82% of Gen Y (aged 18-29) Facebook users have at least 1 work friend, while 53% have more than 5 work friends and 40% have more than 10, according to a study released in January 2012 by Millennial Branding.
The study, which analyzed 4 million Gen Y Facebook profiles from Identified.com’s database, found that even though these users are friending co-workers, their professional friends still make up a small proportion of their total network: the average work friend count was 16, compared to the average total friend count of 696.
More Share School Pride than Job Info
Although Gen Y Facebook users are making an average of 16 friends at work, almost two-thirds do not list a job entry on their profile. By comparison, 80% list at least one school. Of those that have entered at least one job record, about 1 in 10 have worked for a Fortune 500 company. Overall, approximately 7% of the users currently work for a Fortune 500 company.
The average tenure at a given company is just over 2 years.
Most Employed in Travel & Hospitality
Among the 1 million Gen Y Facebook users that listed job titles, the largest proportion (7.2%) are employed by the travel and hospitality industry, with consumer products (6.8%) closely following. The government/military (4.5%), technology (4.4%), education (3.9%), and retail and fashion (3.3%) sectors also appear to be well-represented.
Among the top employers, the Armed Forces easily leads with 3.2% of those listing a job title, with Walmart (0.53%), Starbucks (0.45%), Target (0.44%), and Best Buy (0.38%) trailing distantly.
These employers may not have been finding their young staff through social media, though: according to a January 2011 survey from Decode, only 33% of Gen Y adults aged 15-30 said they were open to employers using social media to recruit them.
Entrepreneurial Spirit Evident
Meanwhile, according to the Millennial Branding study, among Gen Y Facebook users listing a job title, “owner” is the fifth most-popular. However, the proportion self-identifying as entrepreneurs is still well behind the top 3 job titles, server (2.9%), manager (2.5%), and intern (2.3%).