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Social Recruitment Survey: Hiring During Down Economy

LinkedIn leads among social networks used for recruiting while Facebook and Twitter exhibit significant growth

SAN FRANCISCO – May 20, 2009 – Jobvite, a provider of next-generation recruitment solutions, today published results of its second annual Social Recruitment Survey, which found that employers are not just recruiting on professional online networks now, but also recruiting extensively on social networks like Facebook and Twitter. The survey also found that employers are more satisfied with the quality of candidates from employee referrals and social networks than those from job boards. As a result, companies intend to invest more in these cost-effective candidate sources in 2009, rather than job boards and other traditional sources, including search firms, according to the survey.

The majority of those surveyed are planning to increase their financial commitment to social recruiting. 76 percent plan to invest more in employee referrals and 72 percent plan to invest more in recruiting through social networks while a majority say they will invest less in more costly sources, including job boards, third-party recruitment and campus recruiting. This echoes the results of Jobvite’s 2008 Social Recruitment Survey, in which 68 percent of recruiters said they would increase their use of referrals and employees’ networks.

The survey results showed that 80 percent of companies use or are planning to use social networking to find and attract candidates this year. Among those using or planning to use social network sites for recruiting, LinkedIn use grew from 80 percent in 2008 to 95 percent of respondents in 2009 and Facebook use grew from 36 percent in 2008 to 59 percent in 2009. A new addition, Twitter, ranked third with 42 percent of recruiters using the tool to source candidates. 77 percent of respondents said they use social networks to reach passive candidates who are not actively seeking employment.

66 percent of respondents using social networks for recruiting reported that they had successfully hired a candidate who was identified or introduced through an online social network, showing that the channel is not only being used, but also producing quality results.

Employee referrals and internal transfers are the most highly rated sources in terms of quality of candidates generated, however, employee involvement in referrals is still low. Only 15 percent of respondents said that they extensively tap employees’ social and professional networks for hiring, while the majority said they “somewhat” utilized employee networks. An average of one-third of employees participate in referrals, indicating there is untapped potential for employee referrals.

Additionally, recruitment and human resource professionals are using a variety of online sites to research candidates: LinkedIn (76 percent), search engines (67 percent), Facebook (44 percent) and Twitter (21 percent). Respondents reported that 24% of candidates disclose their social networking presence when applying for a job.

The survey also found that while 59 percent of respondents have conducted layoffs in the past year, more than 50 percent plan to make new full time growth hires, 35 percent will make replacement hires and 24 percent plan to add contract or part-time employees.

“Companies are in a very different economic situation now than when our first Social Recruitment survey was conducted last year. Now, not only are recruiters engaged in social networks, they are investing in social recruitment in place of more costly and inefficient methods,” said Dan Finnigan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Jobvite. “The economy has spurred a fundamental change in how recruiters find candidates and how people find jobs. The good news is that referrals and social networks provide a high quality, low cost way to hire and for that reason social recruitment will continue to grow even as the economy improves.”

Jobvite’s survey focused on the recruiting habits of an even distribution of companies of all sizes. Approximately 440 human resources and recruitment professionals completed the survey, the majority of which, 65 percent, have between 101 and 5,000 employees at their company. Responses came from a variety of industries, with a concentration of technology companies making up 33% of respondents.

LinkedIn® is registered trademark of LinkedIn Corporation. Facebook® is a registered trademark of Facebook Inc. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

About Jobvite
Jobvite is the leading recruiting platform for the social web. Today’s fastest-growing companies use applicant trackingrecruiter CRM and social recruiting software solutions from Jobvite to target the right talent and build the best teams. Jobvite is a complete, modular Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform which can optimize the speed, cost-effectiveness and ease of recruiting for any company. For more information, visit

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