In December 2012 the Boston-based software company Bullhorn, had 1,848 professionals from US and Canadian recruitment agencies completed its survey that shed some light on how modern headhunters look for job-seekers. It turned out that whopping 98% of respondents used social media for recruiting in 2012. Social media meant mostly LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Blogs, and Pintrest.
The main reason of using social media, as recruiters put it, was an increased access to passive candidates (ones who are not applying for published positions). A great deal of jobs, some say 70%, are never published and filled by either in-house rotations or passive candidates. Do you want to be a lucky passive candidate found by a recruiter? Your LinkedIn profile had better look great. You are being sought and analyzed by people who may change your life.
Why LinkedIn? Well, another study of activity of 160,000 recruiters in 2012 performed by the same company showed that 97% recruiters used LinkedIn, and, moreover, 64% used only LinkedIn for social recruitment. Please note the “social recruitment” clause, meaning that other channels they used to find candidates lay outside social networks. 22% respondents used Facebook, and 27% used Twitter for recruiting in 2012.
A similar company Jobvite, based in the San Francisco Bay area, conducted a poll of about 1,000 recruiters in June 2012 and found that 89% of them had made at least one hire through LinkedIn, 26% through Facebook, and 15% through Twitter. Keep in mind that the survey was performed a year ago, when LinkedIn’s audience was two-thirds of its current size.
LinkedIn with its 238 million members (as of August 1, 2013) is positioning itself as a network for professionals. That image may be the major reason why LinkedIn beats might Facebook (1.15 billion users as of June 2013) and Twitter (more than 555 million users as of July 2013) when dealing with the job market.
That fact that other social networks are being used by recruiters and employers should be kept in mind as well. They may not find you candidacy through Facebook, but they may check your profiles on all social networks (unless you are a low-paid and easily replaceable employee). Nearly 37% companies used social networks to research job candidates, according to a 2012 survey from CareerBuilder. Of the employers who did not research candidates on social media, 11% said they planned to start doing so. On the CareerBuilder’s website you can find nicely laid out information on how your social networking can screw up or help your job hunting efforts. Just bear in mind that as of August 2013 that information was about 1.5 year old.
Start working on your profiles before you are desperate for a new job. Most job-hunting experts advise to be prepared all the time, even if you are happily married to your employer and foresee no threat to this love.
So, the rule of thumb is to make your LinkedIn profile as professional and polished as possible; other online profiles of yours should be either poorly visible by people outside your circle or boringly perfect.