Social media plays a vital role in recruitment, from allowing job seekers to apply for jobs directly, to giving employers a chance to snoop on a candidate’s private life.
To find out exactly how social media is being used in today’s hiring process, we carried out 2 surveys; one of 350 UK job seekers and another of 95 recruiters.
We also pulled some of the most interesting and important data from across the web to bring you the latest social media recruitment statistics for 2021.
1. Key statistics
2. Social media for job search
3. Social media for recruitment
Key statistics for social media job search
- 79% of job seekers have used social media in their job search in the last year.
- Half of all UK office workers can contribute social media to the success of finding their last job.
- 1 in 10 people have used social media to create posts they think will attract employers.
- 40 million people search LinkedIn for jobs every week.
- 73% of millennials found their last position directly through a social media platform.
Key statistics for social media recruitment
- 91% of all employers are currently using social media as part of their hiring process.
- 45% of recruiters post content on social media to engage with candidates.
- The average UK company spends a quarter of their recruitment budget on social media.
- 21% of recruiters admit to rejecting a candidate after looking them up on Facebook.
- UK companies fill a quarter of their roles through social media recruitment.
Who is searching for jobs on social media?
79% of UK job seekers use social media in some way during their job search, here’s what we know about them.
- Millennial job seekers are the most active age group on social media with 85% incorporating social into their job search.
- Over 55’s are the least active social job seekers with only 30% using social media to find a role.
- The most active social media job seeker is a 26-year-old hospitality worker.
- Least active social media job seeker is a 56-year-old tradesperson.
- Freelancers are the most likely employment group to use social media for their job-search with 91% of them having done so in their last job hunt.
Which age groups use social media in job search?
|Age group (years old)||Percentage using social media in job search|
|16 – 20||66%|
|21 – 30||86%|
|40 – 55||52%|
Which industries see job seekers using social media the most?
|Industry||Percentage using social media in job search|
|Creative & arts||75%|
|Health & wellbeing||67%|
Which industries see job seekers using social media the least?
|Industry||Percentage using social media in job search|
|Accounting & finance||40%|
How much are social media job seekers earning?
|Earnings bracket (per annum)||Percentage using social media in job search|
|£18,000 – £30,000||55%|
|£30,000 – £50,000||40%|
|£50,000 – £70,000||63%|
Which type of workers use social media for job search?
|Employment status||Percentage using social media in job search|
How do job seekers use social media?
Candidates can use a range of social media platforms in a variety of different ways during their job search, from applying to jobs, to researching prospective employers. Of the people who use social media in their job search, here’s how they are using it.
Which social media platforms do job seekers use?
|Social media platform||Percentage of job seekers using|
- Unsurprisingly, LinkedIn is the most popular social platform amongst job seekers with 90% of people utilising it at some point in their career.
- The top four social platforms for job search are LinkedIn, Twitter, Glassdoor and Facebook – they are also the only social platforms with a job application feature.
- The number one reason for job seekers to use YouTube is creating a video-CV.
Social media platform popularity by industry and employment type
- LinkedIn is most popular amongst professional job seekers such as accountants, lawyers and project managers.
- Twitter’s most active job seekers are marketing and PR professionals.
- Job seekers using Facebook are most likely to work in hospitality or retail.
Which activities are job seekers doing on social media?
The most common activity for job seekers on social media is researching companies they are considering applying to, with over 3 quarters of job seekers having done so in their career. 1 in 10 people have used social media to create content they think will impress employers.
|Activity||Percentage of job seekers doing this|
|Researching prospective employers||77%|
|Applying for jobs||70%|
|Contacting recruiters or hiring mangers||51%|
|Creating content to impress employers (blogs, portfolios etc.)||11%|
Candidates hoping to apply for jobs directly are most likely to use LinkedIn with 82% of job seekers applying for a job through LinkedIn in the last 5 years.
Glassdoor is the most popular platform for researching employers with more than half of job seekers using the website to gather information on employers before applying for a role.
Job search social media presence
It’s not just Instagram models and social influencers who rely on a social media presence nowadays – many job seekers are feeling the need to boost their social presence in the pursuit of their next role.
- 95% of job seekers have at least one job-focused social media profile (Robert Walters)
- 1 in 20 job seekers claim to have missed out on a job due to an employer being put-off after seeing one of their social media profiles.
- 87% of job seekers update one or more of their social media profiles before applying for jobs.
- Just 14% of job seekers will change their social privacy settings to stop potential employers from seeing their profile.
Why do job seekers use social media?
The top 3 reasons why people use social media in their job search are:
- Employers are advertising more jobs on social media.
- Job seekers are finding social media more effective than applying through job boards.
- It’s easier to contact a real person via social media.
45% of job seekers find social media job-search delivers better results than traditional job search methods. 1 in 5 job seekers would like to see more information about jobs on social media, such as full job descriptions and salary details.
How many people find jobs through social media?
We know that plenty of people are using social media as part of their job search, but how effective is it in helping them to land their dream job?
- 73% of millennials found their last position directly through a social media platform according to HR Magazine.
- 59% of all job seekers we surveyed say that social media helped them to land their last position.
- 1 in every 2 office workers can contribute social media to the success of finding their last job, as opposed to just 1 in 10 tradespeople.
Which companies are recruiting on social media?
How many companies are using social media to recruit staff, how big are they, and what industries do they operate in?
- 91% of all employers are currently using social media as part of their hiring process (Glassdoor)
- 82% of companies attract passive candidates (people who are not actively job seeking) through social media recruitment (Post Beyond)
Which industries are recruiting via social media the most?
|Industry||Percentage of companies recruiting via social media|
Which industries are recruiting via social media the least?
|Industry||Percentage of companies recruiting via social media|
|Accounting & finance||38%|
|Recruitment & staffing||42%|
How big are companies who recruit on social media?
Nearly all medium and large companies conduct some form of recruitment via social media, but only 52% of small businesses do.
|Company size (number of employees)||Percentage of companies recruiting via social media|
Why are companies recruiting via social media?
The top 3 reasons why companies recruit via social media are:
- To attract passive candidates (people who are not actively job seeking)
- To reach a younger audience.
- To improve their employer brand (the reputation the company has as an employer)
How are companies recruiting on social media?
There are a multitude of ways to recruit via social media in 2021 – here’s how UK employers are doing it.
- LinkedIn is the number one social recruitment platform with 91% of companies using it daily.
- Searching for candidates is the most popular reason for recruiters to use a social platform and 100% of social recruiters used LinkedIn for candidate search.
- Although Facebook is one of the least popular tools overall, it’s rated the best for screening candidates with over 3 in 10 recruiters using it solely for that purpose.
- 45% of recruiters post content on social media to engage with candidates, with LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook being the most popular platforms to do so.
Which social media platforms are recruiters using?
|Social media platform||Percentage of recruiters using|
What activities are recruiters doing on social media?
|Activity||Percentage of recruiters carrying out|
|Searching for candidates||90%|
|Posting job adverts||67%|
|Posting content (pictures, videos, quotes etc.)||45%|
|Updating employer profiles||21%|
How much are companies spending on social media recruitment?
- The average UK company spends a quarter of their recruitment budget on social media recruitment efforts.
- Only 7% of companies commit no time or resources to social media recruitment
- The biggest expenses in social media recruitment (outside of staff wages) are:
- Job postings
- LinkedIn membership plans
- Social media scheduling tools
Biggest social media turn-offs for recruiters
21% of recruiters admit to rejecting a candidate after looking them up on Facebook and seeing something that gave them a negative impression. 5% of recruiters say they have cancelled a job interview due to a bad social media impression.
Across all social platforms (including LinkedIn) these are the most common reasons why a recruiter will reject a candidate after screening them.
- Offensive posts on sensitive topics (politics, religion etc.)
- Posting inappropriate photos
- Public arguments in comments sections
- Unprofessional profile photos (on LinkedIn)
How successful is social media recruitment?
We know that plenty of companies are using social media to recruit staff, but what results are they yielding?
- On average UK companies fill a quarter of their roles through social media recruitment.
- 90% of all companies have successfully hired a staff member via LinkedIn (Capterra)
- Recruitment marketing reduced the overall cost of the hiring process by 20% or more for 24% of companies (Aberdeen Group)
Social media platform recruitment statistics
As we have seen, there are numerous social media platforms that can be used for job search and recruitment. Here we take a deeper look at the features, numbers and effectiveness of each, from both a recruiter’s and candidate’s perspective.
LinkedIn is undoubtedly the king of social recruitment platforms, with a large global userbase and a dedicated focus to business users. Whilst it may have less users than social giants like Facebook and Twitter, the fact that is a strictly professional site means that people are much more likely to engage in business or job related activity when using the platform.
“Recruiters voted LinkedIn best for: Searching for candidates”
- LinkedIn has 740 million members across 200 countries, including 30 million UK users.
- 40 million people search LinkedIn for jobs every week globally.
- 3 people secure a job via LinkedIn every minute.
- There are 55 million businesses listed on LinkedIn.
- At any given time, there will be over 14 million jobs listed on LinkedIn globally.
- 95% of all recruiters use LinkedIn regularly.
Although some people may not class Glassdoor strictly as a social media platform, it’s ability to allow job seekers to share reviews on employers, certainly provides a social element. It’s also jobs focused platform which allows job seekers to upload a CV and apply to jobs directly.
“Recruiters voted Glassdoor best for: Improving employer brand”
- Glassdoor has 50 million monthly users and 1.3 million employers listed.
- 90% of job seekers on Glassdoor have a university degree.
- Glassdoor is currently advertising 260K jobs in the UK and 2.5 million jobs in the USA (Glassdoor | Apr 2021)
Facebook recruiting statistics
Facebook is the mammoth of social networks when it comes to user numbers, but it’s uses are predominantly non-professional. However, it has recently added a job posting feature and the sheer size of its user base make it a great place for employers to get their brand in front of candidates.
“Recruiters voted Facebook best for: Screening candidates”
- Facebook has 44.8 million users in the UK – although they have not released any data on how many of those are active job seekers.
- 84% of job seekers have a Facebook profile.
- Posting a job on Facebook is free.
Methodology and sources
To publish this research, we carried out the following steps.
We surveyed 350 active UK job seekers from the users of StandOut CV and endeavoured to create an even spread of ages, industries and professions as much as possible.
We surveyed 95 professionals from UK organisations who were responsible for recruitment within their business or team. Again, we aimed for a good spread of industries and company size.
We also gathered as many important UK and global figures as we could from reputable career sources across the web.
- Getting social media recruitment right – HR Magazine: https://www.hrmagazine.co.uk/content/features/getting-social-media-recruitment-right
- Social Recruiting: Everything You Need To Know – Post Beyond: https://www.postbeyond.com/blog/social-recruiting/
- Glassdoor – About us: https://www.glassdoor.com/about-us
- LinkedIn – About us: https://news.linkedin.com/about-us
- The rise of Facebook recruitment – Link Humans: https://linkhumans.com/rise-facebook-recruitment/
- How Headhunters Use LinkedIn – US News: https://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/outside-voices-careers/articles/2017-05-05/how-headhunters-use-linkedin-to-find-talented-candidates
- The Financial Value of Recruitment Marketing – Aberdeen Group: https://www.aberdeen.com/hcm-essentials/financial-value-recruitment-marketing/