Social Networks Play Bigger Role in Hiring and Recruitment Credit: Saniphoto | Dreamstime.com

Job-seekers looking to increase their chances of employment need to have their LinkedIn page up to snuff, new research suggests.

In a study conducted by SelectMinds, a developer of social recruiting and community management solutions, a majority of businesses said they are increasingly turning to social media in their search for the company's next star employee.

More than 80 percent of surveyed HR professionals said they are using social networks to help them recruit candidates. Specifically, 79 percent search LinkedIn, 65 percent have a company page on LinkedIn, and 63 percent have a dedicated Facebook page established for jobs and careers.

The survey of more than 200 executives also found that a number of businesses are creating their own in-house social network.

While the majority of surveyed businesses using social media maintain the usual Facebook pages, LinkedIn groups and Twitter accounts, 63 percent said their companies are creating corporate social networks for things like job listings, training, benefit and incentive information and updates on company events and company news.

The survey also examined the ways in which companies evaluate the effectiveness of social media; common metrics included tracking the number of hires that came via social networks, visitors to the business' website and the number of Facebook fans .

Very few reported measuring effectiveness financially — in terms of either reduced expenses or increased revenue.

Anne Berkowitch, CEO of SelectMinds, said businesses are beyond the leap-of-faith stage with their social media programs. She said they have them up and running, and owners know they can produce good results.

"They just can’t agree on how best to quantify them," Berkowitch said.