Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter have fundamentally changed the way companies recruit by giving them a way to identify and connect with passive job seekers who they never had access to before.
In the past, passive job seekers still had to be somewhat proactive for an organization to find them, says Claire Schooley, a senior analyst with Forrester Research. They had to reach out to friends or colleagues about opportunities or respond to recruiting efforts. "Now organizations can come to them," Schooley says. "It's turned the recruiting process upside down."
Social media sites have become such a prevalent part of the recruiting process that most recruiting software providers are integrating them into their applicant tracking and assessments process. Tools today allow recruiters to automatically post openings on social sites, tap into employees' social networks to mine candidates, and track which social channels generate the most leads and result in the best hires. Many are also offering mobile features that let applicants review openings and apply for positions from their phones or tablets.
"It's giving employers a lot more information to act on," says Ray Wang, principal analyst and CEO at Constellation Research Inc.