by Meridith Levinson

Best Social Networks for Finding IT Jobs

Aug 30, 20113 mins
CareersIT JobsRelationship Building

LinkedIn tops the list, but IT job seekers shouldn't ignore Facebook or Twitter, according to a recent survey.

If you’re looking for a new IT job, set your sites on LinkedIn, if you haven’t already. For IT job seekers, LinkedIn is the best social network for finding leads on IT jobs because employers looking to fill open IT positions use LinkedIn more than any other social networking Website to generate referrals for those open IT reqs. 

According to a survey recently conducted by Jobvite, a provider of applicant tracking and social recruiting software, nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of IT job referrals are shared on LinkedIn, compared with 18 percent on Facebook and 17 percent on Twitter. 

LinkedIn is also a fruitful source of leads on product management and engineering jobs: 67 percent of referrals for product management jobs and 55 percent of referrals for engineering jobs take place on LinkedIn, according to Jobvite’s data. 

Hardware and software engineers shouldn’t ignore Twitter and Facebook, though. Those social networks are good sources of referrals, too: 23 percent of referrals for engineering jobs happen on Twitter; 22 percent on Facebook. 

Judging by the data the Jobvite survey uncovered, IT professionals can expect Facebook and Twitter to become more important elements of their job searches, as employers increasingly use all three social networking sites to source candidates for jobs. According to Jobvite, 55 percent of survey respondents use Facebook to find candidates, 47 percent use Twitter, and 40 percent use all three. 

Overall, the number of employers who use social networks as part of their recruiting and hiring strategies continues to rise: 89 percent of recruiting and HR staff polled by Jobvite plan to use social networks in 2011, up from 83 percent in 2010.   

Employers will continue to use social networks to source candidates for jobs as their success rates increase. Nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of employers have successfully hired a candidate through a social network, up five percent from 2010. Not surprisingly, they have the most success on LinkedIn: A whopping 95 percent of employers have successfully hired professionals through LinkedIn. 

Employers have had less success with Facebook and Twitter, though: Only 24 percent have successfully hired a new employee through Facebook and only 16 percent through Twitter. 

IT and engineering job seekers who wish to use these sites to uncover leads should make sure their profiles are up-to-date and squeaky clean, as Jobvite’s data shows that employers are increasingly searching candidates’ online profiles before they make hires. Nearly one in two (45 percent) employers say they always search candidates’ online profiles, up from 32 percent in 2010. Nearly one-third (29 percent) occasionally search candidates’ profiles. 13 percent don’t snoop at all. 

Jobvite conducted its survey online between May and June 2011. More than 800 HR, recruiting, staffing and IT professionals responded to the survey.