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Aug 23, 2012

According to a survey conducted by Harris Interactive, 31 percent of employees are not satisfied in their current jobs. More surprising: 74 percent of workers would consider leaving their current position if they were approached with another offer.

With social media making it easier than ever for employers to approach both active and passive candidates, is this newer phenomenon encouraging more employees to pack up and leave? Or is it just empowering employees to find better opportunities faster and more efficiently?

Prior to the proliferation of social media, the amount of time it took a dissatisfied employee to find a new position was a great deal longer.

Sharing makes it easy

Before social media made it easier for employees to quickly reach out to their network to explore new opportunities, the most effective thing candidates could do was to hit the pavement at time-consuming networking events or start seeking headhunters or recruiting firms. This meant a company could be stuck with an unhappy employee (and vice versa) for months, if not years.

With social media, it is now easier for employees, who have outgrown their current positions, to find new challenges and opportunities.

“Social media definitely encourages people to switch careers.They are being actively recruited through the networks and can then learn more about the company recruiting them through their company social network profiles,” said Kelsey Meyer, SVP of Digital Talent Agents.

Better mobilization with social media

The acceleration of social media usage has made connecting with others a streamlined and fast process.

LinkedIn has about 85.7 million monthly visitors, while users spend about 405 minutes per month on Facebook. Coupled with the fact 1 in 6 job seekers who found their last job through these platforms, social media referrals have become one of the key sources for recruiters to find new talent.

When looking to fill a position at Digital Talent Agents, Meyer turned first to LinkedIn to scout candidates with the skills necessary for the job. She found a great candidate with all the experience and qualifications her team was looking for — the only problem was that the candidate was employed and not looking for new opportunities. Still, he agreed to an informal conversation about the role, which led him to research the company through their social media presence. The candidate liked what he saw and came in for two rounds of interviews and was eventually hired by the company.

Social media platforms are also the obvious place for employees to turn to when looking to move on from their current position. In the digital age we live in, information travels fast and can be shared in many ways. Social media makes this sharing even easier, allowing passive candidates to reach out to employers and hiring managers while searching for new opportunities, without much effort and from the comfort of their notebook or mobile device, regardless of where they are.

“Social media broke down barriers because the candidate was able to learn about our company culture,” Meyer said.

Encouraging workers to leave, or just making it easier?

Social media makes it easier for employees unhappy in their current positions to find new opportunities which may fit them better. While rehiring for a position is not always desirable, the alternative could be worse — especially when an employee is no longer engaged in the workplace.

Social media allows these disengaged employees to leave for greener pastures — and their current companies to staff the open position they leave behind with a more energetic candidate. As a result, both companies could end up with more productive employees, thanks to social media and more efficient ways for employers and prospective employees to connect.

The speed at which information travels in this new social environment means companies cannot ignore the role social media plays in recruitment – especially since social media makes it easier for companies to get their positions in front of interested candidates, both active and passive. With a next-gen recruitment platform, it is simpler and faster for employers and talented candidates to find each other and match open positions with the right fit.

Many companies are using social media in conjunction with employee referrals. Since 74 percent of employees are passively searching for jobs and 28 percent of all external hires last year were made through referrals, putting the two together makes for a strong combination resulting in faster hires and improved prospects for candidates.

Social media is helping employees find new opportunities for which they may have renewed enthusiasm while allowing companies to hire the most motivated workers for their open positions. While the ways in which candidates are finding these opportunities have changed, the things that attract top-tier talent have remained the same.

If a company has great positions and an appealing corporate culture, they will attract innovative hires. Social media only makes this scouting process faster for both job seekers and hiring managers.

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