October 01, 2012

Trends: Social Media and Recruiting

Based on a recent survey of online job-seekers, Jobvite unveiled social media usage trends by jobseekers. We analyze key findings of interest from the survey.

Social Media Participation

So, how many job seekers really use social media? The answer is not too difficult to predict given that the proverbial six degrees of separation has been further bridged thanks to virtual social media adoption going viral globally. A good 9 in 10 job seekers have profiles on at least one of the three sites- Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. But more than simply a job hunt or candidate search tool, social media is used more as an additional information source, by human resource analysts and recruiting firms for purposes such as background checks and general verification.

Who uses which social media site? There is little difference in distribution in usage of social media by different demographic segments.  The image positioning and the nature of social interaction platform provided by respective social media sites, do play a role in these differences though. College graduates and youth prefer Facebook as their primary source to connect with potential employers through friendly contacts. LinkedIn is more for professionals already employed and/or with experience, and is more popular with higher age groups and middle and higher managerial levels. Twitter is more for professional freelancers, with nearly half the job-seekers in the $75,000/per year and more income category.

How do recruiters react to content on social media? Interestingly, a quarter of the respondents were asked by potential recruiters to share their social media details. This expectedly did not go down well with candidates and met with a poor opinion of employer. The survey also links information posted on social media with recruiter reactions (see graph)

Which are the competing job channels for job-seekers? It is again interesting that despite all the hype about social media, it is a mere 1 in 6 job-seekers that claim they got that last job through contacts in social networks. Certainly not a mainstream option for job-seekers, online social networks, as compared with more traditional channels, ranks quite low as a source of most recent jobs (see chart below). Obviously serious job-seekers hunt through more focused means such as company websites, newspapers, jobsites, referrals, etc.