While there’s been plenty of talk about the potential pitfalls social media presents for job applicants – best distilled in the advice, “no bong pics” – social media has also proved a boon for job seekers, and not just in terms of forging professional connections on LinkedIn. In fact, social media can take a lot of the tedious work out of applying for jobs, allowing jobseekers to apply for more positions with less effort.
On that note, last year 3.3 million job applications were completed using social media profiles to pre-populate online submission forms, according to data from iCIMS, a software-as-service provider focused on talent acquisition, which surveyed data from over 3,200 customers with Hanover Research. Jobseekers used social media profiles including LinkedIn, Google+, and Facebook to complete job applications using pre-population functions. Breaking the figures down, 61% used LinkedIn to pre-populate forms, while 22% used Google+ and 17% used Facebook.
By industry, information, construction, and leisure and hospitality industries saw the highest share of applications submitted via social network profiles last year. Interestingly LinkedIn saw more applications for smaller companies, while bigger companies prevailed on Google+ and Facebook.
As the unemployment rate continues to fall, social recruitment can provide a competitive advantage for employers looking for talent, as well as a new area of opportunity for people who are traditionally marginalized in online job markets.
Last year a new social network, Jobcase, launched an online community and mobile app with curated career resources, aggregated job listings, and job search and management tools including online applications, for workers and jobseekers in service industry and blue-collar jobs, specifically targeting jobseekers with a high school diploma or less for educational credentials.
In 2014 another company, Apploi, created a video platform that allows job applicants for service industry positions to use mobile devices to respond to interactive questionnaires and upload clips demonstrating their skills -- for example, a bartender making a cosmopolitan, a retail sales associate folding a pile of 10 jeans in two minutes, or a hair stylist crafting a new look. Apploi also operates a network of interactive kiosks at community colleges, shopping malls, and employment fairs, so jobseekers without mobile devices can still use the service.