LinkedIn Poll: Job Boards More Effective for Getting Jobs

Job Boards vs. Social Media – which is more effective at helping people get jobs?

At least for now, statistics appear to support that job boards are either more widely used to find jobs, or simply more effective at landing people jobs than social networking sites.

According to a recent LinkedIn poll, 4310 people responded and 22% of the respondents used a major (Monster, Careerbuilder, ec.) or niche job board (Dice, The Ladders, etc.) to find their last job vs. 6% who indicated that they landed their last job through the use of a social networking site (LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.).

Here is the link to the poll results.

The Irony

I find it ironic that a poll of LinkedIn users showed that nearly 4X as many people used job boards to find their last job vs. social networking sites such as Linkedin. For those who rant about how social media is “IT” and job boards are old and ineffective, this poll certainly doesn’t support your view, and I suggest you read this post on an objective comparison of job boards vs. social networking sites from the perspective of sourcing and recruiting.

Hype vs. Facts

Don’t get me wrong – I love, support, and utilize social media. Social networking is definitely not a fad – it isn’t going away and will continue to evolve in exciting new ways we cannot even begin to predict. However, it is important to get past the “new” and “cool” and “next big thing” factor of social media, and begin to collect enough data to be able to determine exactly how effective social media is for talent identification and acquisition. Cool? Yes. Effective? I don’t know – show me some data.

I encounter large volumes of anecdotal, unverifiable, non-quantified opinions from sourcers and recruiters who talk about how effective using social media for sourcing and recruiting has been for them. I will hold my opinion until we get past the opinions and generate some real facts and data.

What People Said

If you click the link I provided that takes you to the poll results, you will see that nearly 100 people left comments in response to the poll (95 at the time of this post). Many of the comments speak negatively about the job boards – but you need to keep in mind that 95 comments out of 4310 respondents is only 2.2%, so the comments represent the vast minority. Also, I am not necessarily surprised that some of the comments bash the job boards – it seems that most people who are passionate about social networking are anti-job board, as if they don’t both have value if properly leveraged.  Job boards and social media do not need to be an either/or, black/white scenario – they CAN be effectively leveraged in conjunction with each other.

Another interesting statistic from the poll is the large number (67%) of people who claim they did not use a site to find their last job.  Unfortunately, we’ll never really know how those people found their last job – referrals, networking, newspapers, targeted headhunting (called directly by a recruiter), sites not listed in the poll as an option (such as Craig’s List), etc.  


So far, this LinkedIn poll is the only public data I’ve seen that illustrates how many people have actually landed a job using various websites such as job boards and social networking sites – and the respectable sample size of 4300+ responses definitely gives credible weight to the fact that either more people use job boards to find jobs or they are more effective at helping people find jobs than social networking sites.

If you encounter any solid, verifiable data on the effectiveness of job seekers and/or recruiters in the use of job boards vs. social networking sites for landing jobs and/or hiring people – please let me know.  Thanks!

  • Steve

    Don’t be taken in by TheLadders. I went against my #1 rule, don’t pay for job hunting, and subscribed to TheLadders. I have a ZERO job related response. I just got off the phone with someone who saw my resume on TheLadders and wanted me to sell Capital Investments!!!! My resume on TheLadderes is for a CIO/Developer. I have a lot better response from MonsterBoard with doing half the work. TheLadders just tells me I need to spend even more money for some other over priced service they offer.

  • Hi

    Firstly – I want to praise you for this site/blog. I am a very experienced web researcher + demand gen marketing guy – and I rarely find stuff that’s new and helpful – the information and tips on your site are a great exception!! Thank you!

    I have a question: Do you know anyway – on LinkedIn – or via Google search – to make a list of people from Linkedin – who have recently moved to a new company – i.e. their resume says ACME Company February 2009 – present (or similar) ? I want to be able to find – for example – VP’s HR who have joined new companies in the last month or two or three…


  • Interesting poll and analysis. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.

    I too am positive on social networks and what they can provide in a job search, but am also skeptical of some of the hype. From what I have learned from “average” users of LinikedIn, it is a great took for keeping track of old colleagues and friends, but few people seem to use the functionality to reach out to their extended network for help (significantly impacting the value of the tool for job searches).

    All that said, the question may bee pulling a lot of dated results i.e. many of the respondents may have found their current job years ago before LinkedIn was big. The poll would have been more interesting if you could slice the data by duration in current job.

    Founder, Favorang

  • I agree with you that job boarding sites are play a main role to get more job to the people but, you can not say that the social networking site are not working well, it has their own targets which they perform better & also people get help with it for getting jobs.
    Samuel Peterson from Job Listing

  • susan

    Anyone that thinks they are going to get a job on linkedin, facebook or some other networking site is really drinking the kool aid. Then you’ll say to me well I know so and so and because I know him, they will hire me. Got news for you, unless they are looking for a cashier which anyone can do, any jobs which requires specific skills and a person that has demonstrated the ability to do it, they will not just hire you becuase someone knows you. This is why social network is BS for getting a job. Hiring managers and employers want one thing, the most qualified person!

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  • The poll doesn’t really ask how many people actually got their job through any specific medium or route. It asks what people USED to find their job, but not if they actually got a job.

    There has been some more scientific data on the effectiveness of jobboard ads in contrast to traditional media ads, like in the paper and such, in this publication, concluding that internet search is ineffective or even counter effective in shortening the search time:

    Of course, that doesn’t tell us anything about the effectiveness of normal job boards versus LinkedIn, but neither does this poll.