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A few months ago, my friend landed a sweet gig at a well-known magazine through Twitter. It turns out the Editor-in-Chief of a popular magazine DM’d (direct messaged) her about an opportunity and within a month she was hired and onboarded. My last two positions were thanks to people in my extended network who reached out to me via LinkedIn and Facebook, respectively. The evidence isn’t just coming from my collection of personal anecdotes: this year, Jobvite did a study and found that 94% of companies surveyed used or planned to use social media as part of their recruitment strategy. In the HR and recruitment space, Social Recruiting can no longer be ignored.

It seems that one of the biggest hiring trends of 2013 is Social Recruiting. You hear it everywhere. But what is it exactly?

Also called Social Hiring, Social Recruitment, and Social Media Recruitment (etc., etc.), Social Recruiting is a sort of catch-all phrase that refers to the process of sourcing and hiring candidates through social media platforms, and/or using social media platforms to advertise their open positions.

Whether you reach out to a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd degree connection via a personal or corporate social media account, advertise open positions on social media networks, or use social recruiting software (as an add-on to an applicant tracking system or as a standalone tool), it’s all considered Social Recruiting.

    There are many advantages to hiring via social media including:

  • Access to passive candidates, which some argue are better hires that active job-seekers.
  • Reaching a broader range of talent than you normally would through traditional channels.
  • Ability to source talent with very specific, or “niche” skillsets.
  • Lower churn – In the same study from Jobvite, almost half of social recruiting hires remained in their positions for over three years.
  • Shorter time-to-hire. With quick access to quality candidates, on platforms where engagement is inherent, not to mention the ability to skip a few steps in the early stages of the hiring process, those who use Social Recruiting often experience a shorter time to hire.
  • Smaller cost-to-hire. For the reasons above, is also significantly reduced.

With all of these benefits, it’s understandable to see why Social Recruiting is quickly becoming a critical part of the hiring strategy of organizations both big and small.