Statistics Show Top Talent Missing from the Web

Kirk Kameg, Jason Johnson promoted to Vice President roles at Qualigence
May 24, 2013
Key Tips for Effective Succession Planning in Business
June 4, 2013

Studies consistently show that less than half of the candidate population can actually be found online.

While social media and job boards can be beneficial tools for leveraging an organization’s staffing efforts, they are better paired with proactive research methodologies to truly target quality candidates.

Here’s a quick look at what kind of top talent is missing from the Web.

A recent study conducted by the Electronic Engineering Times found that as much as a third of engineers never use social networking tools to request or share business information, and 81% never use social media or other online avenues to find new products and suppliers.

While more than half of the population’s engineers use social networking for personal reasons, nearly a third of engineers do not use social networks at all because they feel the tools are a “waste of time” or irrelevant to their work, according to the survey.

Health care professionals may find it particularly difficult to spend time time online professionally or personally due to the nature of their work. Health Information Privacy (HIPAA) laws prevent health care professionals to disclose any information pertaining to the job, and, therefore, many find it suitable to simply remain offline.

The National Council of State Boards of Nursing has even published a guide for nurses on social media usage, which reminds them about patient privacy and sharing information only with members of their team.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are more than 18 million health care professionals nationally, and health care is the fastest growing sector of the U.S. economy.

That being said, only about 1.5 of the 18 million, or about .11%, of these health care professionals are registered on LinkedIn, according to the site. In addition, finding an exact match for your health care talent search can be difficult to quantify due to a large variation of health care titles within the site. According to the Nurse Get Together network, only about 10% of connections are truly useful for nurses on LinkedIn.


With the heightened risk of rebuke for misuse of the Internet, many teachers have decided to not take their chances and stay offline altogether. According to a recent report by Teacher Square, an organization that helps teachers safely share information through technology, 84% of respondents said social networks like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter brought privacy concerns for educators.

According to a recent Ipsos report, social networkers with low household income are spending more time online than those with high household income (3.7 hours vs. 3.1 hours). Similarly, those with low education levels are spending more time online than those with high education levels (3.5 hours vs. 3 hours). Thus, in general, generally successful individuals are not spending as much time online and are therefore less likely to be scouted online.

High-level executives are often nowhere to be seen in the realm of the Web. This is due largely in part to the fact that many of these seasoned workers are part of a generation in which being online is not the norm, nor is it necessary for their career. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, CEOs and Presidents are 3 times less likely than others to use LinkedIn.

It is not a surprise that more people from Generation Y are online than from other generations, but what is not as apparent is the vastness of the usage difference. Seasoned professionals with impressive resumes continue to grow less and less likely to be found online. According to a Pew Internet 2012 study:

  • G.I. Generation (age 74+) — 30% are online
  • Silent Generation (ages 65–73) — 58% are online
  • Older Boomers (ages 56–64) — 75% are online
  • Younger Boomers (ages 46–55) — 81% are online
  • Gen X (ages 34–45) — 86% are online
  • Millennials (ages 18–33) — 95% are online

Research shows that only one third of social media profiles are up to date, with the remainder being out of date or not used at all. This is also predominantly true regarding passive candidates. The best, most qualified talent out there is not actively seeking a job; therefore, it’s unlikely they’ll be found frequently engaging on social media and job boards.

In fact, a recent study by The Douglas Howard Group revealed that more and more of the top talent pool is actually abandoning LinkedIn by completely deleting their account. Much of the top talent pool on LinkedIn grew tired of being contacted by an influx of recruiters on a daily basis and deleted their profiles to essentially be left alone. The study refers to social media such as LinkedIn as “a watering hole for the unemployed.”

What other types of talent are missing from the Web?

Share This

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *