The Role of Social Media in Hiring

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Your HR Buddy is honored to have the amazing voices in the HR space joining us to share their insights. And this time we have Greg Moran  founder and CEO of talks about decline of the Paper Resume and Rise of the Social Media Interview!

Let’s face it- if the paper resume isn’t already dead, it’s well on its way out the door.

With the ever-amounting popularity of social media and its critical role as a primary communication vehicle for today’s masses, it’s no surprise that Facebook, Twitter and other social platforms have become a professional pillar in talent selection as well.

Today’s job seekers are throwing their traditional resumes in the recycling bin to focus their efforts on the maintenance of their social presence, or “social footprint.” In order to set themselves apart from other candidates in a personalized and meaningful way, applicants are now relying on social media platforms to showcase their professional knowledge and experience – and with good reason.

A recent study by the Human-Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie-Mellon University found that job seekers who use social media throughout their employment search are more likely to end up finding work. Facebook further supported this claim with its recent research, which showed that users who message close friends and family via the social platform are more likely to find a new job. True indeed, tech-expert Mashable showed that 14.4 million people used social media to land a job in 2011.

Why has this approach to job-hunting gained such momentum so quickly, you ask? Because not only is social media making a huge impact on the lives of those seeking employment, it’s also gaining a foothold in the world of hiring managers as well.

As your own company should, various other employers and recruiters have realized that social media can serve as a great talent acquisition resource.  Since 89% of job seekers are already using social networking sites, it only makes sense that employers take advantage of the publicly available information that can be found no more than a few clicks away. Utilizing this information in the form of a ‘social media interview,’ or the first filter in the recruiting process, can give employers a quality tool with which to set precedents for initiating deeper candidate assessments and scheduling actual interviews.

In fact, a survey by found that 37% of employers are already using social networks to screen potential job candidates. Many of these employers also use applicant tracking systems (ATS) which can be integrated with the most popular social media outlets to further help companies stay organized while pertaining to the rapidly changing candidate landscape and increasingly mobile, tech-savvy workforce.

So what’s the bottom line? Well, if you’re not currently using social media as a tool in your hiring process, you’re losing out on a key competitive advantage. Using an applicant’s social footprint to project insights on how they present themselves overall, or to help validate skills listed on his/her resume, can assist in narrowing down the candidate pool to only those who are best qualified for the position and company culture. Accessing an applicant’s social networks can also give you the opportunity to see any notable contacts the candidate may be linked to, including any common acquaintances you may have that could serve as reliable references.

While almost 90% of employers say candidates could make their social profiles more employer-friendly, the role of social media in hiring has definitely taken a lead. By providing a more time-effective and insightful approach to learning about candidates, social media is finding its way to into the blueprints of more and more talent recruiting processes. So, why not use the ‘social media interview’ and join nearly 1/3 of hiring managers who have made job placements based on positive findings from the applicant’s profile? It could mean the difference between hiring your competition’s socially-screened failures or hiring your company’s next superstar!

Greg_gravatar_headshotGreg Moran is the founder and CEO of, the leading provider of cloud-based predictive talent selection™ solutions. In addition to authoring two books, Greg has contributed his thought leadership regarding human capital management and pre hire testing to national publications including BusinessWeek, INC Magazine and Wall Street Journal. Follow him on Twitter @CEOofChequed

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