New Report Indicates That U.S. Recruiters are Increasingly Reliant on Facebook

According to a new report issued by staffing and recruiting software provider, Bullhorn, recruiters in the U.S. are increasingly relying on Facebook when it comes to social media — yet are moving away from Twitter.

Last year, recruiters were using Facebook 19% of the time. This increased slightly to 19.3% in 2014. More significant was the rather rapid transition away from Twitter. About 26% of recruiters were using it in 2013; that fell to 21% this year.

LinkedIn still remains on top as a recruiter’s key social media tool, with 97% of surveyed recruiters reporting using it. LinkedIn also received more applications per job post, with 2.5 per post in the U.S., compared to 1.3 for both Twitter and Facebook. This means that, for every job post a recruiter posts, an average of 2.5 candidates contact them with an application.

“Everyone [on LinkedIn] has their professional profile up; you know their job title and previous job history – its essentially an online resume,” says SalesForce Search CEO Mathew Cook. “It’s a great tool to weed out people you don’t want working for your company and recruiters can also see where profiles aren’t necessarily 100% accurate.”

To gain an accurate picture of what the recruitment industry looks like, Bullhorn collected information from 260,000 recruiters that were located around the world. Approximately 65% of those — or 169,000 — were based in the U.S., and contributed to the U.S. social media-specific report released this September.

Additionally, the report noted that mobile applications are a growing trend. About 20% of all job applications from social media-recruited candidates came from mobile so far in 2014. In particular, between 2013 and 2014, job applications submitted through mobile on Facebook actually quadrupled.

The findings are notable, too, because it’s only the negative side of social media as it intersects with recruitment that is typically reported on. Often, people only see social media as a potential “negative” during the job application process. In fact, Mary Massad, president of recruiting services at a Houston-based agency, recommends that employers not use Facebook as a tool to examine the personal lives of potential candidates.

“You really don’t know a person’s character until you get to know them personally,” argues Massad, and points out that information like race, religion, and sexuality are often apparent on social media — and knowledge of this information during the hiring process can potentially lead to discrimination lawsuits down the road.

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