Young people are using Facebook for personal over professional reasons, yet they are friending their coworkers.
A new study by Millennial Branding, of over 50 million Facebook data points from Identified.com, uncovers that people aged 18 to 29 are inadvertently using their profiles as an extension of their professional personality, even though they are socializing with family and friends.
And 64 percent of so-called generation y fails to list their employer on their profiles, yet they add an average of 16 coworkers each to their friend group.
“Gen y needs to be aware that what they publish online can come back to haunt them in the workplace. Gen y managers and co-workers have insight into their social lives, which could create an awkward workplace setting or even result in a termination,” says Dan Schawbel, Founder of Millennial Branding.
Identified.com is the largest professional database on Facebook. Identified’s database includes over 50 million Facebook users and 1.2 billion data points on professionals’ work history, education and demographic data. They assembled a world class team of 15 engineers and data scientists to analyze this vast database and identify interesting trends, patterns and correlations. The Generation Y study pulled on November 15, 2011 identified four million Generation Y users (ages 18 to 29) and approximately one million users listing a job entry. 9 percent of these users were in the U.S.
Other major findings in this study were:
- 80 percent of gen y list at least one school entry on their Facebook profiles, while only 36 percent list a job entry. They define themselves by their colleges instead of their workplaces.
- They spend an average of just over two years at their first job. They are job hopping multiple times in their careers.
- Only seven percent of gen y work for a Fortune 500 company because startups are dominating the workforce for this demographic in today’s economy. If large corporations want to remain competitive, they need to aggressively recruit gen y workers. Gen y will form 75 percent of the workforce by 2025 and are actively shaping corporate culture and expectations. Big corporations can’t afford to be left behind.
- “Owner” is the fifth most popular job title for gen y because they are an entrepreneurial generation. Even though most of their companies won’t succeed, they are demonstrating an unprecedented entrepreneurial spirit. Companies need to allow gen y’ers to operate entrepreneurially within the corporation by giving them control over their time, activities and budgets as much as possible.
- The travel and hospitality industry hires the most gen y candidates now because young people are having trouble getting internships and jobs so they turn to bartending and waitressing jobs.
- The U.S.military is the largest gen y employer overall, and Deloitte is the largest corporate employer. Companies such as Walmart and Starbucks ranked high and should focus on training their in-store workers to become corporate employees when they graduate.
Brian Carter is the author of The Like Economy: How Businesses Make Money On Facebook and Facebook Marketing: Leveraging Facebook’s Features For Your Marketing Campaigns.