Fifteen jobs posted a minute. 500,000 a month. Expected to reach 2 million a month by 2014.

VentureBeat recently touted the sheer volume of jobs being posted on Twitter, and even went so far as to venture (pun intended), "Is Twitter the new LinkedIn?"

These are impressive stats, but they ignore half of the equation – the job-seeker. Are job seekers actually applying to jobs through these channels? Are recruiters securing hires? Twitter could very well trounce LinkedIn when it comes to numbers, but it wouldn't matter much if the tweets never end in a handshake and a contract.
hashtagsThe biggest obstacle to that last step? Job-seekers view job tweets as the social media equivalent of wearing sparkly flip flops to an interview – or worse, noticing the hiring manager sporting a pair. According to Hyphen, job-seekers are fearful that social media will “undersell” them and won’t present them as “serious” professionals.” Hyphen’s survey revealed that 43.6 percent of candidates “prefer traditional methods of application” because of a “lack of faith in social media.” And almost a quarter of the professionals admitted that, even if they did apply via social media, they “wouldn’t expect their applications to be taken seriously.”

Twitter has always been an eclectic environment. Look no further than the F-bomb tracker, a site Gregg recently discovered, which shines a flashlight into the dark corners of the Twitterverse. Game shows like @Midnight exist solely to make fun of social media. At the same time, personal branding means that professional and social spheres are overlapping more than ever. How can anyone (or any company) keep the riffraff out? They can’t.

Hashtags illustrate this impossibility perfectly.  Depending on the user, hashtags such as #hired, #bestjobever, #needajob, and #jobless can be either serious or sarcastic. Or even just offhand. So despite being armed with emoticons and good intentions, sometimes our audience can’t tell the difference. The upshot is that the Twitter job arena is the slushiest of slush piles: whining teenagers appear alongside giant career hubs and desperate recruiters:

NeverJobTweet2

In this situation, a young woman tweets – offhandedly, with no other context but a frowny face – that she “needs a job.” Within minutes, a recruiter and a career site swoop in and tweet to the rescue.  But the “job seeker” had no intention of finding an opportunity through Twitter. On top of that, the offers ("You just scored access 2 our private jobs site") are spammy and dismissable as Craigslist ads. Finding no value in them whatsoever, the young woman responds, “Never tweet that you need a job, they will find you.” Which is exactly what the recruiters thought she wanted. Embarrassment ensued.

But maybe I’m wrong. Maybe you wound up hiring a brilliant candidate who started following you because of the brilliant career advice you always post. So, to get to the bottom of whether or not Facebook/Twitter produce results in the recruiting world, we’re sending out a survey to our Staffing Talk News of the Day subscribers on Thursday (to subscribe, email news@staffingtalk.com). Meanwhile, I leave you with some opinions on the matter, harvested from my personal Facebook poll:

“[Job tweets] seems spammy. I wouldn’t trust that the link I click on would actually take me somewhere legit. I would proabably assume that it would take me somewhere to steal my identity.”

“If it’s a legit posting, yes (I would apply), but if it’s just some B.S. ‘send us your resume and your email and we’ll see,’ like I see on Craigslist all the time, I wouldn’t bother.”

“Are companies actually hiring people that find them through posting on FB/Twitter, or is this just another way of creating a giant slush pile of applicants only to hire internally?”

“I’ve never seen a job posted on social media.”

“Yeah, there are a lot of candidates on social media, but there are a lot of potential candidates at the mall, too. Would you broadcast open positions at the mall?”

Tags: Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Craigslist, Industry, VentureBeat, Hyphen, Twitterverse, F-bomb tracker