A recent survey by is the latest evidence to show that social media is playing an increasingly important role in job searching. The results, illustrated in the infographic below, also show that the popularity of social media varies greatly depending on the gender and the professional level of the job hunter.

In the survey of 500 business leaders and 500 other adults in Greater London, 43% of respondents said that they used social media when searching for a job. Looking beyond this figure reveals some further insights:

  • 43% of respondents said that they used social media when searching for a job
  • 52% of men said they would use social media compared to just 33% of women
  • 30% of business leaders said they would look for their next role using LinkedIn compared with just 13% of other respondents

See some tips at How To Use Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn for Your Job Search.

Are employers adopting social media?

While 43% of job searchers are looking on social media sites, only 14% of employers surveyed said that they were marketing their job vacancies via these channels. This is a big disparity when compared to other more ‘traditional’ job search media, which tend to be well utilised by employers.

Recruitment websites remained the most popular job search tool, with 67% of all respondents saying they used them to find a job. 34% of employers said they advertised on these sites.
However, employers should not take it for granted that the websites they choose are marketing their vacancies on social media on their behalf.

Only 3 of 8 of the biggest national UK job boards have LinkedIn groups where they can speak directly to members about vacancies. 5 of 8 advertised jobs on Twitter, with, and using both of these channels on behalf of their clients. In London, only use both LinkedIn and Twitter.

An opportunity or threat for employers?

As new channels become popular with job searchers, employers must adapt their recruitment strategies and integrate more channels. The job can seem to become more complex. But using social media, if well executed, can be a low-cost method for employers to integrate into their existing recruitment processes.

The survey data shows that 43% of employers advertise vacancies on their own website. Although it’s the most popular single channel, this is actually a fairly low figure, considering 52% of job searchers surveyed said that they look directly to employers for roles.

Improved marketing of these roles using corporate sites as a hub for social media activity is a relatively low-cost strategy. Furthermore the control that employers have over this channel allows them to look at long term investment in search engine optimisation (SEO).

The infographic below shows that UK Google searches including the word ‘job’ peaked at 39% higher in June 2011 than June 2010. Faster and more comprehensive indexing of web pages by Google means that advertisements on well-optimised websites can be found by searchers directly on search engines.

With 48% of job searchers surveyed saying that they ask friends and family about possible opportunities, asking existing employees to refer candidates, in person or using their own personal networks on the likes of LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter is also becoming a bigger opportunity for HR departments and employers.

The lesson to be learned is that employers should consider how and when social media is used by job hunters. As for the right strategy to source the right candidates, that will depend on the employers own specific set of circumstances.

London based consultancy Link Humans are social recruiting experts that can help your company use social media to attract the best talent.


About Jörgen Sundberg

Founder of Undercover Recruiter & CEO at Link Humans, a social and digital marketing agency.

Get weekly recruiting and career tips direct to your inbox!

Load Comments