More companies mining LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter for 'social recruiting' effort
Gary Bacon spotted a Web designer job posting online several months ago and shot an email to a recruiter at Medifast Inc. But that was just the beginning.
Bacon connected with a recruiter, Caitlin Goldstein, and the conversation moved to Twitter. They tweeted back and forth, and Goldstein got to know Bacon, found links to examples of his work — and eventually felt confident enough to invite him to Medifast's Owings Mills headquarters for an interview.
Welcome to the brave new world of recruiting, which has expanded into social media. Just a few years ago, much of the action took place on online job boards, but now social networking sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter have supercharged the experience for recruiters and job-seekers alike.
"Everyone is using LinkedIn, and if you aren't, it's probably a little bit of a concern," said Jessica Lee, vice president of talent acquisition at the Washington communications firm APCO Worldwide and editor of Fistful of Talent, a popular blog about recruiting.
LinkedIn's many online networking tools have struck a chord — and opened a source of revenue — for the company in the recruiting industry. The company, valued at more than $8 billion after going public this year, derives much of its income from job ads and tools it sells to companies and recruiters looking for talent.
While job boards still fill a major need, such sites tend to attract mostly active job-seekers. Recruiters, always on the prowl for top talent to poach, are using social networks to better identify top professionals in their fields, connect with them through "word-of-mouth" approaches and lure them away with job offers.
Nowadays, a typical executive might have a resume posted on LinkedIn, a Facebook and Twitter account, a blog or their own website — and recruiters are busily mining those sites, Google and more for the right candidates.
Recruiters often are directed to find "passive" candidates — working professionals who are employed and who might not have considered changing jobs until they were made the right offer.
"LinkedIn is a gold mine for passive candidates," said Jay Feeley, practice leader and account executive at MRI GlobalSearch inTimonium.
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