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Is Pinterest the Next Big Thing in Social Recruiting?

It’s been hailed as the fastest growing standalone site in history so is it something that recruiters should take seriously?

At TruLondon5 the discussions about Pinterest will be led by HR Communications and Technology Specialist Max Heywood. In this guest blog he sets the scene…

“Is Pinterest the next big thing in social networking? Comscore data shows Pinterest recently hit 11.7 million unique monthly U.S. visitors, crossing the 10 million mark faster than any other standalone site in history. Traffic to the website increased more than fourfold between September 2011 and December 2011 and it’s driving more traffic than Google+, YouTube and LinkedIn combined, according to a Shareaholic study. But what is it and how does it work?

Pinterest describes itself as a Virtual Pinboard that lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. The basic idea is that you create a number of Pinboards reflecting your interests, and then add images you like from websites that you visit to particular boards via a ‘Pin’ button installed in your bookmark bar. Pinned items build up in chronological order and link back to the original website where they were published when clicked. Other users can browse and follow boards, like and comment on pins and share or ‘re-pin’ items to their own boards. In fact re-pinning is massively viral according to RJMetrics research which found that over 80% of pins are re-pins. In contrast, a study done at a similar time in Twitter’s history showed that only about 1.4% of tweets were retweets.

Pinterest also includes good collaboration options so that you can invite friends to be contributors to a particular board and of course connects well with other social networks – every pin has a Facebook Like, Tweet, Email and Embed buttons. More importantly Pinterest does represent an evolution, from the so called social graph (or who people care about), to the interest graph (or what people care about). On Pinterest you don’t have to follow everything a person pins, you can just follow those boards which interest you.

To date popular Pinterest uses have been wedding planning, home decorating, and organising favourite recipes, reflecting the interests of it’s core user base – 18 to 34 year old upper income women from the American heartland – but the rapid user growth and data suggesting Pinterest is retaining and engaging users as much as 2-3 times as efficiently as Twitter was at a similar time in its history has attracted the attention of big brands.

Could there be applications for recruiting? Already candidates have started publishing CVs/Resumes into Pinterest. And there have been some early attempts at Jobs and Recruiting boards by innovative employers. Do these efforts mark the beginning of another wave of change or is Pinterest this year’s Quora, destined to fade away to a useful but niche forum that never attracts a mainstream audience? What do you think? I’ll be leading the debate at TruLondon5 on Wednesday 22nd February – hope you can join in the conversation!”

Make sure you keep checking our TruLondon event site to keep up with the conversation!






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  • @barryfurby

    Hmmm… I’m a huge advocate of Social Recruiting, I started and run a recruitment business for 3 years doing exactly that – but I also believe choosing a platform that suits my strategy, a platform where my candidates are and are happy to engage with recruiters… Pinterest? Really?

  • Max Patrick Heywood

    Not so long ago many people said candidates wouldn’t be happy to engage with recruiters on Facebook, and just look at the explosion of recruiting applications there now. Still many candidates remain wary of employers on Facebook and the exposure of personal information connecting with them might entail. If Pinterest user growth continues at it’s current rate your candidates will be there soon enough. And maybe the lack of personal information divulged will make them more open to recruitment approaches there.

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