Survey: LinkedIn Remains Most Popular Site for Finding Candidates

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Organizations are increasingly using social networking sites to recruit job candidates, and many HR professionals use these sites to target passive candidates and those with a specific skill set, according to new research the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) released April 15, 2013.

LinkedIn remains the most popular site for recruiting and screening candidates, followed by Facebook and Twitter, respectively.

HR professionals most commonly target candidates at the nonmanagement salaried and director/manager-level (87 percent and 80 percent of respondents, respectively) when using these sites to recruit candidates. They also, to a lesser degree, use these sites to screen candidates at those job levels.

Among organizations that do not use social networking sites to recruit or screen candidates, about one-half of respondents said they don’t use these sites as a recruiting tool, and three-fourths said they don’t use them to screen candidates because of legal concerns or fear of discovering information about protected characteristics such as age.

In terms of screening candidates, 63 percent of respondents questioned the information’s relevancy to a candidate’s work-related potential. When it comes to recruiting, slightly more than a quarter of respondents (26 percent) questioned the veracity of candidate information found on social networking sites.

SHRM conducted the survey from Feb. 25 through March 8, 2013, with 651 of its members whose job encompasses recruiting and staffing. Most respondents (62 percent) were at organizations with 500 to 24,999 employees, and the highest percentage (39 percent) was at privately owned for-profit companies.

Among key findings:

*80 percent of respondents use the sites to find passive job candidates. Other uses include posting information or participating in a discussion, looking for active candidates and creating web pages for their organization.

*77 percent use social networking sites to recruit candidates, up from 56 percent in 2011.

Publicly and privately owned for-profit organizations are more likely to use these sites than nonprofit and government organizations.

*69 percent of respondents use these sites to target candidates with a specific skill set, closely followed by 67 percent that use them to increase employer brand and recognition.

*57 percent do not have any kind of policy—formal or informal—on using social networking sites to screen candidates. Privately owned for-profit and government organizations are more likely than publicly owned for-profit organizations not to have such a policy.

*72 percent (about the same percentage as in 2011) do not plan to implement a formal policy within the next 12 months on using social networking sites to screen job candidates.