Our friends at Jobvite have just announced the results of its annual Social Recruiting Survey. Now in its sixth year, the Jobvite annual Social Recruiting Survey is the most comprehensive of its kind. The survey was completed in July 2013 by more than 1,600 recruiting and human resources professionals.

Mini 1This year’s data underscores that social recruiting is an essential HR practice used by 94% of surveyed recruiters across industries, up from 78% in 2008, the first year the survey was conducted. In an indication of the increasingly competitive hiring environment, only 1.5% of respondents predict that hiring will become less competitive in the coming year.

The report affirms the ROI social recruiting, with 60% of recruiters estimating the value of their social media hires as greater than $20,000 per year, and 20% estimating the value as greater than $90,000 per year. LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter continue to be the most used channels by recruiters, with an increase in adoption of emerging, specialized and localized social networks including GitHub, Yammer, Stackoverflow, Pinterest and Instagram.

Recruiters Use Multiple Channels to Build their Hiring Funnel

With 9 out of 10 surveyed companies using social media in their recruiting strategy, candidates and companies are now in direct communication, all the time.

  • Recruiters use LinkedIn 93% of the time to search, contact, and keep tabs on candidates in the hiring process.
  • Facebook and Twitter are the main channels that recruiters use to showcase employer brand – 65% of recruiters surveyed use Facebook and 47% of recruiters use Twitter to post about company culture.
  • Recruiters continue to use social media even after sourcing and contacting candidates — a reported 18% use Twitter and 25% use Facebook to vet candidates after the interview process.

Law of Attraction: The Best Attract The Best

The best employees tend to attract the best candidates. Whether there is an overlap from college or at a previous job, every employee contact is also a potential candidate. Social media has opened candidate networks far larger than recruiters have ever used before.

  • 1 in 3 recruiters report that social media recruiting improved both the quantity and quality of candidates.
  • Referrals represent the highest quality source of candidates (64%); social networks and corporate career sites have also jumped in significance (59%).
  • 43% of employees from referrals and company career pages stay longer than 3 years, while only 14% of job board hires stay longer than three years.
  • Referrals are the highest-rated source of new hires, and it’s far easier for employees to share jobs through social networks. A reported 73% of recruiters report they will increase their investment in social networks in 2013, while 62% report they will increase their referral incentives.

Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll: Don’t Share Exploits Publicly

Qualified job seekers should note the increasing importance of their total social presence beyond LinkedIn. 93% of recruiters report reviewing candidates’ social profile in the hiring process. 42% have reconsidered a candidate based on content from social profiles.

  • Illegal drug usage meets with the most universal disapproval, with 83% of recruiters reporting a negative reaction to such posts.
  • Sexual posts (70%) and profanity (65%) are also frowned upon by recruiters – a 5% jump from the 2012 survey.
  • In a year of numerous high-profile gun-related incidents, gun references trigger negative reactions among 50% of recruiters. However, a majority of recruiters (65%) remain neutral toward overtly political posts.