The recovering economy has just about everyone concerned with the job market. Whether you’re looking for a new career opportunity or are hoping to bolster your team, now’s the time to start scouring those innumerable job boards. But with the plethora of online outlets for job seekers and providers to choose from, navigating the digital recruiting landscape can be intimidating.

With just over 70% of the U.S. labor force on the job market, it’s important for employers and recruiters to know exactly where to find the top talent. Luckily, a recent Jobvite study looks into the new job marketplace and helps recruiters map out a plan to land the best candidates.

Our Growing Job Market

The job market is teeming with prospects. Jobvite’s study found that 71% of the American workforce is on the market; this includes both the employed and unemployed who are actively seeking new work, and those passive seekers who are employed but are open to a new job. Digging deeper, the study found that 51% of employed workers are either actively seeking or are open to new jobs. The most active demographics in their job searches are the 18-29 and 40-54 age groups, which each make up 30% of the job market.

Looking into employee turnover, Jobvite found that about 33% of workers change jobs at least every 5 years, while 18% change every 6 to 10 years. The remainder, about 47%, plan to stay at their current jobs for more than 10 years.

So with the number of job seekers on the market and the high average turnover of American workers, where exactly should small business owners go to build their teams?

The Best Sources for Candidates

While the internet has introduced a large number of job boards and marketplaces, Jobvite’s study found that the best source for recruiters to find talent is probably the most old-fashioned: referrals. Broken down further, the top recruiting sources for finding good candidates are:

  1. Referrals (64% say they provide high-quality recruits)
  2. Social networks (59%)
  3. Corporate career sites (59%)

Jobvite discovered similar findings on the other side of the job-seeking spectrum:

  1. 40% of workers found their “favorite or best” job through a personal connection
  2. 21% found it through a social network
  3. 20% found it through an online job board

These findings show just how important an employee referral program can be. It not only empowers your team to help find new members; it can also make the process quicker, cheaper and more effective. But focusing solely on referrals would be an injustice, as the study found that a robust online presence is also necessary to find the best talent.

Social and Mobile Recruiting

There’s no question that social media and mobile are the new essential outlets for marketing, but Jobvite also found that they’re vital for effective recruiting. The study found that there are about twice as many women “social job seekers” (those who turn to social media to find, vet and contact potential hirers) than men. According to the study, “social job seekers are younger, wealthier, more highly educated and more likely to be employed full-time”:

  • 30% of social job seekers earn over $100k per year
  • 25% are of the 30-39 age group
  • 21% are 4-year college grads

A whopping 76% of these job seekers found their current position through Facebook, but 32% connected with a LinkedIn member to gain perspective on a potential employer, and 29% shared a job opportunity with a contact through Twitter. So if you’re hoping to land one of these high-achieving social seekers, be sure to optimize all your social channels to help garner the best results.

A second category of new recruits are classified as “mobile job seekers” (those who use smartphones and tablets to surf for opportunities). These make up about 43% of the U.S. job market. The study found that 60% of mobile seekers are males and that they are more likely to have higher rates of turnover. Not surprisingly, it found that Millennials and younger workers make up the majority of mobile job seekers.

The full stats on mobile job seekers should undoubtedly highlight the importance of mobile recruiting for small businesses:

  • 54% of job seekers age 18-29 have Android phones; 43% have iPhones
  • 34% of job seekers age 30-39 have iPads
  • 27% of job seekers expect to be able to apply for a job from their mobile device
  • 37% of Millennials expect career sites to be optimized for mobile

As these figures show, if you don’t have a mobile site that lists your openings, at least find a job marketplace that does. Failure to do so just might cause you to miss out on your ideal new worker.

Best Practices for Recruiters

Posting open positions on popular job sites should be a given, but the stats highlighted above should show recruiters that they need to optimize their practices beyond that to find the best job candidates. LinkedIn is a great place to start, as the study found that 94% of recruiters turn to the site for help, but only 36% of job seekers are active on LinkedIn, so it’s important to spread out your social efforts across many channels. The majority of seekers are on Facebook, so build and utilize a page to your advantage; Twitter and Google+ are also good channels to find and connect with potential workers.

Creating social pages and listing jobs aren’t the only steps needed to find the best talent in today’s job market. Social media is also a great resource for vetting candidates. Jobvite found that 93% of recruiters look at potential employees’ social profiles, and 42% have reconsidered a candidate (both negatively and positively) after viewing their profile. So creating a social profile on the aforementioned sites will not only allow a candidate to find your openings and learn about your company; it will also give you access to their profiles to learn more about them. And while online activity may not always make or break a candidate, it’s always nice to get a little preview of your potential new hire.


“2014 Jobvite Job Seeker Nation Study”