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!