Can an Infographic get you a Job…?

So last week we were delivered another social recruiting infographic – this time, as is often the case, courtesy of the US based digital news vehicle Mashable, and their `Can Facebook Get You A Job` item. 

Now I used to love Infographics – they were designed to provide simple analysis and visual representation of data, to support research into a subject. This was necessary for some of us. Now, sadly they are vehicles for expressing a point. The independence has gone, and slightly one-eyed misdirection begins to take over. This Mashable infographic appears one such case.

Everyone knows I am an advocate for getting employed through social media. The question is Can Facebook Get You A Job? The answer is Yes. I have case studies.

Why on earth therefore, do I need this… ?


Great data – in many areas, sure. But the first chart graphic already misses the point. It states Online Social Media Networks as a separate entity. A separate entity to referrals, to recruitment agencies, to job boards? Well hold on – have they not realised that social networks are a champion referral method? Do they not recognise that many recruitment agencies – in different mannerisms – are using social media to source and attract talent? – particularly if people continue to refer to LinkedIn as a social network. And job boards? – last I checked – many of those are turning to social networks to amplify the jobs on there too. 

So bearing obvious & simplistic numbers is one step – the infographic top to bottom shows that the job-seeker is using social media to search for a new job. Wow – this really isn’t groundbreaking – surely this is not the best that Mashable can give us, right?

The real insight is in where the other forms of job-getting are adopting social media and integrating it into traditional recruitment – and what conversion that is having on the way that job seekers meet success via social media use and integration. 

I’m also realistic about social media’s impact on the job search – and have a problem with some of the headline numbers too. According to the infographic – over 36 million people in the USA got their last job through either Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. There are (I understand) 313 million people in the USA – so let’s say a workforce of 160 million people. Are we to believe that 1:4 of the current workforce in the US got their current job through social media?? – despite their earlier graphic saying only 16% did? I would love to be proved wrong. 

I think we have a case of online companies (Jobvite, LinkedIn, Jobsearch) pulling out numbers to help sell advertising on their sites. Therein lies my problem with infographics. They’re not insights and independent information anymore – they are sales tools – manipulated to sell a service or product. We are blinded by headline numbers, and lots of other re-churned information to populate a pictoral and divert us from the basic facts. 

Let’s not get carried away with infographics like this and the conflicting messages they send to make a point. Social Media IS a vehicle that all forms of talent attraction model should be using to enhance their capability to reach more people. It is NOT a lone answer, and NOT a separate box on a research form – it is a highly advisable compliment to all the other good stuff we do. 

Welcome people’s thoughts on this – is it time to start ignoring the infographic churn…? 




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