• 08/27/2014
    9:00 AM
    Marcia Savage
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IT Hiring: Social Media Matters

A survey by TEKsystems shows that both IT pros and those in charge of IT hiring rely heavily on LinkedIn and other social media to find and screen each other.

If you're thinking about panning your employer on Facebook or LinkedIn, think again. You might be shooting yourself in the foot when it comes to getting your next job.

A TEKsystems survey on IT hiring trends shows that 68% of IT leaders would eliminate a candidate from consideration for a single negative social media post about his or her current employer. On the flip side, 63% of IT pros surveyed said they wouldn't consider a potential employer if they saw between one and five critical social media comments about that company.

Altogether, social media play a big role for both sides in IT hiring, according to the report released by TEKsystems, an IT staffing and IT talent management company. The survey polled more than 400 IT leaders -- including CIOs, IT directors, and IT hiring managers -- and more than 900 IT pros in North America.

Sixty-eight percent of IT leaders reported using social media to find candidates for open positions, and 82% use it to screen candidates. Not surprisingly, LinkedIn was rated as the top source for finding prospective employees, with 64% giving it the top mark. Facebook was a distant second with just 9%. Screening candidates, validating resumé claims, and finding qualified candidates were the top reasons IT leaders said they use social media when trying to fill a position.

IT pros rely on social media a bit more: 75% said they use social media to find jobs that match their skills and interests, with 67% citing LinkedIn as the best source for finding jobs. Facebook came in second at 12%, followed by Google Plus at 7%. Eighty-five percent of IT pros said they use social media to check out prospective employers' cultures, products, job openings, and credibility.

The TEKsystems survey also had some interesting findings on the state of the IT job market. A whopping 81% of IT pros said they're open to new job opportunities, even if they're happy with their current jobs or not actively searching for a new one. IT pros reported receiving an average of 34 solicitations from prospective employers a week (with half coming via email), which is up from the average of 23 solicitations reported in a 2012 TEKsystems survey.

A lot of these job opportunities IT pros get aren't that great, though. Sixty-two percent said more than half don't match their skills or goals.

IT pros are always on the hunt for that perfect job, the survey indicates: 77% submit more than 10 resumés per week, and 21% submit more than 40 per week.

Meanwhile, 73% of the IT leaders polled said they receive more than 10 resumés in a given week for open IT positions. Fifty-six percent said more than half of the resumés they receive don't match the qualifications for the position.

There's a lot of exaggeration in these resumés, too. Seventy-six of IT leaders believe a lot of IT resumés include buzzwords and exaggerations that don't truly reflect a person's true background.

According to the report, a potential reason for this could be the fact that resumés must have certain wording to get through an automated recruitment process. Another factor could be the sheer number of job titles, TEKsystems wrote: "There is very little conformity in the current IT job market; for example, role and responsibilities for a network administrator at one company may have an entirely different set of requirements at another."



Until I see that happen (to be hired or to have an offer via social media) allow me to be skeptical.

Although I am a daily user of almost all social media tools (FB,Google plus, Linkedin etc) from the other hand I believe that those tools drain out your productivity. 

Re: Skeptical

I agree Nemos, social media can be a distraction from getting things done. It can be hard to strike a balance.

Re: Skeptical
I am not sure about distraction but yes social media is now not only about friends, chats or photographs but this channel is becoming one top source for news, new product upcoming, informational blogs. Just take an example network computing, i find this site very helpful towards my learning.
Re: Skeptical

You're right Aditya. Social media like Twitter has become an important channel for news. And that's great to hear the site is helpful! 

Re: Skeptical

I don't find social media very useful for news. But it's great for keeping up with zany cat antics.

Re: Skeptical

Tom, I can only agree. I don't know why I keep a Facebook account, maybe just to be on some people's list.

Re: Skeptical

I guess it depends on what kind of news you follow. But yes, social media is invaluable when it comes to crazy cat stuff!

Re: Skeptical
I guess lot depends on type of social media site and your matter of interest like LinkedIn and Twitter they help catching up with new job opportunities, upcoming new solutions for your facility. As an example we have CCIE group in LinkedIn which helps me to get technical as well as commercial answers and not only answers in fact variety of answers.
Re: Skeptical

The community groups on LinkedIn are something I should spend more time on; depending on the group, it sounds like they can be pretty useful.

Re: Skeptical

@Marcia... The community groups on linkedin can be pretty useful. I follow a few and every now and then I find some good info through these groups.

Re: Skeptical

Paul, are there specific groups on LinkedIn that you can recommend? I have had a tough time finding much good technical information there. It seems very oriented toward job seekers and marketing professionals. But I may not be looking in the right place, or maybe I can't get into some closed groups.

Re: Skeptical

Paul, I also would appreciate any recommendations you have for LinkedIn community groups, or tips you have for finding useful groups. LinkedIn sends me recommendations, but they're rarely ones I'm interested in. 

Re: Skeptical

There are 2 groups I have found useful. IT Admins Network and SCCM Professionals group. There are times when someone post a issue they are having and although I may not have that issue some of the replies have great info in them. These 2 groups very rarely have job postings in them.

Re: Skeptical

Thanks Paul! Just from a quick look on LinkedIn, both of those groups do look really active and useful. Also looks like the SCCM group just became an open discussion group.

Re: Skeptical

@Thomas: Funnily enough, I rely almost exclusively on social media for news.  I've actually found out about an earthquake via social media before I felt it (as described/hypothesized in XKCD here.

Re: Skeptical

Twitter can be a great place to find out about breaking news stories if you follow reputable sources.

Some activity on LinkedIn

Marcia, I found LinkedIn the only one that gave me some (small) opportunities. I had a couple of consulting jobs from people contacting me on the site.

Otherwise I find social media really distracting. I have dissable all email notifications on all sites (as much as they allow me to do that) and enabled all possible privacy settings. This way I only see notifications when I go to the sites myself.

Re: Some activity on LinkedIn

Pablo, I would imagine a lot of others share your experience on LinkedIn. This survey was sort of surprising in that it showed such a heavy reliance by IT pros on social media for finding jobs. Maybe if you put a lot of time into it, perhaps it can become more helpful. 

Smart move to enable as much privacy as possible on those sites.

Re: Some activity on LinkedIn

Marcia, I remember reading many years ago that most skilled jobs are given to people with connections to the employer.

By connections I mean people you personally know; I believe this is still the case.

I think expanding your "offline" network is much more productive that spending hours every day with LinkedIn, Facebook and other sites. It is much better to attend conferences, participate in industry forums, meet with former colleagues, etc. And much more rewarding too! 

Re: Some activity on LinkedIn

I agree Pablo, I don't think anything beats personal connections for getting jobs, and "real" networking. 

It would be interesting to see how many of those who attended this week's VMworld make a job change in the near future. Maish Saidel-Keesing, a VMware Expert, wrote in a recent post on his Technodrone blog that he's noticed this trend.


Re: Some activity on LinkedIn

@Pablo: Funnily enough, I've found more professional opportunities via Facebook than via LinkedIn.

Also funnily enough, I've found more people via LinkedIn (directly or indirectly) interested in me romantically than via any other social media site -- except I wasn't looking and was already committed.

Clarification requested:

"68% of IT leaders would eliminate a candidate from consideration for a single negative social media post about his or her current employer"

"Sixty-eight percent of IT leaders reported using social media to find candidates for open positions"

"82% use [social media] to screen candidates"

So is the 68% who would eliminate the bad-mouthing candidate 68% of ALL IT leaders surveyed, or only 68% of the other 68%, or 68% of the 82%???

It seems that it would be the former -- in which case, it hardly seems relevant what the "IT leaders" who don't even use social media for hiring/screening have to say.

Also, are these IT leaders exclusively recruiters?  Exclusively not recruiters?  A mix?  (If so, what's the mix?)  That makes a big difference, no?

Re: Clarification requested:

Joe, those percentages are all of the total IT leaders surveyed. TEKsystems said the IT leaders surveyd were CIOs, IT VPs, IT directors and IT hiring managers. They didn't provide a breakdown -- all these positions are involved in hiring.

Re: Clarification requested:

@Marcia: Thanks!

So then it really makes a difference, I would think, what that breakdown is.  I don't want to know how many of all IT leaders would DQ a candidate based on social media postings when almost a statistically significant number of them don't even use/look at social media as a factor (well, I kind of do, but that's not the priority).  I want to know how many of the ones who use social media would DQ a candidate based upon the criteria described.

social media

Social media is used in many different industries when hiring people so this article makes a lot of sense. One stupid comment that you make on Facebook, twitter or anything like that could really do you in.

Be wary of what you post

The simple idea is, be careful of what you post, and perhaps even the people that you associate to. Such things will definitely weigh a lot to a human resource manager. I guess it can still be very easy to separate one's work and private life.