Facebook better at staff referrals than LinkedIn
US – While many companies have been recruiting via social networks, Facebook has been found to generate the most employee referrals, instead of the more professional-focused LinkedIn.
A June survey of 800 HR and recruiting professionals by US-based recruiting vendor Jobvite found that nearly nine in 10 companies plan to recruit through social media this year, up from 83% last year. Close to two-thirds (64%) use two or more social networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
While LinkedIn accounted for 73% of new recruits in the past six months, Facebook generated 43% of employee referrals that resulted in new hires for respondents. Twitter generated only 16% of referral hires and LinkedIn garnered 41%.
Dan Finnigan, founder and CEO of Jobvite, said the social network’s popularity made sense as people’s connections on LinkedIn tend to be with people they may never have personally met. "But their Facebook connections tend to be people they actually do know and interact with, and they're on Facebook every day,” he said. “That means the power of their connections there can be quite powerful in driving referral applications and, ultimately, new hires.”
However, employment attorney Shayna Fernandez told Human Resource Executive Online most people would be annoyed to have their Facebook friends sending out job ads on the social network.
Yet Jason Alba, CEO of consulting firm JibberJabber.com and author of I'm on LinkedIn: Now What???, said HR only needs to take a different approach from recruiting on LinkedIn when using Facebook. "People who spend time on LinkedIn tend to be career-focused and very receptive to a formal message about jobs, whereas the environment on Facebook is more casual."
While posting a casual message such as “Hey, my company has an opening for such-and-such, please spread the word” on Facebook may not reach out to the right target audience, Alba said, “You will find lots of people willing to spread the word for you."
Furthermore, it costs HR almost nothing to recruit via social networking. Although LinkedIn charges for certain recruiting services, HR can bypass the fees by posting information about job openings in relevant interest groups on the site. Alba said recruiters can send messages along the lines of “We have an opening in this area, where do you think we should look?”
He added, "That way, you get the word out to the relevant people without having to pay for it. I'm not a big fan of paying for job postings."
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