These days, if you don’t know what social networking is, you’re probably living on a deserted island somewhere—without access to high-tech resources. That doesn’t mean everyone is happily and totally clued-in to incorporating social networking in his/her job search or that all companies make extensive and effective use of it in their recruiting activities.
In the interests of full disclosure, I should mention that I consider I’m doing well if I can make good use of my LinkedIn membership (I’m working on it and making progress). I’m way behind that on Facebook, and Twitter isn’t even on my horizon at this point. However, I know plenty of people—job seekers, employers and professional colleagues—who are actively engaged in these social networks with regard to job search, career management and business operations, although admittedly to varying degrees.
I’ve just been looking at two survey reports produced by Jobvite that make for thought-provoking reading. One survey deals with employer recruiting practices; the other focuses on job seekers’ social network use. I found it particularly interesting that, as is often the case, the same general subjects can be viewed differently from different perspectives, with results that might sometimes appear to contradict each other.
For instance, 95% of employers surveyed said they had successfully hired through LinkedIn, 24% through Facebook and 16% through Twitter. On the other hand, 78% of job seekers responding to the job seeker survey indicated that Facebook most frequently led to their current job, while 40% cited LinkedIn and 42% mentioned Twitter.
Are you a “Super Social” job seeker or a “Proactive” job seeker? I’m not a big fan of labeling people, but Jobvite’s job seeker survey does just that. According to them, a proactive job seeker is currently employed but would consider the possibility of a new job. The super social job seeker has 150 or more contacts in any given social network and actively uses networks for a job search.
The two surveys shared common ground in at least one area, though. Both ranked referrals as a valued resource. Employers said employee referrals were 8.6 on a scale of 10 for best outside talent, and a lot of them paid employee referral bonuses. Thirty-six percent (36%) of job seekers indicated that professional or personal contact referrals led to finding their current or most recent job. So, in many ways, it’s still “who you know” that counts most.