Social recruiting

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Social recruiting is a contested term.[1] It is a concept at the intersection of recruitment and the embryonic field of social media. There are several terms used interchangeably including social hiring, social recruitment and social media recruitment.

The most popular Social Media sites used for recruiting are LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Viadeo, XING, Google+ and BranchOut.

Competing definitions[edit]

The most common definition used for social recruiting is that it is the process of sourcing or recruiting candidates through the use of social platforms as promotional and/or advertising channels, or Talent databases using search solutions by employers and recruiters. Career placement offices at university campuses also use social recruiting since social media is familiar to and often embraced by students and graduates as a job searching medium.

Social recruiting falls into two different categories. The first is internet sourcing using social media profiles, blogs, and online communities to find and search for passive candidate data and information. The second is social distribution. This involves using social media platforms and networks as a means to distribute jobs either through HR vendors or through crowdsourcing where job seekers and other influencers share job openings within their online social networks.

Since late 2009 there has been some discussion in the recruitment and social media communities about whether simply using social media as a communication and marketing channel can be called "social recruiting".[2] The argument is that for recruiting to be truly social, it needs to build a community, facilitate communication within that community, and rely on social connections between community members to recruit.

The position that nothing has changed is weakening as more data is collected on the actual activities of recruiters in 2010 and 2011. Jobvite, an applicant tracking system (ATS) and social sourcing provider, released a report in May 2011[3] indicating that 80% of the 600 employers surveyed answered "Yes" to the question, "Do you use social media for recruiting?"

By the end of 2011, social media recruiter postings appear on a regular basis on job aggregator sites like and Simply Hired, and number well over 1,000 in an October 2011 search.

One Social Media Recruiter position opportunity described the primary duties as:

Coordinate candidate sourcing by utilizing all available recruiting tools including: social media, job boards, employee referrals, recruiting tools and vendors, and others. Use LinkedIn, Facebook, Google, Twitter and other forms of Social Media. Requires the ability to recruit through use of social media, navigate all social media avenues, and knows how to maximize recruitment through those sources.

Social recruiting's effectiveness and return on investment have been difficult to determine, since applicants do not usually apply through the social channels which first attracted them. In May 2013, Maximum Employment Marketing Group released the Social Recruitment Monitor, which ranks the reach, engagement, and interactivity of employers' social recruiting efforts around the world.[4][5]

Social recruitment software[edit]

The social recruitment software market (a form of e-recruitment) is often included in the wider talent management software sector. Bersin & Associates valued the wider talent management market at over $2bn in 2007.[6] Social recruitment increasingly sits at an intersection of a number of fast-moving areas including social networking, recruitment and now cloud computing. Additionally, mobile recruiting has become another hot topic, especially with the rise in tablet and smartphone usage.

In 2012, there was a rise of tech companies using social recruiting applications to find and screen applicants.[7] As more companies saw value in filling jobs by putting them on the social platforms where millions of people spend at least 37 minutes daily,[8] there developed a much larger focus on social recruiting among the talent acquisition community. For example, each year, there are now two Social Recruiting Strategies Conferences held in the United States, as well as numerous tracks on social recruiting at HR and recruiting conferences across the globe. By mid-2013, many major enterprise companies such as Pepsi, Gap, AIG, and Oracle had begun effectively utilizing social recruiting software, making it clear that large corporations were open to automating or streamlining (and ultimately investing in) their social recruiting processes.[9]


  1. ^ Alder, Matt (March 8, 2011). "Redefining Social Recruiting for 2011". "Social Recruiting isn’t a clearly defined approach or set of tactics it is a concept and set of ideas loosely based on using the social parts of the web for talent attraction and recruitment." 
  2. ^ "How social recruiting has not changed recruitment". 
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Maximum's New Social Recruitment Monitor Releases First Performance Findings for Major US Companies". The Wall Street Journal. 
  5. ^ "New Survey Introduces Tool to Measure Employers' Social Media Reach". 
  6. ^ Talent Management Suites, Market Realities, Implementation Experiences and Vendor Profiles (2008)
  7. ^ Greathouse, John (July 10, 2012). "Social Hiring Tools Used By Hyper Growth Companies: Pinterest, Tumblr, HootSuite, Klout, Posterous, Bitly And Mashable". Forbes. Retrieved 2012-07-11. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ Colao, J.J. Forbes |url= missing title (help).