Companies are rapidly turning to social media to sourcecandidates—not just to screen them out.
Social media continues to be the “it” trend for job search: In a recent survey by Jobvite, 68% of employers in small to mid-size companies reported using social media sites to source candidates, with more saying they planned to start within the next year. Of those using social media, 80% are using LinkedIn—a clear sign that the site has become the de-facto go-to resource for professional networking.

Twitter is rapidly transforming the social media landscape.
LinkedIn and Facebook may be well established social media platforms, but Twitter has emerged on the scene as the “game changer.” With a unique opt-out approach to creating networks and sharing information, Twitter is the new darling of social media. More than 72% of users joined in the first five months of 2009, and traffic increased by 1170% in October alone. Serial entrepreneur and trendsetter Jeff Pulver says that the worldwide adoption of Twitter is “as big as the introduction of the telegraph and/or telephone in the 20th century.” Mashable CEO Pete Cashmore reports that more than 5 million Twitter messages, referred to as Tweets, are exchanged every day; 25 billion have been created since the site was founded. As of April 2010, Twitter now has 105 million registered users, and reportedly adds an average of 300,000 new users per day.

Online applicant screening is alive and well.
In line with increased use among individuals, companies are also keeping pace with online presence. The New York Times reports that more than 45% of employers are actively using social media to screen applicants—with 35% ruling out candidates based on Facebook photos alone. The importance of monitoring online presence has become paramount—and is now just as important as having a typo-free resume.

New users of social media are all grown up.
Social media isn’t just for the millennial set; the fastest growing user population on Facebook is the 35+ set, and 59% of Twitter users are over 34.

There is a digital convergence in social media.
Through new agreements, system enhancements, and integration APIs (application programming interfaces), users can streamline applications and share content between sites such as LinkedIn and Twitter. Expect this trend to continue as emerging sites attempt to tap into the volume and reach of the current leaders.

Next up?
Expect companies to increasingly set policies on social media use for their own employees to follow as social media evolves. It’s been said of LinkedIn recommendations, “get them now from your colleagues—while you still can.”