Recruiting Through Social Networks

Netpop, a Market Research firm, recently released a study indicating that social networking has increased 93% since 2006. Microsoft is piloting a new online recruitment campaign for the Entertainment and Devices Division that includes built-in connections to the top social networking sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Intel has taken it a step further by posting its Social Media Guidelines online and  encouraging employees to get involved in social media activities on the company’s behalf.

Historically most companies have utilized employees to find, recruit and hire top talent using Employee Referral Programs and other incentives to encourage employees to utilize their professional and social networks. Social networking is an extension of this strategy, expanding the reach, depth and breadth of personal and social networks and providing greater access to a larger and growing audience. Technology and social networking sites have made it extremely easy for anyone to create an account and begin building out networks and connections. According to the LinkedIn website, its network alone consists of 35+ million registered members representing over 200 industries worldwide.

Do your employees engage in social networking activities? What type of talent may exist within their networks?  What is the best way to tap into that network and position your company as an employer of choice? It’s important to ask yourself these questions as you develop an integrated recruitment strategy that fully utilizes the power of these social networking sites. Sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter (just to name a few) may be cost-effective when compared to job boards such as Monster but can result in tedious and time-consuming sourcing efforts if not utilized correctly. However, when used as part of an overarching recruitment strategy, social networking sites can provide instant access to an extensive list of skilled professionals with specific industry knowledge.

Are you utilizing social networking sites to maximize your recruitment strategy? What strategies are working best for your business? Waiting on the sidelines of social networking?  Let us know your questions, challenges and successes.

As a recruiter, I’m exposed to new opportunities and information on a daily basis. I thrive on learning about new industries, new technology, new positions—and then using what I’ve learned to help make a great candidate-company match.