If you’re active on social media and plan on looking for job now or in the future, you better be careful what you post.

Recruiters find use of profanity, poor spelling and grammar in profiles, references to your drinking alcohol or comments of a sexual nature all extremely negative factors.

Membership in professional organizations and evidence of doing socially valuable volunteer work, though, are big pluses.

Social recruiting now essential

Social recruiting has become an essential HR practice, with 92% of U.S. companies using social networks and media to find talent in 2012, up from 78% five years ago, according to a Jobvite survey.

See infographic below for a visual representation of the survey findings.

LinkedIn continues to be a dominant recruiting network, while Facebook and Twitter have seen major adoption growth in the past year. 2/3 of companies now recruit through Facebook and more than half (54%) use Twitter to find new talent.

Employers scrutinize social media activity

Jobvite also found that employers scrutinize social media activity, noting more than half of respondents would have a negative reaction to seeing a spelling or grammar mistake in a social profile.

Overall, social recruiting has become an essential resource in the war for talent as competition is fiercer than ever — 89% of companies report plans to increase hiring this year.

Conducted in June, Jobvite’s Social Recruiting Survey 2012 polled more than 1,000 human resources and recruitment professionals on their social recruiting activities and intentions.

Now in its fifth year, the survey has revealed social recruiting usage trends since 2008, providing insights into how popular it has become, who is using it effectively and the results social recruiting produces.

Social Recruiting Adoption Reaches All-Time High
Social recruiting has moved from a trend, to a necessity with 92% of employers using or planning to use social recruiting in 2012. No longer exclusive to LinkedIn, all social networks are now fair recruiting game.

  • 2/3 of recruiters use Facebook to find new talent, a growing trend since Facebook saw the biggest gain in usage, jumping 11 points from last year to 66% in 2012.
  • For the first time, more than half (54%) of recruiters now use Twitter for their talent search, revealing the importance of watching what you tweet.
  • LinkedIn remains the dominant recruiting network, used by 93% of respondents. (87% in 2011 and 78% in 2010).
  • 71% of HR and recruiting professionals consider themselves moderate to exceptionalsocial recruiters.

Employers like Professional Organizations but Frown on Drinking and Bad Grammar
Nearly 3 out of 4 hiring managers and recruiters check candidates’ social profiles — 48% always do so, even if they are not provided. New to the 2012 Social Recruiting Survey, Jobvite asked for their reactions to various types of profile content to see what recruiters like and don’t like to see.

  • 80% of respondents reacted positively to seeing memberships to professional organizations, while 2/3 like to see volunteering or donating to a nonprofit.
  • Content that recruiters especially frown on includes references to using illegal drugs(78% negative) and posts of a sexual nature (67% negative).
  • Profanity in posts and tweets garnered a 61% negative reaction, and almost half (47%) reacted negatively to posts about alcohol consumption.
  • Worse than drinking, grammar or spelling mistakes on social profiles saw a 54% negative reaction.
  • However, recruiters and hiring managers tend to be neutral in their reactions to political opinions (62% neutral) and religious posts (53% neutral).

Social Recruiting Delivers Tremendous Hiring Results
Social Recruiting gained momentum because of results. It’s an effective way to take a comprehensive look at a large candidate pool and quickly bring in high-quality talent.

  • More than 7 out of 10 employers have successfully hired a candidate through social media (73%). This is up from 63% in 2011 and 58% in 2010.
  • Of those social hires, 89% of respondents have hired from LinkedIn, 25% through Facebook and 15% through Twitter.
  • Since implementing social recruiting, almost half (49%) received more candidates to choose from.
  • More than 4 out of 10 (43%) say the quality of applicants has improved.
  • 1/3 of respondents see more employee referrals, which tend to lead to the most valuable hires.
  • 20% reported it takes less time to hire when using social recruiting.

“The rise in social recruiting has allowed both candidates and employers an easier way to find the best match,” said Dan Finnigan, president and CEO of Jobvite.

“We continue to see social recruiting gain popularity because it is more efficient than the days of sifting through a haystack of resumes. It also increases quality referral hires, which our own data on Jobvite proves are hired faster and last longer.”

Referrals are the highest-rated sources of new hires, and it’s far easier for employees to share jobs through social networks.

Industry data shows people have an average of 150 social network contacts, so a company of 100 could have a social recruiting reach of 15,000 direct contacts, and 2.25 million second-degree connections. The Jobvite survey notes that roughly 2/3 (65%) of companies seek to increase employee participation in recruiting by offering referral bonuses; more than 1/3 offer rewards of more than $1,000.

“Social recruiting became the norm because it works so well,” said Eric Hollander, global recruiting manager at Chiquita Brands International. ”

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