Millennials Leaving Facebook: What Does This Mean for Recruitment?

With over 92% of companies turning to mobile and social media channels as part of their recruitment process, it’s quite evident that technology has transformed the HR landscape. While LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter remain the most frequently used social channels for recruiters today, the changing attitudes of Millennials may drastically impact those trends in 2014.

According to Mashable’s, Taylor Casti, Millennials are leaving Facebook in record numbers. The reasons for jumping ship ranged from the stress of maintaining online appearances, lack of privacy, and just generally feeling overwhelmed by all of the add-ons.

Casti said, “The most common reason for going Facebook-cold turkey was the overwhelming nature of the site. To many, it just seems like noise. Among the mess of targeted ads, Instagram pictures and shared articles, there’s very little room for real socializing between friends on the Facebook Timeline.”

The second most common factor, which directly impacts social recruiting, is the fear that potential employers may read into online personas and decide against making a job offer. “This desire to hide evidence from potential employers is causing many Facebookers to fly the coop, especially considering a recent Facebook privacy settings change has ensured no user can hide from search anymore,” said Casti. “The fear is legitimate, as employers try harder and harder to gauge potential employees by their social media presences, some even going so far as to ask for candidates’ Facebook passwords.”

If Millennials continue to remove themselves from Facebook to maintain privacy, recruiters must find another way to reach out. LinkedIn and Twitter remain viable options; however, since LinkedIn has looser privacy restrictions, it is likely that the percentage of companies using this tool will continue to increase.

What are some strategies you use to recruit on social networks?

Image used under Creative Commons from Official U.S. Navy Imagery.

Views: 767

Comment by Keith D. Halperin on December 16, 2013 at 5:04pm

Thanks, Britni. I think my 17- year old daughter summed it up best: "Old people use Facebook.":

If somebody's parents are using a thing, don't expect the kids to stay on for long.

I think this points to a double fallacy:

1) Not only does trying to quickly and efficiently recruit people on Social Media not work, but also

2) The largest Social Media platform is rapidly losing its relevancy, so even if SM recruiting did work, those people wouldn't be there in great numbers. (LinkedIn isn't really SM- it's a gigantic resume base with very limited contact information.)



Comment by Kelly Blokdijk on December 17, 2013 at 6:25pm

Regardless of who uses, joins, leaves or pays any attention to any of the assorted SM sites, Facebook doesn't seem like the recruiting jackpot many people keep trying to convince us it is. Either way, I think it is short-sighted to put so much emphasis on the alleged habits of an entire category of humans born within a 18-20 year span of time. The current and future workforce is far too complex and diverse to lump millions of people together as if they are part of an enormous synchronized swimming team. Also, not sure I'd be too concerned with any so-called trends referenced by Mashable. 

Comment by Britni Salazar on December 18, 2013 at 10:00am

Thanks, Kelly.

I completely agree with your opinion that it is short-sighted to categorize an entire group of people based on age. I realize that this is nothing new, however, since each generation always seems to be labeled something - but it makes me question why, instead of understanding that and embracing the rich diversity in the workforce, that there is so much focus on trying to "understand" how to "deal" with Millennials as employees. 

PS - This post from Buzzfeed seems to say it all (and provides some fun along the way!):

Comment by Linda Ferrante on December 19, 2013 at 10:06am

Facebook is for play, LinkedIn is for work.  I don't recruit from FB, never have and I don't plan on doing it in the future.  Let me clarify: we have a fb page for which we post some of our job openings, but only those that are probably suited to someone using facebook.  Our C level positions never get posted to fb, for example.

The part where I said I don't recruit from fb is that I don't look at profiles, or use any sort of key word or search feature.  We post jobs, directing interested candidates to send us their resume via email.  That's it.  I never use it as a tool for a 'reference check' either. That's just silly, in my opinion! 

Comment by Britni Salazar on December 19, 2013 at 10:27am

Thanks, Linda. I'm completely with you on this one! I have never believed that Facebook should be used as a way to recruit people either. Rather, it should be an interactive tool that companies can use to promote and advertise job openings, as you described above.

Having said that, I must also mention how fascinating I find discussions about social recruiting/social networking tools as it applies to HR. It really seems to spark a fiery debate within the industry and, in my opinion, debates are always good! (As long as they remain respectful, that is.)

Have a great holiday!

Comment by Amy Ala Miller on December 20, 2013 at 2:10pm

Nothing. This means nothing for recruiting. Nothing more than what it's always meant - find jobs for people and people for jobs. Where they are - whether it's Facebook, LinkedIn, meetups or the bus stop across the street from my house is irrelevant. Now excuse me while I got yell at some kids to get off my lawn. ;)


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