Despite LinkedIn’s professional focus, it’s Facebook that’s leading social networks to become a major way people find new jobs. 16% of those unemployed and looking, employed and looking, or employed and open to a new job said “an online social network directly led to finding their current/most recent job”, according to a new Jobvite study. Of these 22.1 million Americans, 78% attributed their job to Facebook, while 40% cited assistance from LinkedIn, and 42% cited Twitter. The findings should signal HR departments and recruiters of the importance of social networks, and especially Facebook, to their success.
Last year, just 11% of job seekers had found their latest gig from a social network. The rise of Facebook as a job source can be in part tied to the proliferation of tools that harness the social network’s biographical data and massive user base. BranchOut released its Recruiter Connect enterprise search product, and Jobvite, Work4 Labs, and Monster.com now provide ways to distribute job openings through Facebook.
A year ago, Facebook redesigned the profile to make work info immediately visible, which prompted more users to keep it up to date. Combined with the size of the user base and the frequency with which they visit the site, recruiters can both search a larger pool of applicants and expose job listings to a larger audience using Facebook than LinkedIn.
The dedicated professional social network is still very important for recruiting high profile white collar employees. However, as Facebook improves privacy controls to make it easier to count both professional and personal contacts as friends, it is chipping away at LinkedIn’s value-add for the blue collar work force.
Update: Jobvite changed some of the stats in the study since first sharing them with us. This article now reflects the latest data on job seeker use of social networks.