A new survey documents a remarkable climb in the number of GenY job searchers using social platforms to find their next internship or employment position. Nearly 28% of college students plan to use LinkedIn this season, up from just 5% last year, according to researchers at career-services network Experience.
The explosion in social media job searches corresponds to the rise in Human Resources professionals using social screening to locate top talent. Recent surveys show that 80% of hiring managers are using Facebook, Google, and other search and social services to discover and screen job applicants.
Why the sudden interest in LinkedIn for the millennial demo? Likely a result of LI’s targeted messaging to and services for college students, as well as theri launch of new profile apps and widgets including the Resume Builder tool. As well, unlike Facebook, LinkedIn is often promoted as the quintessential professional social networking site for students—a strategic place to put up a profile, especially if Facebook privacy settings prevent public access.
As users of the site quickly realize, the rules of networking on LinkedIn are very different from Facebook and Twitter—a topic covered in many books and blogs. Undoubtedly this influx of younger Linksters will result in a wave of Gen Y pushback regarding strict affiliation policies that prevent open networking on LinkedIn. This year site has made many improvements designed to become more social and engaging. It’s likely the power of mass participation of digital natives will push the envelope further toward openness and social sharing. It is exactly this shift that inspires some existing users to worry that LinkedIn is becoming another Facebook.