Are Social Networks for Recruiting a Myth?

I watched a Recruiting 2.0 webcast last week.  The message was same old, same old: social networks are great for recruiting/you need to get on it.  There were great tips like “get a facebook page” and “you can throw a sheep at someone to communicate with them in the manner they’re used to.”


The rubber hit the road when the presenter did a survey of how many recruiters had used a social network to hire someone.  (And to clarify in advance, she defined LinkedIn to NOT be a social network, because it’s primary use is for business and career stuff.) 

Out 121 of which were answering the question, 3 had made hires from MySpace or Facebook.  Other networks like Twitter and Ning got blanked.  It’s been more than a year since I first heard the song and dance about social networks for recruiting. Yet the success rate is below 3%. And this for a crowd that loves the newest thing, and an audience that tunes into webcasts on web 2.0 recruiting. If anything, 3% overstates the usefulness of social networks for recruiting.

Here’s my read:  the emperor has no clothes. Recruiting off of Facebook is a joke.  If Facebook recruiting was working, it would be working by now.  Besides, I checked, and neither mine nor any of my friends profiles contain useful information for a recruiter. 

Unless you’re looking for parents of cute kids.  Then I’m your candidate.


One Response to “Are Social Networks for Recruiting a Myth?”

  1. eric shannon Says:

    I have been thinking about writing a post like this for some time. I was one of the first believers in social networking. Started applying for a related patent in 2001 which I later abandoned after a little real-life testing.

    I do believe social networking can be useful in some circumstances, but I also think we are in a social networking recruitment bubble, LOL.

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