward the email to someone they think is qualified; for back-and-forth email conversations about pay, opportunity, job specifics, etc.  It is very common for people to take one to two weeks before responding to an invitation or conversation on LinkedIn.

Make no mistake about it, TalentWoo condones the use of social media for filling open job requisitions, but we advise that the task be given to someone in the organization, or outsourced to a professional organization that can focus specifically on all the duties that a well-done social media recruiting campaign requires:  searching, reviewing and selecting appropriate profiles; contacting interesting prospects about an employment opportunity; starting conversations on social media sites; responding to the plethora of questions that result; asking for referrals; networking and following up with referrals; encouraging passive candidates to apply; moving social media conversations to a phone line; and being available to address inquiries for weeks on end.  This is typically not something the hiring manager has the bandwidth to address.  So for entrepreneurs and start-up companies that do not have a dedicated recruiting department, a social media recruiting strategy can be a challenge.

For help getting a social media recruiting strategy for your organization, and for an outsourced partner who can handle your social recruiting needs for you. contact TalentWoo today.