Three Out of Four Companies Use Social Networking to Recruit Candidates

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There have been plenty of warnings about keeping your social media profile clean, honest and up to date, including several on this site, and now there's a real good reason why. A new survey finds nearly three out of every four companies (72 percent) use social media as part of their recruiting process.

The survey was conducted by SelectMinds, a company that develops social recruiting and community management solutions for corporations.

According to the study, 69 percent of more than 200 companies who participated in the survey plan to increase their social media budgets in 2012.

Beyond the leap-of-faith stage

"Corporations are beyond the leap-of-faith stage with their social media programs: they have them up and running, and they know they are producing results," said Anne Berkowitch, CEO, SelectMinds. "They just can't agree on how best to quantify them."

"The key now," she adds, "is to build the infrastructure necessary for firms to systematize their social media programs to produce real, measurable ROI."

The annual ROI of Social Media in the Enterprise survey also found that 86 percent of firms are currently using social media in their organizations for a variety of reasons such as communications, brand awareness and marketing, along with their recruiting initiatives.

In order to develop benchmarks for corporate use of in-house and external social networks, the SelectMinds survey asked 216 executives at U.S. firms with 3,000 or more employees to share the details of their corporate social media initiatives.

Some key findings

-Corporations are using social networks for many purposes, but the most frequently cited social media initiative among survey respondents was recruiting.

-72 percent of respondents reported that their companies were using social media for recruitment/talent acquisition, followed by branding engagement and awareness (69 percent), recruitment branding (68 percent), marketing (63 percent), corporate communications/PR (57 percent) and communications with customers (52 percent).

-Among HR professionals, 81 percent of those surveyed are using social networks to help them recruit candidates.

-While the majority of corporate users surveyed are maintaining Facebook pages (86 percent) and Twitter accounts (71 percent) on behalf of their companies, in-house corporate social networks have also gained traction in most firms.

When asked to rate the effectiveness of social media programs and weigh in on best approaches for measuring success, results were mixed. Only 60 percent said corporate social media programs are most effective when used for communications, followed by brand awareness (57 percent), increasing the effectiveness of marketing (55 percent), brand monitoring (52 percent) and positive press (50 percent).

Among the most common metrics for evaluating the success of social media programs, 66 percent count hires from social networks, 65 percent count Web site visitors and 63 percent count Facebook fans. Very few measure in terms of reduced expenses or increased revenue (27 percent and 10 percent respectively).