Jon Jordan got a weird feeling recently when he interviewed a candidate for a sales and marketing position.
The applicant’s claim of double-digit sales at another company didn’t parallel with that company’s turbulent history. “It didn’t match up,” says Jordan, founder of Atlantic Business Technologies, a Raleigh, N.C. web development and marketing firm with 30 employees.
He went on LinkedIn and found a connection in the applicant’s network to verify his suspicions. The claim “was completely false,” says Jordan, 30. The applicant didn’t get the job.
Jordan’s not the only one cruising social networking sites during the hiring process. A June Jump Start Social Media survey of 100 hiring managers at small, mid-size and large companies found 75 percent go to LinkedIn to research job candidates before making a job offer, while 48 percent check out Facebook and 26 percent go to Twitter. When asked where they find talent for job openings, 66 percent said LinkedIn, 23 percent said Facebook and 16 percent said Twitter.
Social media sites have become an integral piece of the hiring puzzle; it’s how to leverage these sites most effectively as a recruiting tool that has companies scrambling. These sites are low-cost or free to join, but it takes time and effort to make them truly useful.
“Most companies aren’t doing enough,” says Veronica Fielding, president of Jump Start Social Media. “They think there’s an ROI that’s got to be associated with it immediately.”
Other companies are still trying to wrap their heads about the whole idea of social media. When Oklahoma City-based HR consultant Jessica Miller-Merrell gave a talk about social media at an HR conference this spring, some people asked her how to use “Tweeter,” while others believed social media was the domain of marketing and Generation Y, not the HR department.