Social media recruiting is enjoying its day in the sun as the newest trend. Some companies have found tremendous success taking to social networks to find and attract new talent, and their success is fueling others to feel like they’ll be left behind if they don’t shift their recruiting resources to social platforms. But social recruiting isn’t something to be entered into lightly. Employers must weigh the pros, cons and realities of social recruiting before jumping in, head first.

Understand how job seekers are using social

Snagajob research shows that social networking represents 62 percent of an hourly job seeker’s time spent online, and that 47 percent of job seekers use social networking sites when looking for a job. But job seekers aren’t going to prospective employers’ pages. Forty-two percent of job seekers head to a job search site’s social networking page, where only 16 percent go directly to an employer’s page.

Job seekers aren’t yet accustomed to going to employers’ social networking sites to look for jobs. 

Social hasn’t taken over

A large percentage of job seekers use social in their job search, but when asked to break down their time spent on the job search, only 6 percent of searching time is spent on social networking sites. On the flip side, 44 percent of job seekers’ search time is spent on online job search sites and 18 percent is spent on employer sites.

Job boards are still the number one job seeker destination.

Social takes a commitment  

Social recruiting isn’t something you can do only when you have an opening to fill. Social users expect fresh content and constant interaction. Some companies have the resources to devote to social recruiting, but for others, creating a posting strategy that will engage job seekers might be too big of a commitment.

Unless you can commit to doing it right, social networking might not be a fit for your business.

There will be uphill battles

Getting noticed in the crowded social space is tough. For example, for your posts to show up in a Facebook user’s feed, your content needs to rank well with EdgeRank. EdgeRank looks at affinity (how much the user interacts with you), weight (how much the user engages with your type of post) and time decay (how old the post is). Now consider that job seekers aren’t used to interacting with employers over social yet and that – unless you can set aside time to post daily – your posts will quickly age. You might have a hard time getting your posts noticed.

It’s hard to break through the white noise to get your openings noticed.

Don’t take this post as Snagajob’s way of suggesting that employers should abandon the social recruiting ship. We believe in the power of social networking. If we didn’t, why would we have a very active Facebook fan base, a dedicated YouTube following, a growing Pinterest presence and three Twitter accounts? But Snagajob is all about helping employers hire great employees as efficiently as possible, and sometimes that means creating a partnership to capitalize on job searching trends without investing more resources than you can spare.