Although BSCs seem to be a bit behind the social curve — they’ve been members on the social sites but have only recently begun to exploit the platforms’ various tools— the concept of social recruiting is quickly catching on. For recruiters, the benefits are as vast as the social networks themselves.


One billion users and counting 

For starters, social networks supply a seemingly endless pool of talent. With nearly 1 billion users, Facebook alone hosts enough profiles to serve one-sixth of the human population, and Twitter isn’t far behind with about 500 million users.

Though LinkedIn has fewer users, at about 200 million, the site has become the preferred choice for social recruiters. Unlike its social counterparts, the site has eschewed the broader appeals of Facebook and Twitter, choosing rather to carve out its niche in the business community.

Another benefit to the shift to social is that it offers employers a sense of transparency. 

“Many recruiters believe that the use of social media will reveal the ‘real person’ behind the carefully-drafted resume or the all-too-brief interview,” Heidecker says. “Social media outlets contain information supplied by the candidates, and often from other people.”

People today crave meaningful, reciprocal communication. Social networks provide a virtual platform for personal interaction; users share interesting and useful content, “like” and pass on comments, and directly reach out to contacts through inbox messaging, replies and chat. 

In social networking, recruiters and job seekers alike are searching for more than just credentials — they are searching for personality. Social media breaks down the walls of hierarchy giving users the access to communicate directly with the superiors of an organization — and in many cases, facilitate a response.

This type of interactivity is unlikely to happen in traditional recruiting campaigns.

“The human element is huge,” says Phil Gerbyshak, a social media strategist who owns the consulting firm, Milwaukee Social Media. “It’s a shift in the balance of power,” previously held in the hands of the employers.

In a Jan. 27 article for The New York Times, writer Nelson Schwartz says employers are using social recruiting to “bypass the reams of applications from job search sites like Monster.”

Indeed, many digital media experts — including those interviewed for this story — have already written the eulogy of online job boards, saying the sites have become ubiquitously identified as a “black hole” for job seekers; a place where job applications, resumes and dreams go to die.

“The job board is dead,” Gerbyshak, says. “There is no personality. It’s static, overrun by multi-level marketers and there is too much noise — not enough substance.” 


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