With the growth of social media sites like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, as well as lesser-known sites — Upspring, PerfectBusiness and Cofoundr — professional networking with the use of social media as a recruitment tool is becoming more prominent.
Most employee recruiters — 92 percent — currently use, or plan to use, social media and networking sites for job recruiting this year, according to the Jobvite 2012 Social Recruitment Survey. This is a 3 percent increase from 2011 and 10 percent increase from 2010.
The most-used social media site, when it comes to recruitment and hiring, is LinkedIn: 89 percent of U.S. businesses have made a hire through it, compared to Facebook at 26 percent and Twitter at 15 percent.
"Social media, on the whole, is becoming a medium for work as well as play," as quoted in a report, "The Impact of Social Media," in 2011 from Nigel Wright Recruitment, a U.K.-based search firm with international influence to help connect highly qualified job candidates with businesses.
The report emphasizes how social networking is changing the nature of recruitment and how "essentially, companies and recruiters need to be where their candidates are in order to engage them in the recruitment process."
Finding someone to hire is becoming less labor intensive, and for those seeking jobs, "what used to take a tremendous amount of legwork on the part of the candidate can now be done through a quick search on the web," Chirag Nangia, CEO of Reppify said in a Q&A for Forbes.com. Reppify is a San Francisco-based business that helps companies find people to hire with the use of social media data.
Though applying and hiring can take place simply by sitting behind a computer, there are still things both parties have to do for the Internet, and specifically social media, to be an effective tool in job recruitment.
Chirag offers three recommendations to job seekers when it comes to their social media: Keep professional profiles up to date and complete, engage in online communities reflecting topics the candidate is passionate about, and network with professional connections on LinkedIn.
Half of people currently working in the IT field who are on social networking sites said they would not modify or delete content on their social media profiles if they knew their profile was being viewed by a prospective employer as part of the hiring process, according to a study by Technisource.
This may be a mistake for job candidates to make, due to the fact that 86 percent of recruiters say they are likely to look at the social profiles of potential employees, according to the Jobvite Recruitment Survey.
For employers surveyed, there is material they look down upon when it comes to the personal updates and information of potential hires on social profiles. 78 percent don't like to see posts or tweets about doing illegal drugs, 66 percent don't want to see sexual posts, and 61 percent don't like to see profanity in posts and tweets.
However, there are things many employers do like to see posted on personal pages — 80 percent of employers like to see indication of professional organization membership, and 66 percent like to see posts about charity work and volunteering.