MIAMI, Sept. 1, 2015- A recent survey conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) in collaboration with and commissioned by Ascendo Resources discovered that in the war for talent, employers are turning to social media sites to find and hire new talent.

The study revealed that two-thirds (65 percent) of employers have hired an employee that was sourced through such sites as LinkedIn and Facebook.

“Sites like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook have been game changers for the hiring and recruiting industry,” said Gustavo Pena, managing partner of Ascendo Resources, an award-winning executive sourcing firm that places accounting, finance, banking, compliance, healthcare, IT, HR & administrative professionals. “It is another resource for us to make many great connections for our clients while ensuring a seamless hiring process.”

When it comes to using social media during the hiring process, employers say the top things candidates can do to their social media presence to make themselves more attractive include (order of importance):

  1. Having a complete profile including employment history, education, skills on relevant sites (77 percent)
  2. Keep public content professional (73 percent)
  3. Join groups relevant to career (47 percent)
  4. Focus posts on accomplishments and skills that are helpful to employers (39 percent)
  5. Make frequent updates to profile (38 percent)
  6. Only have connections and followers that are relevant to career focus (35 percent)
  7. Link social media to email address for quick, direct contact (32 percent)
  8. Include a professional-looking headshot (31 percent)

Depending on industry, the need for a professional social presence varies greatly. In fact, the categories for which social media is important include communications and public relations (82 percent), marketing and sales (79 percent), advertising (76 percent) followed by IT and human resources. The least important include military occupations, skilled trades such as electricians and plumbers, administrative staff and transportation workers such as drivers.

Other key insights include:

  • 87 percent of HR professionals said it was very or somewhat important for job seekers to be on LinkedIn
  • 54 percent of employers feel it is very important for candidates to have a professional social presence on LinkedIn; least important include Pinterest, YouTube and Instagram
  • 64 percent of companies have outsourced recruitment
  • 49 percent have used outsourcing recruitment to speed the hiring process
  • 36 percent used recruiters to gain access to a greater talent pool

To read the full survey report, please visit The Importance of Social Media for Recruiters and Job Seekers.

The SHRM survey polled 400 randomly selected HR professionals from across the United States in July. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percent.

Download a copy of this report (PDF)