Recruiters aren't the only ones who see the business benefit of social media. Human resources software vendors are rapidly building or buying social-recruiting tools to take advantage of this burgeoning talent trend.
Over the past several months, software vendors across the industry have announced social recruiting releases and acquisitions. Among the software giants, Oracle Corp. announced plans to acquire SelectMinds, a cloud-based social recruiting system that finds talent by tapping into employee and alumni social connections; and IBM Corp. acquired Kenexa Corp., an HR software and services company that has a "candidate relationship management" tool that focuses on social recruiting.
At the same time, Cornerstone OnDemand Inc., SumTotal Systems Inc. and startup Ovation Technologies added new social-recruiting tools and features to their own offerings to help companies scan internal and external social networks for candidates, target specific candidate types in different networks, and make it easier for employees to refer candidates in their networks.
"Social recruiting has become a key part of talent management, and these tools help tie them back to the talent management process," says Ray Wang, principal analyst and CEO of Constellation Research Inc.
Normally when you search for candidates on job boards, through LinkedIn, or via employee referrals, they are disconnected recruiting steps, he says. By adding social-recruiting features to the broader talent management systems, social recruiting becomes part of the broader process.
Wang says social recruiting functionality will soon be a competitive driver for human capital management software vendors, and he encourages companies to look for the features that best meets their needs—regardless of which vendor is offering them.
"Most innovation will come from the smaller vendors, but they will be acquired by the bigger players soon enough," he says. "So don't be afraid to try someone new."
Sarah Fister Gale is a writer based in the Chicago area. Comment below or email email@example.com.