Studies show that less than 50% of the candidate population can actually be found online. While social media and job boards can be beneficial tools for uncovering top talent, unless they are leveraged with other research methodologies, your talent search is likely to fall short.
High-level executives in particular are often nowhere to be seen in the realm of the Web. This is due largely in part to the fact that many of these seasoned workers are part of a generation in which being online is not the norm, nor is it necessary for their career. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, CEOs and Presidents are 3 times less likely than others to use LinkedIn .According to a Pew Internet 2012 study:
In addition, research shows that only one third of social media profiles are up to date, with the remainder being out of date or not used. This is also predominantly true regarding passive candidates. The best, most qualified talent out there is not actively seeking a job; it’s unlikely they’ll be found frequently engaging on social media and job boards.
In fact, a recent study by The Douglas Howard Group revealed that more and more of the top talent pool is actually abandoning LinkedIn by completely deleting their account. Much of the top talent pool on LinkedIn grew tired of being contacted by recruiters on a daily basis and deleted their profiles to essentially be left alone. The study refers to social media such as LinkedIn as “a watering hole for the unemployed."
So, what is a recruiter or hiring manager to do?
Leverage online searching with thorough sourcing techniques. Do not use social media as a crutch; rather, explore ways to research and uncover competitive intelligence each time you have a position to fill. Using social media and job boards as one component of the process instead of relying on it entirely is likely to yield much more comprehensive results.
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