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Survey: Most Companies Finding New Hires via Social Media

Human resources professionals say job applicants should be on LinkedIn.

By University Alliance on October 15, 2015
HR Recruiters Tapping into Social Networks

In the quest to hire the best and brightest, about two-thirds of companies are finding new employees through social networks such as LinkedIn and Facebook, a survey shows.

The results are another demonstration of how social media is transforming recruitment and hiring, including by helping human resources professionals to identify strong candidates who might not apply for traditional job postings.

The survey, The Importance of Social Media for Recruiters and Job Seekers, was conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and Ascendo Resources and published in September 2015.

Among the findings: 57% of companies surveyed said they discovered new talent on LinkedIn; 30% through professional or association social networking sites; 18% via Facebook; 8% on Twitter; and 4% on Google Plus.

With so many employers using social media as a recruiting tool, job seekers need to have an online presence, the survey respondents said.

About 87% of the HR professionals interviewed said it’s very important or somewhat important for job seekers to be on LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional networking site. Joining relevant professional or association websites is considered to be nearly as important, while 25% of respondents listed being on Facebook as somewhat important.

An online presence is seen as being crucial in certain professional fields. Among hiring managers, 82% said being on social media is very important for anyone seeking a job in communications, media and public relations. About three-quarters said it is important for marketing, sales and advertising positions, and more than six in 10 respondents strongly recommended an online presence for job applicants in the IT/computer sector.

Knowing what to do – and what not to do – on social media can be a difference-maker in a job hunt. Among the survey respondents’ top tips:

  • Profiles should be comprehensive, with employment history, education and skills
  • Public content should be professional
  • Posts should highlight skills and accomplishments relevant to a prospective job
  • Profiles should be updated often

The survey, which polled 400 HR professionals nationwide, echoes the findings of a recent survey by CareerBuilder that found more than 30% of employers are less likely to interview candidates who don’t have an online presence.

However, respondents to the CareerBuilder survey cautioned job seekers not to post bigoted content, suggestive photos, criticism of former bosses or tales about drug and alcohol use on their social media accounts.

Nearly half of those surveyed by the online job site said they had excluded a candidate based on information discovered online. On a positive note, nearly one-third said information that showed creativity and professionalism led them to offer an applicant a job.

Category: 2015 Headlines