One of the fastest-growing recruiting trends in recent years has been social recruiting—searching and scouting people on social media networks, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter—to fill open positions. With billions of people using social networks, it’s no wonder that recruiters are turning to them to find potential candidates.

One of the most popular social media networks, LinkedIn has made its niche more in the “professional” than the “social” world, attracting millions of professionals interested in networking for business and career purposes. Yet, recruiters aren’t only turning to LinkedIn to find talent. Based on sheer numbers, Facebook’s more than a billion active monthly users are hard to resist for recruiters. And Twitter’s growing popularity is also hard to ignore.

The next contender in the fight is Google Plus. Launched in 2011, Google Plus has become the second-largest social network, with more than 300 million active monthly users (much less than Facebook’s 1.19 billion, but slightly higher than Twitter’s reported 232 million active monthly users, and more than LinkedIn’s 184 million monthly unique visitors).

Google Plus provides another great channel for finding and recruiting candidates. Its platform offers some advantages and opportunities, such as unique search features (powered by the world’s largest search engine, no less) and a new way to connect with people and put your company’s brand out there.

As a recruiting tool, Google Plus has many “pluses,” such as:

  • Circles and communities. Using Google Plus’s Circle feature, you can group people into different categories, effectively creating different talent pools depending on your needs, organized by location, keywords, level of acquaintance, etc. Communities are groups (like those on Facebook and LinkedIn) that can be kept private or public, to draw people into conversations and discussions about topics relevant to your company and your recruiting needs.
  • Better communication. Thanks to Circles, you can address your communications directly to the group you want to reach, without spamming all your connections. This makes for much more effective communication, say when you have a job post to share and can share it just with the people in the geographical area the job is located in, or with only those who have the necessary skills.
  • Distribute content. By creating a Google Plus account for your company, you’ll have a new avenue for getting your information out there. You can share information about your work, and even post open positions or make announcements.
  • Brand yourself. Once on Google Plus, you can tailor your tone and approach to fit your company, thus creating a brand—a voice that people who come across it will recognize as your company’s. This can help strengthen your identity and make you more appealing to potential candidates.
  • SEO. Activity on Google Plus translates into visibility online. The more content you create and share on Google Plus, the more your company will come up in search results.
  • Hangout. Possibly Google Plus’ most popular feature is the Google Plus Hangout. This video conferencing interface is the perfect tool for starting a conversation with potential candidates. You can offer Hangouts with recruiters so that interested parties can learn more about working at your company. You can also do pre-interviews with candidates, talk to hiring managers across the country, and even offer training.
  • Search tools. When you begin to navigate the world of Google Plus, you’ll see how easy it is to search for and find people. Google Plus makes connection suggestions based on keywords. You can also search profiles, all of which are public, by keyword, location, or other categories, using a Boolean string. You can even use tools outside of Google Plus, such as FindPeopleOnPlus, to sort talent by industry, position, skills, location, etc., and get a list of Google Plus users in directory form, with links to their other social media accounts.

Although its users have grown more quickly than those of any other social network, and it has many features that can be useful in recruiting, Google Plus hasn’t quite established itself as well as Facebook and LinkedIn have among the general public. Using it exclusively from other social networks in your recruiting might not be the best strategy, since you would be missing a big piece of the talent pie, simply due to the lack of active users.

However, if you’re looking for technology professionals—social media experts, IT professionals, software developers, etc.—then Google Plus should definitely be part of your recruiting arsenal, since its user base is skewed heavily toward those professions.

If social recruiting is part of your strategy, give Google Plus a chance. You may find it fits in very well with your needs, or it may turn into a backup option for you. As to whether Google Plus will surpass all of the other social networks to become the most effective tool for recruiting new talent, only time will tell.

Andreea Hrab

International HR Director for OSF Global Services, Andreea is a veteran recruiter who has seen them all. She developed HR recruiting strategies and retention programs that guarantees the success of the company. She is a people person and she handles very easy new relationships with new employees, but her most interesting challenge is to find the middle way between company’s best interests and employee’s needs. To learn more about Andreea contact her on LinkedIn.


  • Avatar Stacey Cobbs says:

    I just don’t understand the bias towards Google Plus which most recruiters have think it’s definitely worth using for recruitment. As it was mentioned in the article the goggle plus community is close to half a billion members and is constantly growing. Why would any recruiter want to dismiss this opportunity to reach out to such a big talent pool?

  • Avatar Dan Backington says:

    I don’t think that at the moment G+ is worth efforts and time. LinkedIn and Facebook offer quite enough candidates to fill in the required positions and no one really wants to trifle one’s time away registering on new social network and setting up a new profile. I think that G+ will become a valuable network for recruiting, I just don’t think it’s the best choice today.

  • Avatar Nick says:

    G+ offers one unique feature LinkedIn and Facebook don’t have – Hangouts. Of course you can use Skype for interviews, but it’s more convenient to do everything on G+ – you find a candidate there, you contact him and conduct an interview not even leaving the page. I think it’s great.

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