Job Seekers Turn to Facebook for Job Hunting

Facebook is emerging as the leading social network when it comes to job hunting. By a margin approaching 2-to-1, job seekers credit Facebook with helping them get their current job.

LinkedIn ran a distant second, with 46 percent of job seekers attributing their job to that business-oriented network. Twitter, the short messaging network, got a thumbs-up for its job help from 36 percent.

Those are among the findings of Jobvite’s Social Job Seeker Survey 2011 released this morning. The survey doesn’t say how the social networking helped the job-seekers. Other data suggests it may mean seekers researched the companies on social networks, reached out to their contacts for information, got a referral, or were contacted directly. Since most job seekers use more than one social network, the numbers add up to more than 100 percent.

In terms of sheer numbers, the results are not too surprising. Facebook has in excess of 800 million members, while LinkedIn has about 135 million. What is surprising, however, is that by an even larger margin recruiters in an earlier Jobvite survey reported making hires through LinkedIn.

Nevertheless, regardless of which social network they prefer, job seekers with the most contacts do more job hunting and get better results than their counterparts with fewer than 150 connections, friends, or followers. Of these “super social” job seekers as Jobvite calls them, 28 percent found a job directly through their online social networking.

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As you might expect, Facebook has the largest percentage of super social job seekers — 37 percent — compared to LinkedIn’s 10 percent and Twitter’s 11 percent. Super socials, as the Jobvite survey discovered, are young and strong earners: 62% percent are under 40; 42 percent earn over $75,0;0, and 40 percent have a college degree. They divide almost evenly on gender with 49 percent female.

“Our new national survey shows that socially savvy job seekers have an advantage over their fellow job hunters and it’s paying off,” said Dan Finnigan, Jobvite president and CEO. “While referrals are still the top source of new jobs, online social networks play an increasingly important role in job hunting today.”

One curious data point is the number of workers who, Jobvite reports, say they find their job through social networking. Jobvite puts the count at more than 22 million, an increase of 7.6 million since its 2010 survey. If that’s accurate, then 15.8 percent of the 48 million jobs filled in the year ending Sept. 30 would be the result of social networks.

John Zappe is the editor of and a contributing editor of John was a newspaper reporter and editor until his geek gene lead him to launch his first website in 1994. He developed and managed online newspaper employment sites and sold advertising services to recruiters and employers. Before joining ERE Media in 2006, John was a senior consultant and analyst with Advanced Interactive Media and previously was Vice President of Digital Media for the Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

Besides writing for ERE, John consults with staffing firms and employment agencies, providing content and managing their social media programs. He also works with organizations and businesses to assist with audience development and marketing. In his spare time  he can be found hiking in the California mountains or competing in canine agility and obedience competitions.

You can contact him here.


15 Comments on “Job Seekers Turn to Facebook for Job Hunting

  1. Facebook is credited with helping job seekers get jobs with a 2:1 margin – yet Linkedin is attributed with 46% and Twitter gets 36% of the credit?

    I’m not a mathlete. I’m a recruiter. These numbers sound to me like something created by someone selling something….perhaps Facebook job listing “help”?

    Am I the only one getting tired of the fake stats out here? And once we offically ban Linkedin from the “social recruiting” category and put it in the Job Board category (where it clearly belongs) all the “Social Recruiting” stats will show the real story…..

  2. I am not mathlete as well – but if there are 7 times more people on Facebook than on LinkedIn, and only twice as many are crediting Facebook in helping them finding their job, does that not make LinkedIn 3 times more likely to help you find a job?

    Good comment about LinkedIn Jerry. The only actual difference between LinkedIN and a job board is that LinkedIn has this semi-free CV database. They give you this ‘Networking’ as a teaser buy the Recruiter Acount.

  3. It would have been more meaningful if Jobvite could split these stats into experience and skills. Just a number doesn’t signify much.

  4. I’m no real mathlete either, but I do like data. Something doesn’t work about this math.

    46% used LI and 36% used Twitter. That’s 82%. If FB is 2:1 better than the others, they are getting 164% of the candidate market. Sounds fishy to me.

    I’m with you Jerry. We can use data to paint any picture, if we “massage” the data in the right way.

  5. Note the line in the post that says: “Since most job seekers use more than one social network, the numbers add up to more than 100 percent.”

    The math is right. Ditto the percentages.

  6. Hello! Thank you very much for this interesting post. I think me and my company should also at least try to use FB as a tool to find employees. Thank you very much for this brilliant idea! Check out our company’s web site in case you are looking for a better job position: screen recorder

  7. One so called expert is qouted as saying
    “Some people are so smart they market themselves both on-line and off-line as a product, yet other people (the unemployed) are so dumb”.

    “This so called expert goes on to say he knows of at least 5 companies that will be using Facebook exclusively to recruit people from the bottom right to the director and VP level”.

  8. Thanks, Jim.
    At the risk of unknowingly criticizing one of our Gentle Readers/Writers, shouldn’t the word “expert” be replaced by the word “idiot” or “jerk”?


  9. The person in question actually posted a link to this on LinkedIn. One of his most famous qoutes is

    “5 of my clients landed senior level jobs through the use of Twitter exclusively”.

    In your job search you will find so-called experts who will try to milk you, and take advantage of your situation. Please don’t let it happen to you.

  10. I saw the link to this article on LinkedIn in which there was a lively discussion.

    The following concern was noted
    I would caution people, however, not to open up their main personal account for all to see, especially if there are lampshades and dancing on tables involved, or if they have some friends that may not reflect well on them professionally.
    My advice: Lock down your personal main “friend” page, and all privacy settings, as much as possible. Then, create a career page via the Pages application accessed via the section on the left side of the home screen. If you don’t set your privacy options carefully, everything you post on Facebook could be seen by your current employer or a prospective employer. Inappropriate postings have cost job seekers offers and have caused employees to be fired.
    Companies turning to Facebook for senior positions as opposed to LinkedIn (or a professional web presence) are in the minuscule minority, and will likely remain so for the foreseeable future. Gen Ys and earlier don’t seem to be so concerned about Internet privacy as Gen Xs and Boomers, which is possibly misguided — and has proved to be dangerous at times.
    Job seekers using FB during their search should know that it is like mixing their personal lives with their professional lives – something that most tend to want to avoid.
    “Should You Use Facebook for Job Recruiting?” from

    to which the so called expert responded
    Since I posted this I have heard of another major Canadian company with thousands of employees going to solely recruit through Facebook sometime in 2013

  11. I’ve been a staffing solutions specialist for years and I feel that Linkedin is a far superior staffing solution than is Facebook. I mean honestly, does it get any better? Linked has a candidates profile/resume with dates for goodness sakes, and facebook just has a personal profile. With Facebook you can’t tell someone’s work history very well, yet with Linkedin it’s right there in front of you. Linkedin wins hands down.

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