Jobvite 2012 Social Job Seeker Survey – Is it accurate? I don’t think so.

Jobvite, an applicant tracking software firm that helps employers post jobs and track candidates during the hiring process, recently released it’s annual “Social Job Seeker Survey”.

While I normally enjoy reading through this and other Recruiting and Job Search Surveys, especially the annual “Source of Hire Report” from Gerry and Mark at CareerXRoads, I don’t think this survey should be considered any more valid than most recruiters empirical evidence regarding social recruiting.

This one is just… I don’t know… just off the mark a little bit.
Before we get into some of the details, I first must say that I do think that Jobvite’s Social Recruiting Surveys continually seem to be dead on, so I don’t know why this one is weird, but here are my thoughts.

First off, if the poll originally had 2,108 respondents, but only 1,266 (60%) were part of the American Workforce, doesn’t that mean that the method of sampling was way off anyways? What method was used to delete the 40% of respondents? And, if these candidates weren’t located in the US, was using a “online opt-in panels” a very good source of determining the accuracy of the average American Workforce?

Second, on page 9, the results say that 83% of respondents (who met the survey criteria) had a Facebook account. That sounds fine. But, the results show that 46% of the “US Workforce Sample” had a Twitter Account and only 41% had a LinkedIn account. Even considering that LinkedIn is more of a professional, versus part-time and retail industry network, I still can’t believe that this is accurate. More of the US Workforce is using Twitter than LinkedIn… Really?

This might be the case, if Twitter is predominately being used for gossip, news, and entertainment… heck if Justin Bieber were headlining LinkedIn, I’m sure the stats on LinkedIn might be a little different, too.

Here’s a stat that pretty much made me doubt the entire survey process.
On page 12, the results show that respondents stated that 26% of respondents stated that Newspapers were “directly responsible” for finding their current/ most recent job, while Referrals were only 5% higher at 31%.

Maybe there is problem with the way the question was asked, or how users considered the question, but come on… Newspapers directly responsible for 26% of current jobs… I don’t think so.

If that stat was even remotely valid I’d start buying shared in all the trashed newspaper stocks. Has anyone seen what has happened to newspaper classified revenue numbers lately… reality is proving just the opposite of the study.

If that wasn’t enough, on the very next page, the study reveals that 41% of respondents found their “Favorite/Best Job from a Friend or Family”…
Empirically, and from other studies such as the Annual Source of Hire studies, and even other JobVite studies, many of us in the indusry would agree that this is probably pretty accurate.

So, what’s the difference between this question and result, versus the last question and result? Sounds more like a problem with the polling. Is it how the question was asked? Who knows. I’m no statistical analysis expert, but this doesn’t seem to make sense.

Finally, and this was the final “statistic” that made me want to write this blog post…
On page 14, “Who are the job seekers on Facebook?” the study shows that the largest poll of respondents had an annual income of over $100,000 (25%), while in the next result stated that the largest pool of respondents (34%), state that their “Education” level was “Some College”.
Is this study really stating that the largest single pool of job seekers are people making over $100,000? but yet at the same time this same group of job seekers didn’t even finish college? Come on!

So, if I read this 2012 Social Job Seeker Survey correctly,
85% of the American Workforce has a Facebook account, and of those 85%…
25% of them make over $100,000 per year, and
34% of them have “some college” education.

I’m not sure if this was the best work the polling company has ever done.

What are your thoughts… I’d love to hear them, because I think that recruiters have a much better view of who they are hiring from Facebook, and I’m sure it’s not a bunch of $100K a year, non-college graduates.

LinkedIn Acquires Indeed – The deal that never happened.

Joel Cheesman always has the scoop in the Internet Recruiting industry.
As a subscriber to his blog, I got a late-night email with a tip stating that LinkedIn might be buying Indeed.

That got me thinking… ‚ÄúWhat a brilliant move by LinkedIn!‚Äù
Unfortunately, ‚ÄúThe deal that could have been‚Äù wasn’t.

Instead, Indeed is being acquired by Recruit Co, from Japan. Congratulations to Rony and Paul, the founders of You guys have done a great job. I’m really happy that you finally got your big payout!

But.. How marvelous would it have been if LinkedIn did actually buy Indeed?

Here are my thoughts… anyone at LinkedIn listening?

In just one acquisition, LinkedIn could have become the world’s largest job board, significantly increased it’s revenue upside, added a significant offerings to employers, put the ‚ÄúLights Out on BranchOut‚Äù, the final nail in the SimplyHired coffin, and the once-and-for-all end of the Monster reign.

How could it have happened?
Here’s my thoughts… continues to grow as the world’s the largest job board, based on unique website visitors. Indeed has a huge revenue upside, as it just recently released its resume database offering. LinkedIn has pretty much one primary offering for employers… searching it’s profiles. Meanwhile, Indeed has a very successful pay-per-click job posting model that might have been leveraged into a much larger job posting revenue model for LinkedIn. Additionally, Indeed has a large affiliate network of partner sites that drive job seekers to it’s jobs, something that LinkedIn doesn’t have at all.

Indeed’s unique visitor traffic for the month of August 2012 shows nearly 24 million unique visitors, with a 50% year to date user growth rate (as reported by

Meanwhile Monster (MWW) shows 18 million uniques monthly visitors with a 24% growth, CareerBuilder 14.4 million uniques with a 10% year-to-year decrease in unique visitors, and SimplyHired flat with 5.5 million uniques and only 2% user growth.

So how does BranchOut fit into the picture?
BranchOut, the ‚ÄúLinkedIn of Facebook‚Äù, has raised over $49 Million in Venture Capital funding, yet their unique user website visitors has declined nearly 80% in 2 months from it’s high of 1.1 million uniques in April. To put those numbers in perspective, BranchOut’s unique visitors show approximately 220,000 unique visitors for 9 of the last 12 months, per On average, that’s less than 1% of Indeed’s current unique visitors. So, while BranchOut is great at getting checks from Venture Capitalists, and news spots from San Francisco based news organizations, they aren’t good at converting and monetizing job seekers.

BranchOut’s primary revenue stream seems to be affiliate job postings from none other than, you guessed it… Indeed!

If LinkedIn had bought Indeed, they might continue the BranchOut / Indeed partnership for a while, or until they decide to put the “Lights Out on BranchOut”. BranchOut’s valuation would go in the crapper because their user visits aren’t sustainable, no matter how much money they throw at the problem, and their only real revenue stream just disappeared.

BranchOut has little, if any, traction with recruiters and employers, so coming up with another revenue stream to monetize a 25 million connected but disinterested users isn’t likely in the short-term.

Additionally, a LinkedIn purchase of Indeed would have given the struggling BranchOut two masters… LinkedIn for it’s revenue and Facebook for its platform.

If that wasn’t bad enough, Facebook is rumored to be launching a job board of it’s own, which by itself, creates an additional huge risk for BranchOut.

Well, how does SimplyHired fit into the picture?
Early on, LinkedIn partnered with SimplyHired to provide ‚Äúback-fill‚Äù job postings on the LinkedIn Job search functionality. It works like this… When a LinkedIn user does a search for jobs, the first results listed are from LinkedIn’s direct clients. Additional listing are ‚Äúback-filled‚Äù from SimplyHired’s database of job postings. While SimplyHired is tight-lipped about its partner traffic generation, my connections tell me that the LinkedIn traffic is ‚Äúsignificant‚Äù.

Earlier this year SimplyHired went through a major layoff, causing concern about it’s long-term viability. Imagine if LinkedIn killed their partnership with SimplyHired, listing the Indeed job postings instead. A major job seeker traffic loss on top of the layoff might have been the final nail in the SimplyHired coffin.

And what about the Monster?
Well, Monster is for sale. Everyone knows it, and no one wants to buy it.
It’s future revenues prospects aren’t great. It doesn’t look like anyone wants to buy a washed up ‚ÄúMonster with no soul‚Äù, a ‚Äútechnology company‚Äù with no technology, or a ‚ÄúWorldwide‚Äù job board where European revenues are going downhill faster than Lindsey Vonn. (Those numbers haven’t even started to hit the earnings reports because of how Monster books sales)

Monster has made no strides to increase it’s value proposition to employers or job seekers, even in the face of competition like LinkedIn. As I mentioned in March 2010, LinkedIn IS the new Monster. I just think this would have completely deflated all the efforts Sal and team are doing to put lipstick on a pig. Don’t get me wrong. Monster is a great website and tool for both employers and job seekers, but let’s be honest… the innovation and soul left when it’s founder Jeff Taylor left in 2005.

I really wish LinkedIn did do the deal. That would have been fun to watch! Instead, we’ll have to wait to see what other marginally exciting news might come out of the HR industry this year.

SimplyHired Layoffs – What does it mean to the job board industry?

This morning, March 23, I learned that SimplyHired went through a round of Lay-offs on February 2, 2012, as announced on Venture Beat.

When I first heard the news, I did a search on Google,, and Jobboarders, and didn’t find any news of the SimplyHired Layoffs. That’s pretty strange to me, considering that SimplyHired is one of the most heavily Venture Capital funded job boards ($22 Million), is strategically partnered with LinkedIn, (a major shareholder from what I hear), and has become a major partner for many job board owners, who either purchase pay-per-click advertising, or partner with the them via their Jobamatic product.

The SimplyHired layoffs apparently included the President/COO Dion Lim, VP of Sales Brian Corey, and most of the sales team.

What does this mean to the job board industry and the future of SimplyHired?
SimplyHired CEO, Gautam Godhwani, emailed VentureBeat, stating “As part of its 2012 strategy, Simply Hired made some changes to its organization.”

As one of the first internet job board founders,, the owner of a SimplyHired partnered job board, and a partner of SimplyHired’s two primary PPC competitors, and, I’m not surprised by the reorganization. is a great service for both job seekers and employers.
The pay-per-click (ppc) employment advertising niche is a very cost effective, and, in my opinion, one of the most under-utilized advertising options for employers.

From my experience the reorganization was a necessary step.

SimplyHired is not going away anytime soon, I think they just needed to trim their overhead and refocus. Indeed, SimplyHired’s biggest competitor in the ppc employment advertising niche, has done a better job of executing in this small segment of employment advertising.

Unfortunately, with venture capital backing, there are really only two exit strategies for SimplyHired’s investors, go public, or sell. SimplyHired’s CEO, Gautam Godhwani, did what is probably required. With the possibility of going public not very realistic, the next best option is to raise the profitability in the hopes of increasing the multiple for a future acquisition.

Will that acquisition come from Monster or maybe even LinkedIn? With Monster up for sale, I don’t think they are in acquisition mode, so that leaves LinkedIn as one of the few natural alternatives. But, that being said, LinkedIn, is probably better off buying Monster than SimplyHired.

What are your thoughts?

How to ruin your LinkedIn Personal Brand? Spamming your Network!

I coach people on “Building their LinkedIn Personal Brand”, “LinkedIn Profile Optimization“, and “How-to-use-LinkedIn” to help market themselves. So, I know we all make mistakes when starting to use social and professional networking sites.

That being said, there is no better way to ruin your personal brand than violating Rule #1 –

Never SPAM your LinkedIn Network!

Unfortunately, I’ve been getting a lot more “unsolicited emails” in my LinkedIn Inbox lately. Getting spam in my normal email inbox is pretty easy to deal with. (I use gmail for email. Google does a great job of getting rid of spam for me.)

Getting “unsolicited emails” in LinkedIn is a completely different animal.
With over 13,000 first degree connections, it’s to be somewhat expected that I’m going to get a couple of emails a week from people in my network who break this rule.

I’ll get emails from people I have no relationship with other than a 1st degree connection on LinkedIn, sending me emails to “Click on their Facebook page”, or “Review my resume!”, “Let me know if you hear of any job openings!”, or “I just got sold some great new multi-level marketing scheme. I just spent $500 dollars to learn how I can spam 1,000 people on LinkedIn and then watch my bank account fill up!… Click on this link and you can be an edit too!!!! ”
* The last one is a joke, but I hope you get the picture.

The problem is that LinkedIn doesn’t handle spam very well. In fact I don’t know how it “handles” spam, other than simply giving you a button to tag a single email as “Spam”. I could only hope that they are doing something with the “user indicated spam” emails that ultimately will keep your Inbox clean.

Today, though, I got something even more disturbing… REAL Completely Unsolicited Inbox SPAM.
Look at the email below!

Ruin Your Personal Brand - LinkedIn Spam Image
Ruin Your Personal Brand - LinkedIn Spam

Gold from Ghana!

Great, just what I’m on LinkedIn for… to buy Gold from Ghana.
While this email doesn’t have to do anything with Personal Branding, I think the story is the same.

Don’t send crap emails to people you don’t know, or haven’t explicitly opted-in to receive your marketing messages. It isn’t cool. It wont’ get you friends. And, it certainly won’t promote your personal brand as a friend and expert.

Friends don’t spam Friends!

LinkedIn is about Professional Networking, Building Relationships and Adding Value to your community.
Engaging people in your niche, or industry, or community, while keeping the above in mind should always lead you down the correct path.

Sending emails to people you don’t know, will only make them resent you… and of course, you are the loser… You loose all of your likeability and authority with that person.

If you are going to send emails to your wide network of connections emails… Add Value to their lives. Don’t try to sell them something. I stopped going to “business opportunity” meetings a long time ago… so have most successful professional networkers.

Doing anything less, weakens your own personal brand, because the next time you try to send them something, or ask for advice, or input, they aren’t going to open your email… Even worse, they could decide to remove you from their network!

I’m an Open Networker (LION) = Linked In Open Networker. I believe increasing the size of my 3rd Degree Network, allows me to get my profile viewed more often. As a result, I welcome all legitimate LinkedIn Invitations. If you would like to connect to me on LinkedIn, please send me an email through LinkedIn using my networking email address: LION{at}

LinkedIn Profile Optimization with Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn Founder

I came across this interview of Reid Hoffman, the Founder of LinkedIn, from February 2009.

Reid talks about the importance of LinkedIn profile optimization, from several points of view, including the benefits of personal branding, as well as from a job search perspective.

While it’s an old interview, I think it’s always helpful to hear the founder talk about his views of using LinkedIn for “Pimping your profile!”.