Over the last three years, social networks have experienced exponential growth. Employee networks have grown accordingly, offering access to structured career data through sites like LinkedIn in particular, and unstructured data through networks like Facebook. Employees are continually adding new contacts and growing personal networks. Job posting tools that share jobs into social networks are often described as social referral tools, though this is an inaccurate and misleading description. The more sophisticated of these tools create unique links for sharing that enable employers to identify which of their employees originated the share. This is useful for recognition and reward, whilst the practice of sharing jobs in the wider network is to be encouraged in order to reach job seekers who are browsing or using search engines to identify opportunities.
Job seekers are increasingly connecting with their peers in organizations they want to work for. Encouraging employees to share jobs into their networks offers the potential to reach these connections, but it is only a chance. A direct message is always going to prove to be more effective.