When job seekers invade Facebooksummary of article on: http://www.mckinseyquarterly.com
The increasing popularity of online social networking is changing not only the way people manage their careers but social networking itself.
MARCH 2009 • Soumitra Dutta and Matthew Fraser
As the downturn continues, millions of corporate managers—gripped by the job jitters—are rushing to join online social networks in a scramble to build their social capital. The popularity of sites such as LinkedIn is soaring: less than a year ago the site had little brand profile and was seen mostly as a venue for corporate suits trolling for professional contacts while plotting their next career move. Facebook, by contrast, has largely attracted individuals seeking a compelling site for fun social networking.
Today LinkedIn’s year-on-year growth is up nearly 200 percent in the United States and it now has more than 35 million members—many of whom were formerly employed within the hard-hit financial sector. And it’s just one of the many sites to which recession-struck managers are flocking: Xing (based in Germany), with its 7 million members and special Lehman Brothers alumni section, and Meet the Boss (based in the United Kingdom), which restricts membership to C-level financial types, are also experiencing burgeoning membership levels.