Millennials Abandon Facebook. What It Means for Social Recruiting

Join us on Thursday, June 13th at 11 AM CST for a free webinar as we discuss Beyond Facebook: How to Recruit Millennials Online. Learn about social media usage, engagement and internet recruiting best practices across the globe. Register here

Social media is a great resource to engage, interact and source for job seekers who are spending time online. Like most marketing that’s happening online, the ROI can be hard to define. Bosses who sign checks and manage budgets tend to be skeptical of the benefits of social media because it’s often soft and intangible but so is relationship sales and networking events. It’s just a new way of building connections that’s happening online. Facebook, in particular offers a great way to engage a targeted group of candidates or prospects for as little as $10 a day. You can target language, location and their interests either through sponsored posts, ads or suggested to pages to like. No other online resource offers such micro and specific options that can provide results and insights literally overnight. With a pay per click campaign on Google to be effective, we have to wait weeks or months to see the benefits and sometimes for thousands of dollars a month.

Facebook’s Faults in Recruiting, Sourcing & Hiring

Unfortunately, Facebook’s Graph Search still makes sourcing and internet searching bulky. It stinks, and I still can’t even search my own profile for updates, photos and information  Yet, I am on Facebook multiple times a day. Maintaining a Facebook Fan Page is expensive and requires a constant commitment in sharing, updating and commenting unless you are a big brand.

Facebook, as an individual is one of my favorite tools to engage, ask questions and connect with business professionals, friends and family. As an individual, I share family announcements and information like you see below. I’m also not a Millennial. As a mom, I shared an exciting first time moment in my 4 1/2 year old daughter’s life. She jumped off the diving board in swimming lessons, and I felt compelled to share. For the Millennial,this is likely too much while Xers and Boomers like me don’t give a damn. Facebook serves as the glue that connects a family and friends together online. Updates, announcements and sharing exactly like this is what’s driving Millennials away from the leading social networking site, It’s because, the parents (like me) are policing, patrolling and using Facebook to connect with their friends. That’s so not cool so they’re logging out and spending their time online somewhere else. The question in where?


The numbers support the Millennial migration away from Facebook. You see below that 36% of Facebook’s population (which is in stark comparison to 72% of 18-34 year olds in 2008) can be considered Millennials. Facebook is no longer cool anymore because it’s also no longer fun. Mom is there poking her nose up in your business and maintaining multiple profiles of yourself is a hard job. Mom’s judging you and following your every move. For fans of Facebook it’s a lot like gaming. It’s fun. There’s thrill and a need and desire to obtain rewards in the form of  likes, mentions, comments, and pokes. Think of it as your virtual award wall like the ribbons and medals you had as a kid. This recognition demonstrates to the world, you’re important, connected and engaged until you don’t really care any more. The game grows old. That’s precisely the point where we are with Millennials who are disengaged on Facebook only logging in once every seven days instead of multiple times a day.


Millennials Don’t Do Facebook

I think my intern, Sarah said it best to me when discussing Facebook. “I don’t really do Facebook. I connect with you to get to know you and to provide me my phone information. Otherwise, I’m not there.” The question is how do we engage this technology savvy audience of job seekers in a way that works for them?

Learn more about where Millennials are spending time online at our webinar on 6/13 at 11 AM at our webinar: Beyond Facebook: How to Recruit Millennials Online. Register here

Jessica Miller-Merrell

Jessica Miller-Merrell (@jmillermerrell) is a workplace change agent, author and consultant focused on human resources and talent acquisition living in Austin, TX. Recognized by Forbes as a top 50 social media influencer and is a global speaker. She’s the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource and host of the Workology Podcast.

Reader Interactions


  1. Henry Motyka says

    An interesting post.

    Aren’t there other social media channels to reach those discussed in the article? It seems like everyone has their news and communications channels.

    Thanks, as always, for some good work.

  2. Rob Kelly says

    We believe that Milennials (who will account for 75% of the workforce by 2025) are going to want 3 things out of job-related pages they view:

    1) Visuals — They need to include pictures or videos

    2) Social — They need to leverage the social graph (whether Facebook, LinkedIn or any other networks they are members of)

    3) Interactivity — They will want to be able to interact directly with employers through chat or comments.

    Rob Kelly
    Co-Founder “The Hiring Platform for the Next 20 Years’

  3. Tracy Brisson says

    I think age is interesting way to cut the numbers, but there are other ways to look at demographics on Facebook. I primarily recruit in education and the people in that field are huge Facebook users- their demos line up perfectly with Facebook’s core user base. I can spend less than $100 on a week’s worth of compelling Facebook ads and receive 50 high quality applications for a client. I cannot get the same ROI on any other platform both on my money and time.

    There is also scientific research that shows that people engaged on Facebook are higher performers- the habits you use in that network to engage are the same are the ones that predict employee success. The findings are being repeated. Quite frankly, I am always reluctant to hire anyone, regardless of age and experience, if they tell me they are not a Facebook user. I am very skeptical.

    Wish I could have attended your webinar- saw this a few days late in my Google Alerts!



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