In recent years, the way individuals—and businesses—communicate has dramatically changed, and one of the primary drivers behind that change has been the advent of “social media”.

Technological innovations have been evolving at a breakneck pace over the last two decades, and as a result social media websites such as Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, and countless others have transformed the way people—and businesses—send and receive information.

Little wonder, then, that an ever-increasing number of HR professionals and corporate recruiters are turning to social media in order to fill their organizations’ staffing needs.

After all, any skilled fisherman will tell you that the first rule of success is to “cast your reel where the fish are”, and these days, in the field of recruiting the proverbial ‘fish’—those searching for new employment—can often be found on social media websites.

Recently, the Society For Human Resources Management (SHRM) released a study titled “The Importance of Social Media For Recruiters And Job Seekers”. According to the SHRM report, 87 percent of HR professionals said it was either “very or somewhat important” for job seekers to have a social media presence on; additionally, 83% of HR professionals agreed that it was important to be on a relevant professional or association social networking site.
Most significantly, the SHRM survey found that in the past year, nearly two-thirds of organizations (65%) had hired new employees who were sourced through social media sites.

The survey also found that the importance of having a presence of social media varied to some degree, depending on the profession involved. For those individuals seeking (or hiring) positions in the area of communications, public relations, marketing and sales, approximately 80 percent of HR professionals agreed that a social media presence was critical; for IT specialists, 63 percent of recruiters said a presence on social media was important, while 58 percent said those in the Human Resources field needed a presence on social media.

However, the survey also pointed out that simply “being on” social media sites was not sufficient, and that recruiters were searching for a ‘complete profile’ from professionals on such sites; in addition, approximately three-quarters of recruiters surveyed said they were seeking out “professional public content” when reviewing social media postings.

In fact, according to the survey, of the 65 percent of companies that had hired from social media sites, a full 57 percent used one particular website——to find new hires, while 30 percent of companies hired individuals through professional or association social networking sites.

The survey also found that an additional 19 percent of organizations hired people off of

As important as a social media presence is for recruiters looking to hire new employees, the survey also found that maintaining an active and updated presence was of equal importance.

Still, not all recruiters have accepted the notion that social media is a good source for hiring.

Although the number of recruiters using social media was double the percentage of those who chose not to, a sizeable minority—about 35 percent—of recruiters in the SHRM survey said they still did not use any social media for their recruiting.

Conducted in July, the SHRM surveyed 400 human resources professionals, in what was described as a “randomly selected sample of SHRM membership”.

The SHRM survey merely confirmed what many have known for some time: as the Internet continues to evolve and solidify its role in the daily life of both individuals and businesses, the trend lines indicate that social media sites will play an ever-increasing role in the efforts of those seeking to find—and fill—employment openings nationwide.