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Social Recruiting Trends for 2013

Posted by Samara Parker
December 31st, 2012

Happy New Year’s Eve!

I love New Year’s, possibly more than Christmas, possibly more than chocolate… Okay, definitely not more than chocolate, but a lot.

I do not love it because of the parties and booze — I’m definitely more of a “stay home and watch a movie” kind of gal. I do not love it because I think of it as a fresh slate or have any delusions of becoming a better version of myself (although making resolutions is always fun). Nope, I just love all the “best of” and “predictions for the new year” lists that flood the blogosphere this time of year.

I love the best-of lists because they catch me up on all of the things I am behind on and I love the prediction lists because they are the lazy man’s way to look like you know what you’re talking about.

I do NOT make predictions, as I am too afraid of being completely wrong and my wrongness being forever etched into the public record.

But I have to write about the new year at least a little, or I’ll be cast out by the Bloggers Guild of the Netherlands and I have grown used to all the perks. Free pickled herring anyone?

I have definitely noticed some trends in social recruiting, HR and social media that I think will gain even more ground in the coming year. All of these trends have been blogged about by other people, and I will link to them, so if I’m wrong, I can point my finger accusingly. But, on the other hand, if any of these predictions turn out to be true or useful, do feel free to attribute all credit to yours truly.

Things to be super aware of, obsess over, and express frustration about for 2013:


Obviously. We’ve already talked a bunch about the importance of mobile and it’s only getting importanter (also trending for 2013 : making up words!). There’s still a surprising lack of focus on mobile as a social recruiting tool, even though in 2012 we saw the amount of mobile users shoot up to 1.2 billion. The importance of Facebook ads that directly target mobile will just keep on rising, especially considering that 55% of Facebook users log on with mobile and that number doesn’t look like it’s going to drop anytime soon. Sales of PCs are down and mobile devices are up up up!

I am a prime example of this trend. Gen Y’r and proud (actually not at all — rather ashamed in fact — mostly due to Garden State being considered our generation’s defining film)*, I do not use a PC, as I work pretty much exclusively with a tablet and other super smart mobile devices – I’m that cool. So, if you must make one social recruiting strategy resolution this year, make it mobile-related and you will not be sorry. If you are sorry, please blame ERE.net (not me!) as their article claiming that mobile recruiting is about to get very hot is far too convincing.

Social Proof

Social proof refers to the perceived popularity and acceptance of your online presence by others. This perception is affected by positive comments, Likes, re-tweets and other similar interactions. Social proof makes you more appealing and trustworthy, and as such makes visitors more likely to Like your Facebook page or feel comfortable signing up for your newsletter.

It’s basically like how having a decent friend group makes you seem more date-worthy and less like a potential psychopath. People are much more likely to do something if they know other people are doing it to, especially members of their own peer group. This is why Facebook sponsored stories work so well and why I, and many other social media bloggers, predict that ads and recruiting campaigns should try to increase and capitalize on social proof if they want to be more socially successful in 2013.


HrExaminer has been talking about gamification for a while now, and I’m seeing more and more articles about its applications for HR, recruiting and social media in general. We all know that gen Y’rs grew up on a steady diet of video games and soft-drinks. This means we are only motivated by achievement badges that we can post on our Facebook pages (social proof!), leveling-up, and sugary treats.

Gamification has been used for ages in schools and the workforce to train new skills.  I still have fond memories of learning to type with the classic Mavis Beacon key-mashing game. More recently, it’s being used to increase employee engagement and offer the feeling of reward for a job well done, according to Forbes. Although I honestly think a good pep-talk is a better way of accomplishing these goals, I must admit I’m a sucker for Gameification when it comes to health and fitness. So, maybe it would easily manipulate my competitive nature in the workplace as well.

It’s a trend, it’s gaining in popularity and I’m super interested to see whether or not it’s successful, especially when it comes to recruitment. For a cool example of how companies are using it to recruit, check out My Marriott International’s Farmville-esque app.

Job Boards

Okay, this is less of a trend and more of a “hey, I told you so”.

Jobcast is a Facebook app, but we still cater to job board and their users because, well, the overwhelming majority of job seekers still use them and that’s not going to change in 2013. We wrote a few months back about how job boards are still very relevant for social recruiting, but if you don’t believe me, check out this rather blunt quote pulled from the Fistful of Talent blog:

“The Job Boards? Still not dead. Why? Because the majority of ‘job seekers’ still go to a job board to find a job and most corporate HR/Talent Pros still don’t know how to pick up a phone and actually recruit passive talent. As long as ‘Post and Pray’ is the primary recruiting strategy of corporate talent acquisition – the Job Boards will live.”

I think they just may live past the point of “Post and Pray”, mainly because they’re comfortable and useful – just like that old pair of jeans that you just can’t bear to part with. For more info about job boards check out what the Job Board Doctor Blog has to say.

Last but not least…


Mostly because it’s where the most important app of 2013 is located. Of course I am referring to the Jobcast app, and I know you’ll all agree. But I also mention this because of a growing amount of evidence that points to Facebook beating out other online networks for social recruiting clout in the coming year. Like this study that says job Seekers Choose Facebook over both LinkedIn and Twitter — awesome.

So, from all of us at Jobcast, have an amazing New Year’s!