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Data & Trends

Employers Take Up a Post in the Social Media Space

Companies are embracing social media as one more tool in the recruiting toolbox – and already social media use is a more popular recruitment strategy than traditional printed job listings, according to new analysis of data from GMAC’s 2011 Corporate Recruiters Survey. LinkedIn is more popular than Facebook or Twitter for recruitment.

The annual survey of employers finds that more than a third of companies (35 percent) use social media as a recruiting strategy, as compared with about a quarter that use printed job announcements (26 percent) and work professional associations (25 percent). But social media lag far behind employee referrals (76 percent), company website (75 percent), on-campus recruiting (68 percent) and even online job search engines or job boards (64 percent). 

“Job seekers should keep in mind that employee referrals are the No. 1 recruitment strategy companies use—social media, especially LinkedIn, expands your professional network and thus your opportunities to find out about jobs and receive referrals,” said survey author Rachel Edgington.

The Corporate Recruiters Survey, with responses from 1,509 employers from 905 companies in 51 countries, also revealed how companies use social media. Some 48 percent use social media to advertise jobs and 44 percent to identify job candidates, but just 18 percent to verify job applicant information. 

Other findings from this year’s survey, the first to include questions about social media:

  • The most common uses of social media for companies are strengthening the company brand (71 percent) and improving or maintaining external communication (62 percent). In addition, 47 percent use social media to market products and services, and 36 percent to monitor the company’s reputation.
  • More than three-fourths (77 percent) of the recruiters who use social media for recruiting use LinkedIn, followed by Facebook (66 percent), Twitter (50 percent), YouTube (23 percent), MySpace (2 percent) and Ning (1 percent).
  • Social media are used by companies in all sectors, not surprisingly topped by the technology sector, followed by the consulting and products and services sectors.
  • Recruiters and HR personnel in the consulting, healthcare, and finance industries are more likely to use social media to identify prospective job candidates, while those in other industries are more likely to advertise jobs than seek potential new hires.
  • Use of social media as a recruitment strategy is more prevalent in the US (38 percent) and Europe (37 percent) than in Asia (28 percent) and other regions (24 percent).
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