A Look Inside the Habits of the Social Job Seeker

There's a disconnect between the way job seekers prefer to hunt and the way employers recruit.

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There’s a growing movement toward social recruiting by employers, partially in hope to improve the interaction with job seekers and partially to improve hiring. Social recruiting is a process of sourcing or recruiting candidates through the use of social networks. But are there still gaps in how job seekers and employers communicate?

Social recruiting humanizes the process. You may notice some companies trying to engage and respond to questions through social platforms. You may also be interested to know that many corporate recruiters and human resources professionals say they are open to connecting with candidates through LinkedIn. This is good news for job seekers who often find it difficult to make contact within companies. With a little research, you can directly connect with corporate recruiters and begin building a relationship. Rather than applying for a job and falling into the black hole, job seekers now have more options to connect and stand out. 

Where are job seekers active? Jobvite released its 2014 report on how job seekers are using social networks to hunt for jobs and how employers seek talent. A key takeaway is that 94 percent of recruiters use LinkedIn to source and vet candidates, yet only 36 percent of job seekers are active on the site. There is a missed opportunity here for social job seekers. Or perhaps recruiters should look at where they are fishing. Eighty-three percent of job seekers prefer and use Facebook for job search, but only 65 percent of recruiters utilize it.

Mobility is key. According to Jobvite’s report, 27 percent of job seekers expect to be able to apply for jobs from their mobile devices. Even more interesting: Forty-three percent of all job seekers use their mobile device for job-seeking activities. Both unemployed and employed job seekers search for opportunities from their mobile device while at work, from bed and even in the restroom. 

Get the most from your LinkedIn invite. When sending your LinkedIn invitation to a recruiter or human resources, be sure you don’t use your mobile device. There's a disconnect here between what job seekers want and what LinkedIn offers, and it's a small glitch few people understand. When you use the LinkedIn mobile app, you do not have the ability to customize your invitation. Using the Connect button directly from the person’s profile is another well-kept secret to customizing your invitation. Your message’s length is limited, so be ready to concisely explain why you're interested in the contact's company and reference a specific role you qualify for (whether open or not). For example: “XYZ company leads the pack in its reputation for growing investments! My recent MBA and quantitative analysis skills position me as a potential candidate as a Financial Analyst with your firm. I hope we can connect.”

Use friends to find jobs. Referrals are key, both for job seekers and for recruiters. Referral hiring is on the rise, made easier due to social connections on Facebook, LinkedIn and even Twitter. According to Jobvite, 40 percent of job seekers found their best or favorite job through a personal connection, and 64 percent of recruiters rate the referred candidates as the “highest quality.” Social networks and corporate career sites tied for second place, with 59 percent of recruiters citing it for high quality hires. Job seekers should note that personal connections can be scattered across Facebook and LinkedIn. When you find a job that looks interesting, search both Facebook and LinkedIn for personal connections who can act as referrals.