While Linkedin still leads for the social network that employers tap most when looking for a new hire, when talking about just referrals, Facebook barely edged out LinkedIn to take the lead.
According to the same Jobvite survey we reported on earlier this month, Facebook accounted for 43 percent of new hires generated by employee referrals. LinkedIn accounted for 41 percent, which in a survey of just 800 companies, could well be within the margin of error.
So we’re not definitively saying that Facebook is “beating” LinkedIn, but even if the two networks are just about tied, that’s huge. Consider that overall, Linkedin is used almost 4x as many times as Facebook for hiring.
“I was surprised that Facebook is generating as many referral hires as it is,” Dan Finnigan, founder and CEO of Jobvite, told HRE Online. But because LinkedIn connections tend to be aspirational (i.e. you connect with people you’d like to have an in with) but Facebook friends tend to be real friends, it makes sense that Facebook is used so often for referrals.
LinkedIn countered by saying that at least on its network, you can judge the professional value of your network. “”They actually know whether their connections are competent or not … instead of just knowing that they ‘are nice, fun or went to college with me,’ ” Francois Dufour, LinkedIn’s director of hiring solutions, told HRE Online.