THE USE OF XING AND LINKEDIN FOR RECRUITMENT IN ENTERPRISES

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1 THE USE OF XING AND LINKEDIN FOR RECRUITMENT IN ENTERPRISES 22nd June 2012 Carlo Colicchio Iso Demirkaya Alex Hächler Project 1 / FHNW Master of Science in Business Information Systems

2 Introduction Title: The Use of XING and LinkedIn for Recruitment in Enterprises Authors: Carlo Colicchio Iso Demirkaya Alex Hächler Adviser: Prof. Martina Dalla Vecchia FHNW Olten School of Business Riggenbachstrasse Olten Study: Business Information Systems Module: Project 1 Start date: February, 2012 End date: June, 2012 Place: Olten Copyright: 2012 by FHNW Olten School of Business Carlo Colicchio, Iso Demirkaya, Alex Hächler 2/72

3 Introduction Abstract XING and LinkedIn are nowadays well-known social business networks for business people. They are used by employers, recruiters, employees and job seekers. Social business networks help companies in marketing and recruiting activities. This research paper focuses on recruitment processes for enterprises that use XING and LinkedIn. The reader gets theoretical insights about social media, social networks and social media recruitment. The characteristics, functionalities, mobile apps and the price models of XING and LinkedIn are illustrated to set up a comparison. Recruitment processes compared with erecruitment supported processes are a part of this research paper as well. The analysis based on interviews is executed through the research team with CEO s, HR managers and recruiters. The topic is supported by trend report statistics about effectiveness and efficiency of recruiting channels. The experiences of the interviewees with social business networks are summarized to give recommendations for enterprises. A set of functionalities, memberships and services of XING and LinkedIn are compared in interest of giving enterprises a basis for their choice of tools. Finally the research paper makes recommendations for companies that intend to use one of these two social business networks. In summary, social business networks are only a part of the whole recruitment process and therefore cannot cover all activities efficiently in a recruitment process. The efficiency of social business networks can be increased under certain circumstances e.g. media-mix strategies, recruitment strategies or the combined use with an applicant tracking system. Furthermore the advanced search functionalities of XING and LinkedIn make it possible for companies to actively search for candidates and find them easier within a shorter time period. The hypothesis that XING and LinkedIn are more efficient than other recruiting channels can be qualitatively proved. Carlo Colicchio, Iso Demirkaya, Alex Hächler 3/72

4 Introduction Table of content 1 Introduction Hypothesis Research questions Boundary Research methodology and techniques Literature review Social media Social network The use of social business networks in enterprises Users of social networks Social media recruitment XING Characteristics / functionalities Web platform Mobile apps Price models and benefits LinkedIn Characteristics / functionalities Web platform Mobile apps Price models and benefits Recruitment in social business networks Use case for adaption in business area Effectiveness and efficiency statistics Experiences of enterprises with social business networks Comparison XING versus LinkedIn Conclusion and recommendation List of literature and references List of figures and tables Appendix Carlo Colicchio, Iso Demirkaya, Alex Hächler 4/72

5 Introduction 1 Introduction The purpose of this research project is to compare the two social business networks XING and LinkedIn. Nowadays Social Media is one of the most mentioned topics all over the world, based on the fact that social networks like Facebook, Twitter, etc. are an extremely successful business. According to this fact, even companies need to consider the use of these social media platforms to maintain their relationships with (potential) customers and employees. Especially for enterprises, the on-going development and popularity of social business networks like XING and LinkedIn are a matter of fact and therefore a need of action is required. The findings of the research paper should provide further information how both social business platform can be used by companies to generate benefits and which of the two networks would fit best with the different requirements of companies. 1.1 Hypothesis The main aim of this research paper is to give an answer to the following hypothesis: Social business networks like XING and LinkedIn allow companies to recruit employees in a more efficient way than over other recruiting channels (job employment agencies, corporate website, print media, etc.). The above mentioned hypothesis should help companies to find out if they should include XING and LinkedIn in their processes or not. For companies, it is important to know whether and where they will be more or less efficient by applying these social business networks.. That will enable them to decide where it makes sense to make use of them or not. They therefore also have to be compared with the classical communication channels companies choose to fulfil their business needs. More efficient means a shorter cycle time with lower costs compared to the classical communication channels. 1.2 Research questions The research questions have been derived from the hypothesis. The following questions should help to answer the hypothesis and are guiding the content of this research paper. First of all a main research question has been derived: How can companies make the most out of using the two social business networks XING and LinkedIn? Carlo Colicchio, Iso Demirkaya, Alex Hächler 5/72

6 Introduction Making most out of it refers to recruiting activities within a company. Marketing activities are also a part of XING and LinkedIn. This research paper will not go into detail regarding this application area. The recruiting activities are described from the point of view of enterprises from the time when they decide to search for appropriate candidates until to the stage when they finally hire new employees. The research project in the field of social business networks (XING and LinkedIn) wants to answer, the following research questions: What functionalities do the web and mobile platforms of XING and LinkedIn provide in order to support efficient recruiting processes? What kind of pricing models exist and which benefits are offered by these two platforms? What are the experiences of companies that use XING and LinkedIn for their recruiting activities? Which are the advantages and disadvantages (comparison) between the two social business networks? Basically the answers of these research questions should help to provide recommendations to companies, which are considering the application of social business networks like XING or LinkedIn for recruitment. Carlo Colicchio, Iso Demirkaya, Alex Hächler 6/72

7 Introduction 1.3 Boundary The boundary shows which topics are parts of this research paper and what specifically of those parts is being analysed. In Figure 1 the general hierarchy is described. The focus is on the topics with the dark background (social business networks and recruitment). social business networks social networks social media Figure 1: Pyramid of social media/ networks/ business networks This hierarchy is created by the research team in order to give the reader a clear understanding of the terms which are used by the research team. The social networks belong to the social media and one sub-category of the social networks is social business networks. So this research paper will only be about social business networks and the influences of social business networks. There are two relevant activities which are covered by social business networks: Recruitment and marketing. This paper focuses mainly on recruiting activities for enterprises. The recruitment process is being described from the companies point of view. It covers the whole process from searching to hiring a new employee. Marketing activities are only part of this paper if the activities are related to recruitment, such as a professional company profile, groups or events on a social business network to attract potential employees. In this research paper marketing is regarded as an instrument to reach potential new employees. Social business network will be explained to give a clear and common understanding about what a social business network is. This research paper focusses on two well-known social business networks in Europe: XING and LinkedIn. Other social business networks are not part of this research paper. The experience of private users is not part of this research paper as well because the focus is on the usage and benefits for enterprises. Carlo Colicchio, Iso Demirkaya, Alex Hächler 7/72

8 Introduction 1.4 Research methodology and techniques In order to achieve the defined research goals a research methodology is needed to ensure the scientific character of the research findings. In general, the research project followed a deductive approach which included these steps: Theory (Research of previous findings, experiences, first observations) Hypothesis (Derivation of the hypothesis according to already analysed theory) Observations (Analysis of the research area with the stated research questions) Confirmation (According to the carried out analysis, confirmation or rejection of the hypothesis and deduction of a conclusion) The following sections of this chapter precisely describe the most important activities and the corresponding techniques in order to understand how the research questions have been answered. The first step of the research project included an accurate literature research of scientific papers, books and research studies within the field of social media with the focus on social business networks. Due to the fact that the hype topic social media is well-known all over the world and reached a good state of maturity, market research companies like Gartner, Forrester, etc. have already conducted interesting research studies within this field. Furthermore internet sources like blogs and twitter-streams of experts have also been followed. According to the high quantity of literature an accurate analysis is required in order to get as much information as possible to reach an appropriate knowledge base, which is the state of the art. After the literature research, the research questions and sub-questions have been defined in order to outline the focus of this research project. As already mentioned in chapter 1.2 the main research question is: How can companies make the most out of using the two social business networks XING and LinkedIn? In order to answer this main research question five further sub-questions have been defined to specify the main goals which have to be achieved by carrying out this research project. Furthermore a hypothesis has been derived from the described research questions which has to be approved or rejected according to the findings of the research analysis. Carlo Colicchio, Iso Demirkaya, Alex Hächler 8/72

9 Introduction The main research analysis first covered the history, facts and figures of XING and LinkedIn. Based on the gathered information, a better understanding and new knowledge about the two platforms was derived. In addition to the explanation of both social business networks, real-life experiences of enterprises (case studies), which already use respectively benefit from social business networks like XING or LinkedIn have been researched. Therefore9 semi-structured interviews have been carried out with knowledge holders, which have experience in our research field. Most of the interview partners have been recommended or are part of the business network of the research team. The interview partners are CEOs, human resource managers or personnel consultants with the focus on (e)-recruiting (also social recruitment). The interviewees are from small to large and from locally to internationally operating enterprises. For the interviews, an interview catalogue of eleven questions has been derived from the literature research. All the interviews, which on average have lasted an hour, have been carried out personally to get as much information as possible from these recruiting experts. The results from the interviews have been collected and merged together in order to reach an overview about all posed questions. The next step included a qualitative analysis of the data set, which allowed to identify response patterns and to derive conclusions from that. The research findings from the interviews have been compared with similar results from two well-known empirical research studies in the field of recruitment. Thanks to this approach the statements from the interview partners have been confirmed. It has been rejected to carry out an empirical survey, based on the decision that the focus of this research project is to show how enterprises can make most out of using these social business networks. Therefore it makes more sense to interview knowledge holders from companies which are already active within the mentioned research topic. Assuming that the return of an empirical survey would not be very large, the preferred research technique has been to carry out qualitative semi-structured interviews. Carlo Colicchio, Iso Demirkaya, Alex Hächler 9/72

10 Introduction The last step of the research methodology was to inter the final findings from the interviews in order to prove or disprove the hypothesis. Therefore it has been defined to measure and compare the efficiency of new processes (social business networks and applicant tracking systems) with a classic recruitment process. More efficient in this case means a shorter cycle time with lower costs compared to the classical recruiting channels. The costs should be measured by the existing pricing models of XING and LinkedIn and the process costs of the modelled generic processes by the answered questions of the interviewees. According to the described approach it has not been possible to measure the efficiency quantitatively of these activities due to the fact that the interviewed partners have virtually no data of recruitment process costs and generally the information gained from the interviews is not precise enough to write representative quantitative statements. Therefore it has been decided to make qualitative statements with the existing theoretical data and the data from the interviews. Additionally the effectiveness of the different recruiting channels could be analysed quantitatively as well to give a better decision basis for companies what kind of recruiting channels may be applicable in practice. In addition to this efficiency measurement, a qualitative comparison of both social business networks has also been carried out. Based on a predefined set of criteria, which has been weighted according to the importance for social business networks (especially recruiting), both networks have been rated. This evaluation allowed getting a final comparison of XING and LinkedIn. Thanks to that a conclusion which contained the most important findings of this research project, and especially proved or disproved the hypothesis, has been stated. Carlo Colicchio, Iso Demirkaya, Alex Hächler 10/72

11 Literature review 2 Literature review To get an overview of the topic of social media and especially social business networks like XING and LinkedIn this chapter outlines the state of the art around this topic. Social Media is a wide term which nowadays can be associated with different activities in the internet. This chapter explains what is already known about social media, the differentiation of social networks types and how these new communication channels can be used for business activities such as for recruitment. 2.1 Social media Social Media is an overall term for media that serves the exchange of partners over the Internet within a community. It can be represented as opinions, impressions, experiences and information and knowledge which are generated by users (Onlinemarketing-Praxis 2012). Furthermore social media allows users to create contributions in certain online media channels. According to Figure 2 it can be shown that a huge amount of social media platforms have been established over the past years. They are used to share different types of media for example pictures, music, video, events, business contacts and much more. Social media platforms are not only used for private purposes but they can also be found in business Figure 2: Social Media Prisma (ethority.de, 2011) environments. Therefore enterprises are facing the trend and react to this new way of collaboration and exchange of media. According to the research study of KPMG International (2011, p. 2) the participation of enterprises in social media has become a business imperative. More than 70 per cent of the organizations operating around the world are active on social media now. Carlo Colicchio, Iso Demirkaya, Alex Hächler 11/72

12 Literature review As a matter of fact, social media are rapidly moving up the boardroom agenda, regardless the type of industry or the organisation structure. This fact can also be proved by the social media report 2010/11 (Böttcher et al 2010, p. 3) where 77 per cent of the survey participants are of the opinion that social media is relevant for enterprises. Networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and XING are the most important and should be used by organisations. Social business networks like XING with 12.3 million (XING 2012) and LinkedIn with 161 million users (LinkedIn 2012) have combined about 175 million users which use these platforms to share business contacts and build up relationships with like-minded people. Such figures outline the potential of social media and demonstrate the importance they already have reached in the society. 2.2 Social network In reference to social media the term social networks can be summarised as platforms and online-presences, which help internet-users to build up and maintain relationships. Therefore the related information exchange and communication between the parties is also supported (Hettler 2010, p. 53). The contextual alignment of the social networks providers differs a lot between the platforms and therefore a differentiation of two types of networks is necessary (Hettler 2010, p. 54): Scope Basis of the network Type of the network Example Communication and private exchange between (un/known) persons Social relationships between the persons Symmetric, with the confirmation of the relationship the sharing of activities starts Facebook, LinkedIn, XING Table 1: Social network types (relationship and communication) Scope Basis of the network Type of the network Example Publication, sharing and discussion about all types of content Published content of the sender Asymmetric, users can follow the contributions of network participants without having mutual connection/relationship. SlideShare, Twitter, YouTube Table 2: Social network types (publication of content) According to the above mentioned social network types the following basic functionalities can be described: Identity Management (Possibility to edit the own profile), Contact Management Carlo Colicchio, Iso Demirkaya, Alex Hächler 12/72

13 Literature review (Possibility to administrate contacts and to network), Expert research and the support of an information exchange between contacts (Back et al. 2009, p. 71). To get an impression of social networks it can be said that Facebook is the largest worldwide social-network with more than 900 million members at the moment (Facebook 2012). To turn the focus on the business-side, enterprises also use social networks especially XING and LinkedIn to support business activities. These so called social business networks like XING or LinkedIn provide a multitude of functionalities, which can be used for marketing or recruitment activities. Specifically, these social business networks have special pricing models which allow the user to get a basic set of functionalities for free. For more sophisticated functions a periodical service fee is charged. The detailed characteristics of both social business networks will be described in the following chapters 3 and The use of social business networks in enterprises The impact of social media in general is according to already mentioned facts astonishing. In order to deepen the application areas of XING and LinkedIn the European social media report 2010/11 (Böttcher et al 2010, p. 5) outlines the findings in Figure 3: According to the research study, the business activity which can be best supported by social business networks is human resources/career enhancement (XING: 81% and LinkedIn: 51%) in both cases. This activity is followed by external communication with business partners (XING: 73% and LinkedIn: 43%). Figure 3 shows also that both social business networks are used for private and business purposes. According to that fact it is evident that people ascertained that such platforms bring advantages along, which support their activities in both application areas. It can be said that employees connect their private and business life through the use of social business networks. Beside the application of social business networks for career enhancement/hr the corporate communication to external stakeholders can also be supported by these platforms. 81% 73% 72% 79% 51% 43% 29% 24% 15% 13% 28% 12% 9% 3% 5% 9% 37% 46% XING LinkedIn Figure 3: For which purpose is XING/LinkedIn useful? (Böttcher et al 2010, p. 5) Carlo Colicchio, Iso Demirkaya, Alex Hächler 13/72

14 Literature review According to the Social Media Studie 2011-Namics (2011, p. 14), the largest share of communication through social networks is covered by the human resource department followed by the corporate communication division. It is expected that the importance of social business networks like XING and LinkedIn will increase and take a relevant position in the near future (Böttcher et al 2010, p. 9). 2.4 Users of social networks The evolution of social media and the contemporaneous growth of social networks are supported by the large amount of people, who use these networks. The so called Digital Natives are the generation which have grown up with the new possibilities which the internet technology has provided. Already in their childhood they started to spend time on the internet and tried to generate and share content with other internet users. In comparison to older generations, Digital Natives make the internet an essential part of their life and that can be seen as a virtual living environment (Hilker 2010, p. 21). The already mentioned older generation, which can be defined as Digital Immigrants, has a more conservative attitude to use the internet and especially social networks. Nowadays, the management positions within companies are mostly taken by such Digital Immigrants which have another approach of working and have more difficulties adapting to the use of new communication media. But it is a matter of fact that social media especially social networks will lead to a paradigm shift where openness, transparency and interactivity are taking a more important role in the society and also in the business world. Companies have to face this evolution and take into consideration the needs of the Digital Natives to become attractive as an employer of the new generation but as well to be competitive on the market (Hilker 2010, p. 22). In order to get back to the main focus of this research paper Figure 4 shows the age distribution of the users of both social business networks XING and LinkedIn. According to that figure, it can be said that the users of these platforms are business people which are mostly aged between 25 and 44 years. This age range would represent something between Digital Natives and Digital Immigrants. As already mentioned, the target group of such social business groups is on average a little bit older than for example other social networks like Facebook, Twitter or YouTube. This fact can be also interesting for companies which are aiming to hire new employees or to enhance the popularity of their brand. Through the use of such social business networks there are a lot of possibilities to reach an appropriate target group to fulfil the already mentioned company tasks. Carlo Colicchio, Iso Demirkaya, Alex Hächler 14/72

15 Age Literature review % 4% 6% 6% % 28% % 34% % 13% % 16% 65-older 4% 4% LinkedIn XING Figure 4: Age distribution of XING and LinkedIn (eins-zu-null 2012) 2.5 Social media recruitment Based on the assumption that social business networks are new ways of supporting recruiting activities of enterprises can be supported, this chapter gives an overview how modern social business networks are used for this application area. The term social media recruitment is part of the overall concept of e-recruitment, also known as online recruitment. This topic is defined by the use of web based tools to assist the recruitment process. The tool can be a job platform, the organisation s corporate web site or an even more sophisticated applicant tracking system (ATS). Nowadays organizations are using the internet as a source for recruitment and in some cases IT-systems (ATS) to support the whole recruitment process (recruitment.naukrihub.com 2012). As a matter of fact, the search of employees by companies is usually handled with job advertisements in newspapers, personal recommendations or job platforms in the internet. But a lot of enterprises are neglecting the opportunities which social media are providing. Especially the opportunities to reach highly qualified people (employer recruitment) and furthermore to enhance positively the development of the brand of the company (employer branding) are topics which should awake the interest of the business world (Hilker 2010, p. 131). According to the explanation of the characteristics and functionalities of the social business networks XING and LinkedIn in the following chapters 3 and 4, it can be shown that they Carlo Colicchio, Iso Demirkaya, Alex Hächler 15/72

16 Literature review provide new ways for companies to support employer recruitment. For example, social business networks offer search engines with extended filter functionalities to find potential employees and to directly get in touch with them. Considering the whole recruiting process according to the German research study Recruiting Trends 2012 (2012, p. 34) it can be confirmed that social business networks are mostly used for the publication of job advertisements and the active sourcing of new applicants, which represents one of the first stages of the whole recruiting process. 59% 60% 52% 52% 44% Yes 27% 14% 26% 22% 36% 12% 27% 29% 29% 12% Currently not, but planned in future No, neighter planned in future publication of job advertisments active sourcing for applicants employer branding building up and enlarge network of recruiters active sourcing of already identified applicants Figure 5: Adoption of social business networks for recruitment (Eckhardt et al. 2012b, p. 34) Carlo Colicchio, Iso Demirkaya, Alex Hächler 16/72

17 XING 3 XING The social business network Open Business Club was founded in 2003 in Hamburg, Germany and has been renamed in 2006 (Lutz et al. 2011, p. 21) to its current brand XING. The company employs over 450 people from 27 different countries. In 2010 XING acquired amiando AG, a Europe s leading provider of online event management and ticketing. The platform has more than 12 million members worldwide (March 2012) and is available in 16 languages (XING 2012). The revenue in 2011 was EUR 66.2 million (XING 2012). 3.1 Characteristics / functionalities The characteristics of XING should give the reader an overview of the kind of people and companies that are using XING. It also points out the regions where it is mostly used. The XING Media Data is an analysis in the DACH region (Adconion 2012). XING has 5.27 million members in the DACH region (Germany, Austria and Switzerland) and approximately 7 million members are from other countries. These 7 million members are a small and not relevant percentage per country and are therefore not included in Figure 6. In the brackets is the percentage of XING members compared to the total amount of the population of the respective country. The graph shows that the popularity of XING is mostly in German speaking countries, although XING offers its platform also in English and other languages. Switzerland 0.43 (5.41%) Austria 0.44 (5.23%) Germany 4.4 (5.38%) Total in DACH 5.27 (5.37%) Numbers of members in million Figure 6: Numbers of members in millions of XING (XING Media Data 2012, p. 1; statistik.at; de.statista.com; bfs.admin.ch) Carlo Colicchio, Iso Demirkaya, Alex Hächler 17/72

18 Size of company distribution Industry distribution XING Figure 7 shows the industry distribution of XING. For companies in the service branch XING is quite well-known and applied, followed closely by industry and media. 14% 12% 11% 8% 8% 8% 7% 6% 6% 6% 5% 3% 2% 2% 1% Figure 7: Industry distribution of XING (XING Media Data 2012, p. 2) Figure 8 gives an overview of the companies size that can be found on XING. Small companies between 1 and 50 employees have a combined share of over 30% of all company sizes. On the other side huge companies with over 10,000 employees are also well established on XING. 17% 16% 15% 15% 5% 9% 7% 12% 4% Figure 8: Company size distribution of XING (XING Media Data 2012, p. 2) Carlo Colicchio, Iso Demirkaya, Alex Hächler 18/72

19 XING Web platform This section describes the web platform of XING focussed on the business side. It is not the intention of the following descriptions to go into detail about how to set up a personal profile. As already mentioned in chapter 1.3, the focus is on the usage and benefits for enterprises. Figure 9: XING web platform profile example (Bpmnforum 2012) First of all the functionalities of XING related to recruiting activities are mentioned. Messaging Member search Job offer Job search The messaging function is used to contact other members on XING by text messages which are saved in every member s mailbox. This function can also be used to send messages to members belonging to a specific group or invite people directly to an event. This function offers the option to search for members by name, position, company, wants, haves etc. The point of view is from a company who is searching for a new qualified employee to hire. The job offer function allows companies to place their job offer online on XING and all members of XING can view and apply for it. The job offer is in one of ten typical categorisations such as IT or Engineering. The applicant can search for job advertisements by entering a search term concerning a job position, a company name or search by a category or a city. For some job advertisements it is possible to directly go to the website of the company and apply online. Carlo Colicchio, Iso Demirkaya, Alex Hächler 19/72

20 XING Company profile Premium Membership Recruiter Membership XING provides a functionality to set up a company profile. Applicants can visit the company site to get an overview of the company they might like to apply for. The Premium Membership offers more than the free membership. Additionally it provides an advanced search function which is helpful for employers and recruiters to find better matching candidates, due to the specific search filters. Furthermore compared to the free membership it is possible to see who viewed the own profile. The free membership only shows the profile picture without name and profile information of the visitor. More about the Premium Membership can be found in chapter 3.2. For HR consultants, managers and head hunters there exists a special membership called Recruiter Membership. With this membership recruiters can use more search filters to find top candidates faster. Additionally they can see more profile information of the candidates in the overview without having the candidates in their own contact list. It is possible to assign a candidate status for every person in the overview, such as Interesting, CV received, Interviewed with the customer etc. More about the Recruiter Membership can be found in chapter 3.2. In the following the functionalities for marketing activities related to support recruitment are mentioned. Groups Events With the function to create groups, companies can advertise themselves. A XING member who works for a company in the machine building industry can e.g. create a group for engineers to discuss interesting topics. At this moment the XING member is also a moderator of a group and is listed on the side of the group page with his company name. The company has the chance to get to know some interesting members of XING in the respective field and these could also be potential employees. XING members have the possibility to organise events and use the online-ticketing system provided by amiando. For example a recruiting event for graduates could help to find new employees. Carlo Colicchio, Iso Demirkaya, Alex Hächler 20/72

21 XING Mobile apps This section describes the mobile app of XING. The following descriptions are related to the version 3.5.7i of the German Android app. The functions of the Android and iphone app are the same. XING has a specially designed website for tablets on touch.xing.com and mobile apps for Black Berries and Windows Phones as well (XING 2012), which are - due to a lower popularity - not part of this research paper. Compared to the web platform the mobile apps do not offer as much functionalities. Contacts The app provides the standard functionality to view your own contacts with their whole profile. Search The search function offers the possibility to search for contacts which are not in the user s list. My Profile Messages The own profile can be viewed but not edited. With this function it is possible to view and send messages to the contacts of the own network. Connector The connector provides recommendations of people you may perhaps know or are related to your contacts. Birthdays Birthdays shows the upcoming birthdays of your contacts in XING. Figure 10: Mobile app XING ios Visitors Handshake Figure 11: Example of a QR-Code (internet-echo, 2012) The free membership allows you to see the profile picture of the person who visited your profile whereas the contact details of those visitors can only be viewed if you at least have a Premium membership. The only function that is not provided in the web platform but in the mobile app is Handshake. The user can display the QR-Code of his profile on his mobile phone while another person who also uses this app can scan the QR-Code and can then view the profile of the person in front of him. For example this can be used at a meeting to add new business contacts on XING. Figure 12: Mobile app XING Android Carlo Colicchio, Iso Demirkaya, Alex Hächler 21/72

22 XING 3.2 Price models and benefits XING offers several fee-based services. In this section, the focus relies on the additional benefit for professional members, not private people, if they choose to subscribe to feebased services. These price models refer to the web platform and not to the mobile apps. There are three different types of memberships shown in Table 3. In the column Benefit all the additional benefits are listed compared to the Premium Membership. The free membership is below the Premium Membership and is not listed. The important functionalities for recruiting of the free membership have been already mentioned in chapter 3.1. The Sales Membership is an additional price model which is provided by XING but is only mentioned in this chapter for the sake of completeness. Membership Price in CHF Benefit XING Premium Membership 4.75 per month (3-month term) 4.15 per month (12-month term) 50% off the regular price for students See who visited your profile Apply filters to improve search efficiency Send messages to non-contacts XING Sales Membership per month (3-month term) per month (12-month term) Find business partners in a more targeted way Identify potential customers faster than ever Transparent sales workflows Plus all of the Premium features XING Recruiter Membership per month (3-month term) per month (6-month term) per month (12-month term) Use exclusive search filters to find top candidates faster. See more profile information in the overview Efficient candidate management Plus all of the Premium benefits Table 3: XING Membership cost/benefit overview (XING 2012) Carlo Colicchio, Iso Demirkaya, Alex Hächler 22/72

23 XING There are two services in XING which are offered in three price categories each and are available in every type of membership. The job advertisement function in Table 4 provides three different types of advertisements. The more the customer is willing to spend, the more options are available to set up an attractive advertisement. The prices for ads and company profiles are officially only available in EUR on the website of XING. Therefore the prices in CHF are below the EUR prices with an estimated exchange rate of 1.2. ad TEXT LOGO DESIGN Price 1 EUR 0.94 CHF 1.15 EUR CHF EUR CHF Price type Pay-per-click Fixed price, including logo, PDF, 30-day term Fixed price, customized, 30-day term Benefit No basic fee, no minimum charges Click limit for complete cost management Generate more interest with a customized design XING will post your ad(s) for you Add your company logo to improve recognition Ad text can be formatted View up to 20 members that match your ad right now View up to 20 members that match your ad right now Table 4: XING job advertisement cost/benefit overview (XING 2012) The service to set up a company profile in Table 5 offers three possible types as well. The basic profile is for free. For additional monthly charges, the profile can be found easier due to the option to define your own keywords. The most expensive option provides statistical analysis of the visitors of the company profile such as traffic-analysis and profile-analysis. Company BASIC STANDARD PLUS Profile Price 0 EUR a month 2 CHF a month 2 EUR a month 2 CHF a month 2 Benefit "About us" page together with your company s logo automatically generated list of employees Option to post company updates All of the BASIC benefits Improved visibility thanks to freely definable keywords "Contact" page listing people to get in touch with at the company Up to 5 profile editors All of the STANDARD benefits Linkable header graphics that can be changed as often as you like See who visited your Company Profile Visitor and follower statistics as well as traffic and profile analysis Highlighted entry in search results Table 5: XING company profile cost/benefit overview (XING 2012) 1 Prices for Switzerland and non-eu countries 2 The minimum terms is 12 month Carlo Colicchio, Iso Demirkaya, Alex Hächler 23/72

24 Numbers of members in million LinkedIn 4 LinkedIn LinkedIn was founded in 2002 in the living room of Reid Hofmann, a co-founder of the company. The website was published on the internet on 5 th May Just one month later, already 4500 members were registered. The main purpose of the social network is professional networking. LinkedIn was considered to be one of the top ten companies of most valuable start-ups in 2010 with a value of $1.575 billion in private markets. (LinkedIn 2012) 4.1 Characteristics / functionalities In this chapter, all the important characteristics and functionalities will be explained. To make it better comparable, the structure of chapter 4 is held similar to the preceding chapter 3 about XING. First of all, LinkedIn is the biggest platform for professional networking, considering its more than 161 million subscribers (LinkedIn 2012). Figure 13 shows how they are grouped in different countries. Most of the users are still located in the US market. But there is a huge growth in European countries. According to LinkedIn students and recent college graduates have the demographical fastest growth Figure 13: Numbers of members in million of LinkedIn (LinkedIn 2012) Carlo Colicchio, Iso Demirkaya, Alex Hächler 24/72

25 Size of company distribution Industry distribution LinkedIn Figure 14 shows the related industries, where LinkedIn is mostly used. There is still a larger usage by technical industries such as IT and telecommunication as this target group is more technology oriented as others. 20% 17% 10% 9% 8% 8% 7% 6% 5% 4% 3% 3% Figure 14: Industry distribution of LinkedIn (IQ Digital Mediadaten LinkedIn 2012, p. 11) Figure 15 shows the different sizes of companies using LinkedIn. Leaders of social media are still big companies with 10,000 or more employees according to IQ Digital. There is still a huge potential in middle-sized enterprises. Surprisingly, enterprises with employees between 5,001 and 10,000 use LinkedIn less than smaller enterprises. 52% 18% 4% 10% 12% 9% 1-50 employees employees 201-1,000 employees 1,001-5,000 employees 5,001-10,000 employees >10,001 employees Figure 15 Size of company distribution of LinkedIn (IQ Digital Mediadaten LinkedIn 2012, p. 11) Carlo Colicchio, Iso Demirkaya, Alex Hächler 25/72

26 LinkedIn Web platform Figure 16: LinkedIn web platform profile example (Socialrabbit 2012) On the first page, LinkedIn shows different kind of news and gives a first impression about updates in the joined network. The important functions of the web platform are mentioned in the following: Messaging Search for contacts Job offer The messaging function allows contacting other members on LinkedIn by text messages which are saved in every member s mailbox. This function can also be used to send messages to members belonging to a specific group or invite people directly to an event. The search function allows finding new members on LinkedIn or existing ones. There are different search criteria s possible such as the company name, member name, school, groups, skills and more. Recruiting news are found in the head of all updates. The job advertisement function allows companies to place their job advertisement online on LinkedIn and all members of LinkedIn can view and apply for it. Carlo Colicchio, Iso Demirkaya, Alex Hächler 26/72

27 LinkedIn Job search Company profile Premium Accounts For Recruiters There is also a separate section jobs which provides search functionalities for all available jobs. The applicant is able to filter the jobs by entering the company name, category such as IT, Engineering etc. or region to get suitable job search results. For companies, LinkedIn provides a section where a company profile can be set up. This information is important to get an overview of the company and for situations where the company tries to hire new employee over LinkedIn or to reach potential customers. Premium accounts offer more functionalities than the free membership. It offers more search results, expanded profile information, full list of visitors and better filtering mechanisms. HR consultants, managers, head hunters or sales professionals might benefit from search functionalities provided by the Recruiter Membership which enables to choose important skills for new candidates. In the following the functionalities for marketing activities related to support recruitment are mentioned. Groups Events With the group function, employee of companies may discuss and follow different topics. For example a LinkedIn member who works for a job agency can create a group for HR managers to discuss related topics about recruitment. The member who created the group is at this moment the moderator of the group. LinkedIn members are able to organise and promote events with the provided events function. In addition, LinkedIn shows a list of events, which might be interesting for the user based on the groups which the user follows. Carlo Colicchio, Iso Demirkaya, Alex Hächler 27/72

28 LinkedIn Mobile apps The LinkedIn mobile app is available for the following mobile operating systems: Android, iphones ios and Black Berry (LinkedIn 2012). Most of the functions available on the web platform are provided on the mobile app, too. There are still some limitations: For example editing of the profile is not possible on the mobile apps. The mobile app described in this section is based on Android mobile app version Figure 16 shows in comparison to the Android app, the ios version which looks different but provides the same functions. LinkedIn Today Updates You Inbox More Search for people Speech box LinkedIn Today shows important business news. This functionality provides latest updates about the own network activities. This section shows the own profile which can be viewed but not edited. Furthermore the user has an overview about the visitors of the own profile and by clicking on the person, LinkedIn shows the profile information of the visitor. With this function it is possible to view and send messages to the contacts of the own network. This functionality recommends people and groups which can be interesting for the user. It is possible to search for people in the contact list and for new contacts. The speech box in the right corner of the app allows sending notifications. The user can choose if the stats update can be viewed by all network users or only by the own contacts. Figure 17: Mobile app LinkedIn ios Figure 18: Mobile app LinkedIn Android Furthermore a new mobile app for the ipad has been released, which provides a nicer view of the dashboards, a better usability and a higher resolution for the ipad s display. Carlo Colicchio, Iso Demirkaya, Alex Hächler 28/72

29 LinkedIn 4.2 Price models and benefits LinkedIn offers several professional tools which can be categorized into four different areas. One area considers the Premium Accounts, which allows members to directly contact any people who are not in the personal contacts. The second area is for recruiters, which provides several search functionalities to find a suitable employee. The Memberships for Sales Professionals and for Job Seekers are additional price models which are provided by LinkedIn but are only mentioned in this chapter for the sake of completeness. Table 6 provides a brief overview of membership prices and benefits of the memberships. Membership Price in CHF Benefit Premium Accounts LinkedIn Business per month Contact anyone directly with InMail (1 month term) Business: 3 per month per month Business Plus: 10 per month (1 year term) Executive: 25 per month LinkedIn Business Plus LinkedIn Executive For Recruiters LinkedIn Talent Basic LinkedIn Talent Finder LinkedIn Talent Pro per month (1 month term) per month (1 year term) per month (1 month term) per month (1 year term) per month (1 month term) per month (1 year term) per month (1 month term) per month (1 year term) per month (1 month term) per month (1 year term) See more profiles when you search Business: 300 Business Plus: 500 Executive: 700 Zero in (search engine provider) on profiles with Premium search filters See expanded profiles of everyone on LinkedIn Who s viewed your profile: Get the full list Contact anyone on LinkedIn with InMail Basic: 10 per month Finder: 25 per month Pro: 50 per month Pinpoint candidates with advanced search filters See more candidates when you search Basic: 500 Finder: 700 Pro: 1000 Search for top talent within your groups Save and manage your candidate pipeline Basic: 25 folders Finder: 50 folders Pro: 75 folders Table 6 continues on the next page. Carlo Colicchio, Iso Demirkaya, Alex Hächler 29/72

30 LinkedIn For Sales Professionals Sales Basic per month (1 month term) per month (1 year term) Sales Navigator Sales Executive For Job Seekers Job Seeker Basic Job Seeker Job Seeker Plus per month (1 month term) per month (1 year term) per month (1 month term) per month (1 year term) per month (1 month term) per month (1 year term) per month (1 month term) per month (1 year term) per month (1 month term) per month (1 year term) Table 6: LinkedIn membership cost/benefit overview (LinkedIn 2012) Contact anyone directly with InMail o Sales Navigator: 10 per month o Sales Executive: 25 per month Build your pipeline with Lead Builder Pinpoint the right leads with Premium search filters Who s viewed your profile: Get the full list Save important profiles and notes using profile organizer Contact anyone directly with InMail o Job Seeker: 5 per month o Job Seeker Plus: 10 per month Who s viewed your profile: Get the full list Zero in (search engine provider) on $100K plus jobs with detailed salary information Move to the top of the list as a featured applicant Exclusive access to our job seeker community Carlo Colicchio, Iso Demirkaya, Alex Hächler 30/72

31 LinkedIn The job advertisement services in Table 7 provide different packages of advertisements. Customers can get up to 36% off the standard price by choosing a larger job pack. A job advertisement is published for 30 days. The 30-day posting refers to 1 job. With the other job packs more job advertisements can be published for a lower price per job ad. The benefits are the same for all packages. ad 30-day posting 5-Job Pack 10-Job Pack Price in CHF / job ad / job ad / job ad Benefits Reach the best job seekers Proprietary matching technology identifies the best candidates for your job in real-time Candidates see who posted the job and how they are connected into your organization Jobs are forwarded 11 times on average, collecting 400 views and 30 applications Jobs appear in search results and on Twitter, increasing your visibility across the web Easy-to-use interface to review, organize, and contact applicants Table 7: LinkedIn job advertisement cost/benefit overview (LinkedIn 2012) The service to set up a company profile is free and offers interesting benefits for enterprises such as product presentations, service- and product recommendations through customers, analytics tools, advertising and blogging. Company LinkedIn company profile Profile Price in CHF 0 Benefit Free including active company updates Services and product presentations (visual) Service- and product recommendations through customers Analytics tools for page views and clicks Advertising (similar to Facebook pages) Blogging per feed Table 8: LinkedIn company profile cost/benefit overview (Networkfinder 2012) Carlo Colicchio, Iso Demirkaya, Alex Hächler 31/72

32 Recruitment in social business networks 5 Recruitment in social business networks To give an overview of efficiency and effectiveness for the use of social business networks in the recruitment process, a use case has been created according to the answers derived from the interviews and the knowledge about the social business network platforms. The question How does your recruitment process look? has been directly integrated in the use case. The aspect efficiency has been analysed qualitatively with the responses from the interview and are underlined with results from the trend reports Trend Report Online Recruiting Schweiz 2011 and Recruiting Trends These reports provided additional information about effectiveness which is also included in this chapter. Furthermore the experiences of enterprises with social business networks have been summarized. Two processes use the term e-recruitment and one process uses the term applicant tracking system. For a better understanding the definitions are as following: E-recruitment or erecruitment is the process of personnel recruitment using electronic resources, in particular the internet (Human Resource Management by R. J. Stone 2012) An applicant tracking system is a program (usually with a web-based section) used to monitor and coordinate an organization s job applications and helps manage its recruitment needs (Taleo 2012) 5.1 Use case for adaption in business area Figure 19 shows generic processes for a typical classical recruitment process without specific electronic recruitment tools on one hand and on the other hand e-recruitment processes with the use of a social business network or even with an applicant tracking system. The recruitment steps are more or less identical. Therefore, only those steps have been visualized more than once if they are different in another process. In the classical process the most expensive step compared to the other two processes is to place the job description in a newspaper (step 2). In the following Table 9 the interviewees answered a question about their recruiting costs. Carlo Colicchio, Iso Demirkaya, Alex Hächler 32/72

33 Recruitment in social business networks Have you got figures or estimations about your HR recruitment process costs? (Summary of the interview answers in addition with self-researched costs) The average cost for publishing a job advertisement in a regional newspaper (e.g. Aargauer Zeitung) for two days is around CHF 7,500 according to an interview. Hiring a job employment agent to find e.g. a manager is around CHF 20,000. The cost for publishing it on an internet job platform such as jobs.ch is around CHF 600 for a whole month (Jobs.ch 2012). Placing the job advertisement on a social business network for a month costs approx. CHF 570 on XING (LOGO ad) or CHF on LinkedIn (30-day posting ad). One of the main advantages for online advertisements is the reach of much more potential employees whereas the newspaper can only address a certain region or a certain reader group. It has to be taken into account, that certain candidates e.g. the building sector can only be reached through job advertisement published in offline media such as newspapers or magazines. So the effectiveness of reaching the candidates the company needs depends on the recruiting channel the candidates follow. The recruitment cost for sourcing are around CHF 2,000 per employment according to a Recruiting manager of an international company. The duration of finding and appointing a new employee is between 1 and 6 month. This depends on the cancellation period of the respective candidate. Usually employees in a higher position, e.g. managers, have longer cancellation periods. Table 9: Figures and estimations of HR process costs for recruiting The e-recruitment processes can use social business networks, an applicant tracking system or just use the internet to upload a job description. Step 2 of an e-recruitment process can be done either by the use of a social business network to upload a job description or by the use of an ordinary internet job platform. Efficiency can be increased in Step 3 with an applicant tracking system, ATS for short, by automatically preselecting incoming applications e.g. from an application form of the company website. Companies with few applications may invest more time to check an application whereas enterprises with lots of applications tend to not invest much time per application. The applicant tracking system can help by filtering the profiles that match least and mark them. In Step 4, the ATS can automatically send letters of refusal to the marked applicants. In Step 4, the unfitting applications can be marked and a letter of refusal can be printed out or ed automatically. Additionally the automatic tracking system can be combined with a mobile application possibility. The candidate could apply by mobile phone through a social business network app such as the ones mentioned in chapter and The data will be directly transferred to the respective employer. The requirement would be a gateway between the Carlo Colicchio, Iso Demirkaya, Alex Hächler 33/72

34 Recruitment in social business networks social business network app and the ATS to receive the data of the applicant in a useful format for the employer. Step 5 and 6 are usually being processed manually in every company. For the companies it is important to see preferred applicants in person to get impressions which cannot be seen on the applications. Two questions about efficiency and effectiveness have been answered in the interviews and are summarized in Table 10 and Table 11. How do you rate the efficiency with social business networks compared to normal recruitment processes? According to the answers of the interviewees the social business networks help to find the right target group of employees which increases mainly the effectiveness. The efficiency can be raised if the enterprises have a strategy how to proceed to find new employees and define which and how the tools are used to achieve that. If a company applies the tools randomly, the efficiency and the effectiveness decrease. It takes a certain effort to search for employees, message them directly and to wait for their answer. In some cases they do not even reply. Compared to print media the response time is shorter. According to estimation a typical response time is around 2 to 5 days for messaging a potential employee through a social business network channel. In general personal recommendations through own employees seem to be much more efficient due to the similarity of their professional background. The effect of getting more people to read a job advertisement can be pushed by using several channels. For example an interviewee uses Twitter and the job advertisement can be read by all the followers. If one of the followers is well-known, the effect of people reading it can be increased. Table 10: Qualitative Efficiency rating with social business networks Can you fetch candidates better/easier/more targeted through XING/LinkedIn? The candidates can be fetched more targeted through social business networks. The waste compared to print media or internet job portals can be reduced. Also according to effectiveness enterprises should have a strategy regarding to predefined market segments. Even if the candidates can be fetched easier, it is not assured that the company gets the better employees. Table 11: Qualitative effectiveness rating with social business networks Carlo Colicchio, Iso Demirkaya, Alex Hächler 34/72

35 Recruitment in social business networks Classic recruitment process 1 Create job description on the computer Place the job description in a newspaper 2 Check incoming applications, selection process 3 Send letters of refusal 4 Invite to interview by letter / phone 5 Decision and employ / decline 6 E-recruitment with social business network 1 Create job description with the use of functionalities from a social business network Use social business network to upload & publish job description 2 Message candidate directly to invite to an interview 5 E-recruitment with Applicant Tracking System (ATS) Create job description with an ATS Automatic preselection of incoming applications Send letters of refusal automatically Figure 19: Recruitment processes Carlo Colicchio, Iso Demirkaya, Alex Hächler 35/72

36 Recruitment in social business networks In conclusion, the social business networks are used as a part of the whole recruitment process and therefore do not cover the entire recruitment process. XING and LinkedIn should be considered as a recruiting channel and not as an instrument to revolutionize the whole recruiting process. Nevertheless, social business networks can help to be more effective in finding the right employees and more efficient in the sense of time and cost saving. For example the cost for publishing job advertisements of XING and LinkedIn are generally lower than for job advertisements in print media. The extractions from the trend reports, which are already mentioned in the introduction part of this chapter, should underline these statements. Best Practice would be a combined usage of social business networks with an applicant tracking system. 5.2 Effectiveness and efficiency statistics Figure 20 of a trend report (Recruiting Trends 2012, p. 30) evaluated in Germany by surveying 1000 companies in 2011, shows how satisfied the companies are with candidates found on different recruiting channels. Social business networks are placed poorly on rank 8 of 11 channels with 35.6% satisfaction. Print media, which includes newspapers, is one rank above social business networks but with a remarkable difference of nearly 20%. It has to be taken into account that social business networks are not yet so established in comparison to the other channels and therefore this percentage might increase in future. The applicants who use the application form on the company website seem to deliver the best satisfaction for companies with 81.2%. Figure 20 can be considered as a quantitative representation of the effectiveness of reaching the right candidates. Company website Own personal network Internet job platform Headhunter Employee recommendations HR consulting Print media Social business network temporary employment agency Social network jobs employment agency 20% 23.4% 35.6% 34.4% 57.4% 55.3% 81.2% 78.2% 73.4% 71.1% 68.5% Figure 20: Satisfaction with the candidates employed through different recruiting channels (Recruiting Trends 2012, p. 30) Carlo Colicchio, Iso Demirkaya, Alex Hächler 36/72

37 Recruitment in social business networks Figure 21 shows a cost-/benefit comparison of the same recruiting channels listed in Figure 20. The social business networks reach a relatively high score in efficiency with an average of 3.64 out of 5 compared to other channels whereas Print media is on the last rank with The company website seems to be the most efficient and the most effective recruiting channel as well, according to both graphs. Company website 4.72 Own personal network Employee recommendations Internet job platform Social business network Social network temporary employment agency jobs employment agency HR consulting Headhunter Print media very bad bad average good very good Figure 21: Cost-/Benefit of recruiting channels (Recruiting Trends 2012, p. 30) What do you think about the price models of XING / LinkedIn? (Cost-/benefit ratio) The Premium Membership of XING is used by nearly every interviewed partner. Mostly it has been recommended to sign up for this Membership due to a good cost-/benefit ratio. Especially if you need it to find new employees, the advanced search functions are a big advantage which you do not get in a free membership of XING. The Recruiter Membership of XING and LinkedIn are used by some interviewed partners as well. The cost-/benefit ratio is satisfactory and the functionalities of both platforms are similar. But overall the costs for this membership in LinkedIn are higher compared to XING. For small companies which have not got their core competences in the field of recruiting, a Recruiter Membership is not profitable. The prices for placing job advertisements on these two social business networks are considered very high compared to internet job platforms whereas compared to print media, the price models for job offers on XING / LinkedIn are cheaper. Table 12: Qualitative statements of the price models of XING / LinkedIn Carlo Colicchio, Iso Demirkaya, Alex Hächler 37/72

38 Recruitment in social business networks In 2011, a trend report from Prospective Media surveyed 2267 Swiss companies about the use of an ATS. 42% of the questioned companies use an ATS already. At least 19% do not use an ATS yet but plan to implement an ATS in their recruitment process. Yes, in use; 42% No; 39% Not yet, but planned; 19% Figure 22: Have you got an applicant tracking system? (Prospective Media Services AG 2011, p. 72) 5.3 Experiences of enterprises with social business networks This chapter provides experiences of recruiters and personnel consultants who use social business networks (XING and/or LinkedIn) for the sourcing of new employees through social business platforms. As already mentioned in the previous chapter research methodology nine semi-structured interviews have been carried out with experts from different kind of enterprises, which are working in the German speaking part of Switzerland. The following six interview questions with the corresponding answers represent only parts of the whole interviews, which have been conducted. The answers to each of the questions have been summarised and should provide key messages to the posed questions. This chapter outlines the opinions of the knowledge holders in general and does not focus on the comparison of both social business networks XING and LinkedIn, what will be the topic of chapter 6. Carlo Colicchio, Iso Demirkaya, Alex Hächler 38/72

39 Recruitment in social business networks How often do you use social business networks in your company? According to the experiences of the interview partners XING is used daily or weekly and LinkedIn monthly. Due to the fact that all interviewed persons are working in the German speaking part of Switzerland it is evident that XING is the most preferred social business network for them. The diffusion of XING in the DACH region is very strong and therefore also the target group of the companies can be reached more easily by this platform. Customers or potential employees from the DACH region look more after their XING-profile and therefore it is obvious that companies are more interested in being active on this social business network. The amount of members in the DACH region is mentioned for XING in Figure 6 and for LinkedIn in Figure 13. This tendency changes with companies which are also operating in the French speaking part of Switzerland and are more internationally oriented. In this case LinkedIn plays a more important role and enterprises select this as the primary channel for recruiting and marketing activities. Table 13: Usage frequency of social business networks Which functionalities of the social business networks do you use the most? These social business networks are used mostly for the following activities: Networking: It is the core functionality of these networks and therefore it is also one of the most used. In order to be successful it is obvious that building up a network and to maintain relationships with business contacts is a prerequisite to reach new employees or to enhance the popularity of a company. Announcement of job advertisements: As already mentioned social business networks support the recruitment of new employees for companies. Therefore it is possible to publish job advertisements in such networks enhance the quantity respectively the quality of applicants. There are companies which have already automatized the interfaces between the social business networks and the internal applicant tracking system of the company to structure the process and minimize the operating costs. Such a structured recruitment process represents a best-practice, but only few companies are already operating like this. Recruitment process examples can be found in chapter 5.2. Active sourcing of new employees: The alternative way of finding an employee beside the job advertisements is the active sourcing of potential applicants/profiles. In comparison to the job ad, in this case the recruiters of companies do active search in the social business networks for profiles which would fit the requirements of the vacant job. For this application area the social business networks (XING and LinkedIn) are providing extended search functionalities which are partly offered for an amount of money. According to the interviews one of the best ways to reach efficiently the target group is to involve the network of internal employees which are working in a specific field of the company, where the job vacancy exists. By posting job ads in their personal networks the probability to find a suitable profile is even higher. Table 14: Most used functionalities of the social business networks Carlo Colicchio, Iso Demirkaya, Alex Hächler 39/72

40 Recruitment in social business networks Which positive respectively negative experiences have you made with social business networks? Positive: In general it can be said that social business networks are very valuable communication channels to reach a defined target group. Furthermore they are very helpful to maintain relationships with business/private contacts. Through the involvement of the network of internal employees, it is easier for recruiters to find top employees for vacant jobs. Social business networks also allow getting an overview about specific (job) markets for example software developers, lawyers, etc. Thanks to the search inside of groups it is possible to get information about trends, benefits and problems, upcoming events and much more things, which enables people to get in touch and exchange their opinions. Negative: The profiles of candidates which can be found on social business networks in some cases do not match the reality. Due to the fact that in comparison to a CV a social business network profile has less of a binding character people tend to oversell their qualifications. Especially for company recruiters this could represent a threat which should be taken into consideration. A further negative aspect of these networks is the fact the working with social business networks without any strategy can lead to high investments in terms of time. An invitation for a job interview with an inappropriate applicant might be such a case. But also coordination and administration of the applications coming from social business networks can consume a lot of time, if there isn t any structure in the process. Table 15: Positive and negative aspects of social business networks According to the empirical research study Recruiting Trends 2012 which has been conducted with 1,000 enterprises in Germany Figure 23 shows which strategic actions are executed in order to use social media / social business networks. It can be shown that is really important to have a strategy to operate with social media / social business networks. A third of the respondents indicate that they are coordinating their social media activities with all other recruitment actions within the company. As a matter of fact, it is important to have a clear overview to control the whole activities and therefore to achieve the defined objectives with the use of social business networks. Operating on these networks without such a strategy will cause a lot of time expenditures without generating benefits for the enterprises. Carlo Colicchio, Iso Demirkaya, Alex Hächler 40/72

41 Recruitment in social business networks The use of social media is coordinated with other recruitment activities We have an explicit strategy for the use of social media for recruitment We have defined an editorial plan for our activities in social media Our HR-employees are members of discussion groups to get in touch with potential applicants We offer discussion groups in social media to specific business topics 12.5% 18.1% 22.6% 27.6% 33.8% Figure 23: Strategic use of social media for recruitment (Recruiting Trends 2012, p. 37) Are you planning to use such social business networks more often for business purposes? The attitude of the interview partners shows that social recruitment will be used more and more in the future. For the purpose of active sourcing of new employees it s a worthwhile tool to reach a specific target group with quite little effort. Furthermore, the involvement of the business networks of internal employees especially the line management will play an important role. Recruiting with such an approach enables companies to find and hire top qualified employees and therefore the generated benefits through social business networks grow. In general, it can be said that companies have to simplify the application process for potential employees and social business networks allow enterprises to do that. In the next few years it s imaginable that people will more often be able to apply for a job with their mobile devices (smartphones, tablets, etc.) by sending their personal social business network profile instead of a CV. Today with the current available technologies it s already possible to operate like this, but it is necessary that also HR departments of enterprises adapt to this new way of thinking and start to set up these general conditions to support this trend. Table 16: Future application of social business networks in enterprises Carlo Colicchio, Iso Demirkaya, Alex Hächler 41/72

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