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Forthcoming 2015 Talent Board candidate experience research confirms that social recruiting has been growing on the employer side over the past few years.

For employers, the following are considering “differentiating” when it comes to engaging job seekers prior to applying:

  • LinkedIn Pages (Job/Career Specific) – 56%
  • LinkedIn Groups (Job/Career Specific) – 37%
  • Twitter Feeds/Notifications (Job/Career Specific) – 32%
  • Facebook Pages (Job/Career Specific) – 24%

But what about for job seekers? Where are they researching via social prior to applying?

Across industries, they’re going here:

  • LinkedIn Career Page(s) – 30%
  • Online Groups (LinkedIn, Yahoo, Google+, Other) – 26%
  • Employer Reviews (Glassdoor, Vault, Great Rated!) – 24%

Makes sense. But here’s where the social recruiting pool goes cold:

  • Facebook Career Page(s) – 5%
  • Twitter Feeds/Notifications – 2%

As Kevin Grossman observes in a recent TalentCulture.com article, it's not always about latching on to the latest and greatest social channel just for the sake of "social recruiting."  And while some investments (time/money) may pay off in the long run, it's worth stopping once in a while and re-examining our objectives and our direction.

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A solid example is Twitter - while so many employers are investing in Twitter as a recruiting channel, we're still seeing minimal adoption from a job seeker's perspective.  This should cause us to be more critical about how we use Twitter as a recruiting tool.  Does it make sense to focus on broadcasting jobs or should we concentrate on sharing stories about our culture and who we are as a company?  Some organizations are even seeing Net Promoter Scores (NPS) on the rise when using a channel like Twitter as a full-service help desk for job seekers.

It's no surprise (or at least it shouldn't be) that LinkedIn continues to be #1 for both recruiters and job seekers.  And while we're reminded that we should be fishing where the fish are, the same focus on making the most of our time and money (hey, LinkedIn isn't cheap!) needs to be a priority.  Are teams optimizing LinkedIn Recruiter seats or just considering them a "cost of doing business?"  Are organizations investing in the LinkedIn self-paced training or certification options available to their teams?  Does your organization have a solid strategy around LinkedIn groups and/or Showcase pages? (Do you know what both of those are?!)

Of course it's not all doom and gloom when we talk about the tools and channels available to us.  As a perfect and complimentary contradiction, of course have to reference the very popular advice given to famous NHL player Wayne Gretzky by his father, who told him to "...skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been."
While now incredibly cliche, it does remind us that we need to keep our options (and minds) open to new tools and channels as we march forward.

That's why some organizations are hiring headcount dedicated to recruiting innovation and analytics - to strike a balance between what's working and what's on the horizon.  Data backed decisions tempered with calculated risk and smart team members can be a dangerous combination... to your competition.

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