6 Shocking Job Search Statistics You Need to Know

job search, search statistics, job seeker

*This article has been updated as of March 2020.

Our SXSW session was a huge hit, and we discussed some amazing myths and misconceptions job seekers often have about recruiters, social media, and the hiring process. While our SXSW presentation covered these topics in more detail, here are six of the biggest misconceptions that job seekers have about recruiting and hiring that leave job seekers angry, upset, and confused. I’ve also included a copy of our presentation at the end of this blog post.

Only 4% of Recruiters Don’t Use Social Media in Hiring

Social media is a great way for employers to share information about their company and the work environment. It also allows recruiters to connect with and actively search for candidates. This practice is called sourcing. Think of sourcers as recruiting researchers who are combing every nook and cranny of the internet, including a candidate’s social media profiles, to find qualified candidates who can fill some of their hardest job openings, especially knowledge workers, STEM positions, and engineering.


LinkedIn is a Recruiter’s Number 1 Social Network

LinkedIn is a recruiter’s number 1 choice when it comes to social media tools for recruitment and hiring, as shown in the graphic below. Job candidates who wish to be found by recruiters should optimize their LinkedIn profiles for maximum search, update their profiles to include photos, recommendations, join groups, and work experience.

Social Media is the Job Search Equalizer

Recruiters Spend 6 Seconds Viewing a Resume

According to a heat map study, the average recruiter spends 6 seconds viewing a resume, making your social media presence and profiles more valuable than ever. It’s important to evaluate how recruiters are using all types of media including your resume, cover letter, and social profiles in order to make the best and longest-lasting impression with a recruiter at your preferred company.

Recruiters Spend 6 Seconds Viewing a Candidate Resume

50% of Candidates Are Considering a New Job

It’s a job seeker’s market right now, especially in the healthcare and technology industries. Because of the robust economy, a reported 50% of candidates are considering making a career change this year, which is why recruiters are actively working to build relationships with passive job seekers in the hopes they will reach out to him/her once they have made the decision to begin considering new employment opportunities.

50% of Job Seekers are Considering Making a Career Change in 2016

51% of Companies Are Googling Candidates

While recruiters are actively using social media for employment branding, connecting with candidates, and sourcing, they are also googling candidates as part of the hiring and selection process. Fifty-one percent of companies are using search engines like google to research, search, and check up on candidates. This is in addition to the background and reference check process.

51% of recruiters are Googling job candidates

90% of Job Seekers Use Mobile in Their Job Search

As a job seeker, you rely on mobile to research employers and look for jobs. Ninety-percent of job seekers use mobile at some point in their job search. However, the hiring process remains difficult using a mobile device. It’s hard to complete a 45-minute application on a 5 1/2 inch screen. Recruiters know this, but adding and adopting new technology like mobile-enabled hiring is a slow process. As a new employee to a company,  you can help accelerate mobile adoption by talking with your head of recruiting and HR about how important mobile was in your recent job search.

90% of job seekers use mobile in their job search

I get it. The hiring process is weird and often has unwritten but expected rules for candidates to know and follow. And that is the exact reason I’m taking the time to talk about how recruiters use or don’t use social media in their hiring process. Even though it’s a job seeker’s market, I believe it’s important for job seekers to understand the methodologies behind how human resources and recruiting pros are using social networks to find their candidates.

Bonus: Only the Top 2% of Candidates Get Interviews

Only 2% of candidates receive a job interview meaning that 98% of job seekers are unqualified for the role.

Copy of Our SXSW Presentation on Resumes Suck!

The response to our presentation at SXSW on job search strategies using social media has been huge. You can take a look at the presentation below. I’ve developed some additional resources as a result of questions from our session and readers on the blog including email templates for job seekers to use when communicating with recruiters. Leave a comment and I’ll be happy to answer your question and point you to the right information.

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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Learn more about Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource, and the host of the Workology Podcast. More of her blogs can be found here.

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