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Social Media and Quality of Candidate | Candidate Competencies Vary by Source (Part 2)

by Mike Hudy

A few months ago, I posted a blog on social media and quality of candidate. In the post, I suggested that we need to use HR analytics to evaluate this source of candidates not only by the volume of candidates generated but also by the quality of candidates produced.  We conducted some preliminary analysis using assessment scores from the client’s Virtual Job Tryout and candidate conversion rate (what percentage of candidates that actually hired from a source) as quality of candidate measures.  Results were somewhat mixed, but suggested that social media was generating a quality of candidate that was less than other sources used by the organization (e.g., referrals, job boards, etc.).

Well, we dug a little deeper into this data and a very interesting picture emerged.  When we looked at the data by the various social media sites used by recruiters, two surfaced as being particularly effective:  LinkedIn and Facebook.   Candidates sourced via LinkedIn performed much better on the pre-employment assessment than candidates sourced through other channels.  In addition, these candidates were hired at a higher rate than the typical candidate.  This pattern held true for Facebook as well, but the results were not as impressive.

We also compared pre-employment assessment results for candidates surfaced from LinkedIn versus Facebook and found some differences that at first glance seem to make sense.  Candidates sourced through LinkedIn performed better on professionally oriented competencies such as Leads Courageously, Develops Others, and Achieves Results.  Conversely, candidates sourced via Facebook performed better on more socially oriented competencies such as Customer Focus and Works Well with Others.  Source can impact quality of hire.

While we have only scratched the surface here, these results from detailed HR analytics show that there is great promise and potential value to evaluating social media, as well as other recruiting sources, on the quality of its yield.  Further, the data suggests that different social media channels generate different types of candidates with unique competencies and characteristics.  Recruiters can use this kind of information to drive more strategic sourcing efforts by placing their bets on the channels that are best aligned with the type of candidate they’re looking to source.

Part 1