What social media do IT candidates use for job hunting?



What social media do IT candidates use for job hunting? 20th November 2019

There have been many words written and videos produced about the benefits of social recruiting. Some of it comes from social media platforms and social media tools that have a vested interest in promoting this view. So where are the objective facts? Read on.

To get some impartial evidence, we decided to survey over 800 IT candidates (a mix of contract and permanent staff) to get their view of using social media to find jobs.

30% of IT staff say they have never applied for a job advertised on social media.

First things first; LinkedIn. The debate about whether LinkedIn is a job board or social media continues. Our view is that it’s a hybrid; part job board, part social media.

What cannot be debated is its dominance of social media recruitment. Half the candidates we surveyed said they had used LinkedIn to find a job (see Chart).

IT candidate's top social media for jobs

However, while almost two-thirds of contract workers have used LinkedIn to find work, surprisingly, only a third of permanent staff have used it. Social recruitment is complicated.

There could be an argument the nature of LinkedIn means visitors use it for more than job hunting. After all, it is also a social media platform. Therefore, analysing the traffic to LinkedIn could give a false positive – not every visitor is seeking a new job.

However, we carried out some additional research to understand why people use LinkedIn. Over 750 IT staff responded and guess what? Finding a new job or updating their CV was the main reason. The full result is below:

  •     • Find jobs or update CV 49%

  •     • Research people or firms 23%

  •     • Read posts and articles 17%

  •     • Post your opinion/ideas 11%

LinkedIn’s dominance means there is little room for Facebook, Twitter or other social media. Facebook’s attempt in 2018 to move into LinkedIn’s territory seems to have had limited success with UK IT candidates. But it should be remembered that Facebook was always targeting blue-collar workers, not white-collar IT experts.

There is also a clear preference between freelance and permanent staff on which of the two runners-up they prefer. Facebook scores 11% with permanent staff and just 1% with contractors; Twitter scores 8% with contractors and 2% with permanent job seekers.

The picture becomes even more complicated when we take into account that 30% of IT staff say they have never applied for a job advertised on social media.

So what is best practice, and where is the value in social recruiting? Here are some tips:

1) Take into account the platform preferences expressed by contract and permanent IT staff (Twitter for contractors, Facebook for permanent staff). Research your existing candidates/staff to discover if they use other platforms (Stack Overflow?).

2) Create content that candidates want to digest. Our research suggests job advertisements may not appeal to everyone, but blog articles with tips from IT experts have better engagement (especially with passive candidates)… and think ‘video’. You are one of the few people that still read blogs 😊

3) Social media (particularly LinkedIn) is an excellent research tool. That alone makes it valuable. Reach out to the followers of existing candidates or staff to find new talent – but within the limits of UK data laws.

What is your experience of social resourcing and have you scientifically examined the response and return-on-investment (not forgetting the amount of time social media can consume)? Share your experience in the Comments below or download our report ‘IT Talent Acquisition; the candidate’s view‘.



2019 Report: IT Talent Acquisition; the candidate’s view

This report includes figures on hot topics such as how social media, job boards and mobile phone Apps are rated by IT candidates. It also examines the increasing importance of work:life balance for IT staff, and the approaches that work best to attract permanent or contract job seekers. Our 8-page document includes 12 charts and tables plus valuable insight covering subjects such as…

• Where do candidates search for IT jobs?
• Which job boards do IT candidates prefer?
• What social media do IT candidates use?
• What attracts IT candidates to a company?
• What influences IT staff to leave?

Download the free report now and gain a competitive advantage in the hunt for IT talent.

IT Talent Acquisition; the candidates's view 2019
Graham Smith

Author: Graham Smith

An award-winning, Marketing Director with over 25 years’ experience in direct marketing (including digital marketing, social media, marketing automation and direct mail)… the full marketing mix.

A Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) and member of the Institute of Data Marketing (IDM), Graham was also part of the ‘GDPR Working Party’ at the Data Marketing Association (DMA) and was a Council member at the DMA for 3 years. He is a published author on the subject of marketing, his first book is titled ‘Telemarketing kills kittens‘.

The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the view and opinion of Curo Services.

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