Home >industry >infotech >Facebook makes job portals go social

Mumbai: The hunt for talent online, mostly restricted to job sites until a few years ago, is changing rapidly with social networking platforms providing recruiters a pool of candidates largely untapped by the job portals.

One out of five job seekers credits social media connections with their current job, according to a survey conducted jointly by Shine.com and its social media partner, MyParichay Services Pvt. Ltd. Shine.com is a unit of HT Media Ltd, which publishes Mint and Hindustan Times.

The Social Job Seeker Survey 2012 also said that 65% of job seekers are likely to use Facebook over LinkedIn for their next job search and that 85% of job seekers have at least one social networking profile account with 60% job seekers only on Facebook.

The survey released in December added that Facebook has four times more profiles than LinkedIn and 28 million more profiles in the prime hiring age—between 18 and 34 years—than Naukri.com or LinkedIn but acknowledged that there was an overlap in some cases with 80% of LinkedIn users on Facebook and 30% of Facebook users on LinkedIn.

Social and professional networking sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter cumulatively account for nearly 1.5 billion users globally.

Experts point out that while human resources, or HR, personnel searching social networking sites get a broader canvas to evaluate potential candidates, job seekers not only get to flip through company profiles on these sites to understand the work culture but even network with their employees wherever possible.

Hareesh Tibrewala, joint chief executive officer (CEO) at Social Wavelength, a social media agency, said, “While most hiring would happen via LinkedIn, we see a constant stream of resumes come to us via Facebook as well and we see people approaching us for jobs via Twitter."

Social networking sites are also increasing their networking potential by regularly adding new features.

For instance, professional networking site, LinkedIn, which has a little over 18 million members in India and 200 million members globally as on January 2013, introduced seven new products in the second half of 2012, including a new ability to endorse others’ skills, “follow" thought leaders and a new look for company pages that allows sharing.

Country manager of LinkedIn India, Nishant Rao, said “Companies are not purely sourcing candidates online but tagging different people’s profiles on LinkedIn so that they have a pool of candidates to source from in the future".

In December, Facebook Inc. created a job page to allow users in the US to search for jobs by location, industry and skill and apply for jobs directly while giving users the ability to share jobs.

Faced with increasing competition, traditional job portals too have begun integrating a social media component in their businesses.

Employment search portals such as Naukri.com (owned by Info Edge India Ltd), Monster.com (Monster India Pvt. Ltd) and Shine.com are responding to the competition by stepping up their own social media efforts.

Naukri.com’s managing director and CEO, Hitesh Oberoi, agreed that social networking sites “are a big opportunity for job portals to expand their reach and improve engagements".

In 2012, Naukri.com acquired Toostep Consultancy Pvt. Ltd that enables recruiters to post jobs on social networking sites too. Naukri.com enabled a login to its website through Facebook and allowed posting jobs through Naukri to other networks such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Naukri.com, which has 32 million registered resumes as on January 2013, also launched a referral hiring product for reaching people on social networks.

Sanjay Modi, managing director, Monster India, Middle East and South-East Asia, said, “Social media is not a threat for me but a destination to help us target our marketing budget more effectively to find job seekers there and drive them to the opportunities on Monster.com."

The portal, which has 35 million registered resumes as on January 2013, is running a Facebook application ‘Beknown’ for professional networking combined with Monster’s job search. It also launched its own YouTube channel last year to engage job seekers through videos on finding a better job, hearing recruiters, etc.

Amit Garg, business head, Internet business, at HT Media, said Shine.com is betting on the fact that the trend helps to “increase the pool of candidates available to recruiters, a proposition we already go to the market with".

Shine.com, which has 11 million registered resumes as on February 2013, has formed a strategic partnership with social recruitment platform MyParichay to reach out to a largely untapped set of job seekers on social networks and match their skillset with companies.

Compared to the overall recruitment in India as well, at least one-third of total recruitment sourcing in India is now taking place online, according to data from Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India Pvt. Ltd. Globally, online recruitment is as high as 40-50% of the total recruitment.

In India “people with two to 15 years experience are more open to seeing job openings in social media but recruitment for very senior positions continues to happen mostly through conventional ways", explained Sandip Biswas, director, Deloitte.

He added, though, that medium-sized companies are sourcing 30-40% of their talent online, while big companies still prefer conventional methods.

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