Social Media Referrals To Be 'Game Changer' For Recruitment

A leading social media marketing authority has said that online social referrals are going to spawn "a massive amount of hiring" in the future. 

Northampton-based Bill Boorman said that the "reach" of social networks in their referral capacities far exceeds that of recommendation referrals, which see candidates vouched for by third parties. 

Speaking to Recruiter magazine, Boorman said that Facebook, LinkedIn and similar sites are increasingly likely to dominate recruiting methods in the future.

"Nearly everybody you are connected with - has an average of 130 Facebook friends, 220 LinkedIn connections and about 20 per cent cross over - so a reach of 300 connections on average," Boorman said, adding that 70 per cent of these connections can be potential employees. 

He said that the connections on the networks already benefited from a degree of pre-selection and implicit referral, as most are current colleagues, former colleagues, competitors, university or school peers, or people who live locally.

He said that the advancing of online recruitment will be an ultimate "game changer" for recruitment agencies, who will have to incorporate social referrals into their structures. 

"You could be connected to someone in accounts, and a job could come up in accounts and technology enables us to plug into that network," he said. "It will take a while to get it working properly, but being able to plug into social reach in the right way - this is going to be something where a massive amount of hiring is going to come from." 

However Geoff Newman from e-recruitment specialist offers some caution.

“We have over 40,000 Facebook Fans and over 13,000 Twitter followers. However the number we have converted to placements is miniscule. It’s very time intensive to generate an appropriate following, and our tests have found even one week of inactivity can result in a greatly reduced audience. Social media is useful, but it isn’t the panacea everyone is hoping it would be.”

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