Employee advocacy, social media, and the American jobseeker: 25 must-know stats

New CareerArc/Harris Poll survey reveals nearly half (48% each) of Gen Z and Millennials with work experience have applied to jobs they found via social media
employee advocacy social media survey

Between the rise of remote work, quits, “quiet quitting,” the Great Resignation, and—most recently—inflation and fears of a recession, it’s getting harder to predict what will come next for the American workforce. Cultural and demographic trends are also shifting the employment landscape and worklife, like the growing Gen Z population in companies and the rise of Millennials to the leadership ranks, and with these younger generations, the increased participation in employee advocacy and social media in the workplace

Amidst all this change, the questions still remain: Is the Great Resignation over? Will inflation and fears of a recession influence retention? Are most Americans looking for new jobs or sticking around—for now? And for those who intend to leave, how are they navigating the job search today? 

We teamed up with The Harris Poll to find out. In late July, they polled 2,040 U.S. adults online to gauge their happiness with their current jobs, their desire to find a new one, and the means in which they use social media and employee advocacy to grow and navigate their careers. 

Explore all 25 stats from the new CareerArc/Harris Poll survey below. 

Jobseekers are turning to social media to find work

  • 58% of jobseekers search for information about potential employers on social media
  • Over half (54%) of passive jobseekers and over two-thirds (68%) of active jobseekers who have work experience search for information about potential employers on social media.
  • Among active jobseekers who have work experience, 65% say they have discovered job opportunities on social media and 63% have applied to job opportunities they found on social media. 
  • Among passive jobseekers who have work experience, 50% say they have discovered job opportunities on social media and 38% have applied to job opportunities they found on social media. 
  • 48% of both Gen Z (ages 18-25) and Millennials (ages 26-41) with work experience have applied to job opportunities they found on social media. 

Social media is an important resource for jobseekers, especially younger generations

  • More than 2 in 5 jobseekers (45%) say social media is very important to their job search. 
  • Gen Z (62%) and Millennials (56%) with work experience are more likely than Gen X (ages 42-57) (31%) and Boomers (ages 58-76) (12%) with work experience to have discovered job opportunities on social media. 
  • Gen Z (48%) and Millennials (48%) with work experience are vastly more likely to have applied to job opportunities they found on social media than Gen X (24%) or Boomers (7%) with work experience. 
  • About half of Gen Z and Millennials with work experience use social media to tap their networks for the best opportunities.
    • 48% of Gen Z and 47% of Millennials with work experience have connected with recruiters and/or employees of prospective employers on social media (e.g., Twitter, TikTok, LinkedIn)
    • 49% of Gen Z and 47% of Millennials with work experience have reached out to peers on social media for job leads.  

Social media reaches and attracts diverse candidates

  • Hispanic and Black Americans with work experience are far more likely than their White counterparts to say they have discovered job opportunities on social media (49% and 46% vs 28%). 
  • Black and Hispanic Americans with work experience are more likely than their White counterparts to say they’ve used social media to apply to job opportunities (42% and 39% vs 21%), connected with recruiters and employees at prospective employers (42% and 35% vs 21%), and reached out to peers for job leads (42% and 37% vs 21%).

Related: DEI Lookbook: How to use social media to drive diverse candidate pools

This data presents a clear picture of how critical a tool social media is for today’s jobseekers and the companies trying to recruit them.

JIM BRAMANTE, CHAIRMAN &amp CEO
CAREERARC

Employees are open to participating in employee advocacy on social media 

  • Half of employed Americans (50%) say they would share their company’s social media content (e.g., job postings, employee spotlights, team events, news articles) on their personal social channels, with nearly a third of employed Americans (30%) saying they already have. 
  • Gen Z (66%) and Millennial (67%) employees are far more likely to say they would share their company’s social media content on their personal social channels than Gen X (43%) or Boomer (19%) employees. 
  • 26% of employed Americans say they would be more likely to share their company social media content on their personal social channels if their company (e.g., my manager, senior leadership) simply asked them to. 
  • 24% of employed Americans say they would be more likely to share company social media if they had a direct connection to the content (e.g., open position in their department, business update for the work they were involved with). 
  • Just over 1 out of 4 Gen Z (27%) and Millennial (27%) employees would be more likely to post their company’s social media content if their company made it easier, such as by providing the content and/or templates.

Related: 12 examples of successful employee advocacy programs

Americans are generally happy with their job, but they’re still looking for new opportunities 

  • 86% of employed Americans say they are very or somewhat happy in their current job, with 14% saying they are not very happy or not at all happy.
  • 50% of employed Americans are currently looking for a new job, 36% passively and 14% actively.
  • Nearly half (46%) of employed Americans who say they are very or somewhat happy at their current job are still either passively (34%) or actively (12%) looking for a new job today. 
  • 30% of active jobseekers say that they are very happy with their current job. Compare that to only 16% of passive jobseekers who say the same. The vast majority of passive jobseekers (66%) are only somewhat happy with their current job. 
  • American women (58%) are more likely to say they have no intention of taking a new or different job compared to their male counterparts (53%). One possible reason could be job satisfaction: Employed women (90%) are more likely to say they are very or somewhat happy at their job compared to employed men (83%). 

Millennials are the most likely to say they’re happy in their current job, but the majority are looking for a new one

  • Employed Millennials (89%) are more likely than employed Gen Z (82%) to say they are very or somewhat happy at their current job . 
  • Conversely, 18% of employed Gen Z are not very happy or not at all happy with their current job, compared to just 11% of Millennials (11%). 
  • Despite being more likely to report happiness in their current job, 60% of Millennials are either passively or actively looking for a new job. Gen Z (66%) is also more likely to be passively or actively looking for a new job than Boomers (19%) and Gen X (32%). 

What does this mean for employers? 

Employee happiness may not equal employee retention. The vast majority of employed Americans are at least somewhat happy with their job, but half are open to or actively looking for new ones. Employers who survey employees on job satisfaction to gauge retention may be underprojecting their future turnover rate. 

While companies should continue to maintain and aspire for a happy workforce, it’s important they don’t miss the other opportunities this data presents, such as (1) appealing to the top passive talent open to making a move and (2) empowering happy employees to be brand ambassadors and advocates to boost candidate exposure to their open jobs and employer brand—which may even influence current employees to stay or consider new jobs within the organization. 

Employee advocacy and social media recruiting are crucial in reaching more talent in this highly competitive market. “With US employers adding 528,000 jobs in July—surpassing economists’ forecasts and returning to pre-pandemic levels—the war for great talent and how organizations are recruiting continues to be at the forefront of business goals,” said Jim Bramante, Chairman and CEO at CareerArc. “This data presents a clear picture of how critical a tool social media is for today’s jobseekers and the companies trying to recruit them.”

Companies who have yet to invest in social recruiting are likely missing out on Gen Z, Millennial, and diverse candidate pools. Nearly half of Gen Z and Millennials apply to jobs on social media and two-thirds are likely to share company content on social media. Additionally, Black and Hispanic candidates are more likely to discover and apply to jobs on social media compared to their White counterparts. These insights alone make investing in social recruiting and employee advocacy a no-brainer for any company today, and those who have yet to are likely paying a premium to reach just a fraction of these candidates through paid channels—like job boards and job adsthe cost of which have risen significantly in just the past few years.

Bramante added, “It’s clear that when it comes to hiring, Gen Z and Millennials are turning to social media, whether it’s to find job openings or to assess what your company culture is like, and they’re willing to get involved in company social media if employers simply ask.”

Content is currency—employers need share-worthy content to win over employee ambassadors and top candidates. “With this many jobseekers turning to social media as a major tool in their job search, the way organizations present themselves on platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook—and the extent of their reach with jobs and career-related content—is central to their success in recruiting top candidates,” said Bramante.

Related: What is social recruiting? 

Survey methodology 

This survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of CareerArc between July 21-25, 2022, among 2,040 U.S. adults ages 18+, among whom 1,254 are employed, 2,004 ever had a job, and 866 are job seekers. The sampling precision of Harris online polls is measured by using a Bayesian credible interval.  For this study, the sample data is accurate to within + 2.8 percentage points using a 95% confidence level. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables and subgroup sample sizes, please contact BAM at careerarc@bamtheagency.com.


Hi. We’re CareerArc: the world’s only social media recruiting solution built for talent acquisition teams and the only recruiting solution to automate employee advocacy. Want to learn more? Click here to find out what we do, or here to see a free demo.

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