Being active is better than being passive 99.9 percent of the time, and that makes LinkedIn a natural fit for talent scouting. Because of the nature of participating bank alumni organizations, special interest groups and user profiles, LinkedIn is an electronic conference reception that puts HR execs in the middle of the talent pool.

"In recruiting we've known for a long time that leveraging a personal network is the best way to identify talent. Social networking allows us to automate the networking process," says Paul Barnes, employment and executive search manager for BB&T.

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