Industry Market Trends

Social Media Gives Rise to New Employment Opportunities

Nov 26, 2013

Social media has altered the way hiring managers and job candidates communicate with each other. Today the question is no longer if employers are using social media in their hiring practice, but how.

Job hunters increasingly use social media to network professionally, expand their search, and share information about prospective jobs and careers. For employers, social media has fundamentally altered the recruitment process, broadening access to a much larger pool of candidates, according to the latest Kelly Global Workforce Index (KGWI), an annual survey conducted by workforce solutions provider Kelly Services, Inc.

As the use of social media in recruiting proliferates, many more individuals are offered new job opportunities.

In a survey of approximately 21,000 people across North America and Brazil, Kelly Services found that 41 percent -- nearly two in five respondents -- have been contacted via social media about an employment opportunity in the past year. Fourteen percent of the respondents said they landed a job through social media during the same period.

In the United States, 39 percent of respondents said they have been contacted about a potential job opportunity via a social media site or network, and 11 percent said they secured a job through social media during the same period.

"The phenomenon is not confined to younger generations," Kelly Services said in an announcement of the findings. "While more Gen Y (18 percent) secured a job in the past year through social media, 14 percent of Gen X and 12 percent of Baby Boomers did so."

The highest incidence of individuals contacted over social media about a job occurred among people with professional and technical skills. At least half of respondents in areas such as engineering (54 percent), IT (54 percent), and sales (52 percent) were contacted for jobs via social media in the previous year, while 46 percent of those with STEM-related skills in math and 42 percent in science were contacted in such a way.

There is a significantly lower rate of this occurring in industries such as light industrial (34 percent) and call center/customer service (40 percent), according to the KGWI findings.

Kelly Services' new data underscore how essential social media has become as a recruiting tool, as highlighted by other findings in recent months.

Recruitment platform Jobvite reported in September that social recruiting is now used by 94 percent of recruiters across industries. Nine out of 10 companies use LinkedIn and other social media in their recruiting strategy to search, contact, and vet candidates throughout the hiring process. Approximately one in three recruiters said that social media recruiting improved both the quantity and quality of candidates.

"It's no longer a question of 'Are recruiters using social media?'" Jobvite President and CEO Dan Finnigan said in an announcement of the findings. "It's a question of how. We've seen a significant jump in social media engagement over the years; in 2013, it's a given. Social recruiting provides a way to quickly and easily find those 'under the radar' candidates -- people who might not be actively looking for a role, but who are a perfect fit for open positions at your company."