Nearly Half of Gen Z and Millennials With Work Experience Have Applied to Jobs Found on Social Media

Career Climbers / 25th August 2022

A new U.S. study conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of CareerArc reveals that while 86% of employed Americans say they are very or somewhat happy in their current job, 50% are currently looking for a new job, 36% passively and 14% actively. And job seekers are turning to social media to find work: 58% of job seekers search for information about potential employers on social media and 48% of both Gen Z (ages 18-25) and Millennials (ages 26-41) with work experience have applied to job opportunities they found on social media. The study further showcases how job seekers interact with social media in the job search process as well as employees’ involvement in sharing their company’s social media content on personal social channels.

“With US employers adding 528,000 jobs in July – surpassing economists’ forecasts and returning to pre-pandemic levels – the war for great talent and how organizations are recruiting continues to be at the forefront of business goals,” said Jim Bramante, Chairman and CEO at CareerArc, the only social recruiting platform purpose-built for talent acquisition. “This data presents a clear picture of how critical a tool social media is for today’s jobseekers and the companies trying to recruit them.”

Social media is an important resource for job seekers, especially younger generations
The data found that more than 2 in 5 job seekers (45%) say social media is very important to their job search. When breaking down how candidates search for jobs by generation, Boomers (ages 58-76) with work experience are the least likely generation to have discovered job opportunities on social media (12%) with Gen Z (62%) and Millennials (56%) being much more likely to have discovered job opportunities on social media and Gen X (ages 42-57) sitting in the middle at 31%. Further supporting the use of social media for job searching by younger generations, Gen Z (48%) and Millennials (48%) with work experience are more likely to have applied to job opportunities they found on social media than Gen X (24%) or Boomers (7%) with work experience. Aside from discovering and applying to jobs found on social media, about half of Gen Z and Millennials with work experience use social media to tap their networks for the best opportunities: Gen Z (48%) and Millennials (47%) with work experience are more likely than Gen X (23%) and Boomers (8%) with work experience to have connected with recruiters/employees through social media and/or employees of prospective employers on social media (e.g., Twitter, TikTok, LinkedIn), and 49% of Gen Z and 47% of Millennials with work experience have reached out to peers on social media for job leads. 

Social media reaches and attracts diverse candidates
When surveying how job seekers interact with social media by race/ethnicity, the data showed that Hispanic and Black Americans with work experience are far more likely than their White counterparts to say they have discovered job opportunities on social media (49% and 46% vs 28%). Additionally, Black and Hispanic Americans with work experience are more likely than their White counterparts to say they’ve used social media to apply to job opportunities(42% and 39% vs 21%), connected with recruiters and employees at prospective employers(42% and 35% vs 21%), and reached out to peers for job leads (42% and 37% vs 21%).

Employees are open to participating in social media-based employee advocacy programs
With this many jobseekers turning to social media as a major tool in their job search, the way organizations present themselves on platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook – and the extent of their reach with jobs and career-related content – is central to their success in recruiting top candidates. When it comes to getting employees involved in social media, half of employed Americans (50%) say they would share their company’s social media content (e.g., job postings, employee spotlights, team events, news articles) on their personal social channels, with nearly a third of employed Americans (30%) saying they already have. That number skyrockets by generation with Gen Z (66%) and Millennial (67%) employees far more likely to say they would share their company’s social media content on their personal social channels than Gen X (43%) or Boomer (19%) employees. “This begs the question of how organizations can do a better job of encouraging employees to share employer content and be active participants in their talent acquisition strategy,” said Bramante.

The survey found that 26% of employed Americans say they would be more likely to share their company social media content on their personal social channels if their company (e.g., my manager, senior leadership) simply asked them to. In addition to this, 24% say they would be more likely to share company social media if they had a direct connection to the content (e.g., open position in their department, business update for the work they were involved with). Furthermore, just over 1 out of 4 Gen Z (27%) and Millennial (27%) employees would be more likely to post their company’s social media content if their company made it easier, such as by providing the content and/or templates.

“The value candidates are placing on a company’s social media content and presence makes social recruiting and employee advocacy more important than ever,” said Bramante. “It’s clear that when it comes to hiring, Gen Z and Millennials are turning to social media, whether it’s to find job openings or to assess what your company culture is like, and they’re willing to get involved in company social media if employers simply ask.”

Check out the full report here

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