HR’s looking for followers

By Denis Storey

LifeHealthPro


LinkedIn wins again. At least when it comes to job recruiters.

New data from the Society of Human Resource Management’s latest survey of human resource professionals finds that organizations are turning to social media sites more than ever when targeting so-called passive candidates.

LinkedIn is the fan favorite for HR pros, followed by Facebook and Twitter. So, while teens might be fleeing these sites in droves, job seekers and fillers are turning to them more frequently. Specifically, 77 percent of companies used social media for recruiting in 2012, a sizable jump over the 56 percent the year before.

According to the survey, recruiters use social media most to find potential “nonmanagement salaried and director/manager-level” candidates. And while it’s not as predominant, employers do use these sites as a way to possibly screen out such candidates, as well. Something to consider, job hunters, before you post those drunken party pics (or questionable selfies) from last weekend.

That’s not to say that social media sites such as these have replaced more time-tested methods of recruiting, such as job fairs, traditional advertising and headhunters. In fact, the survey found that recruiters maintain a healthy level of skepticism when scouting around for job candidates online.

But beyond tracking down job seekers, more companies -- a little more than two-thirds of them -- use these sites to boost their own brand recognition.

The only really troubling aspect of this survey, though, is that despite this prevalence of online job trolling, too many companies still lack a formal HR policy when it comes to the practice. In fact, 57 percent don’t have any policy at all about this type of recruiting. Even worse, 72 percent of those aren’t even planning to implement one.

There’s room to grow here, no doubt. Social media is a gold mine for employers looking for smart, savvy job candidates. And it’s a great resource for weeding out candidates whose judgment is less than professional when it comes to their photo posts or Twitter feeds. But employers need to get their own house in order before casting aspersions on candidates by putting into place formal policies for such searches.

Or, as we move more into a buyer's market for job hunting, they could find themselves defriended first. Or worse.

Originally published on BenefitsPro.com