Social Networking Makes Small Impact on Jobseekers

Australian jobseekers continue to go online to search for jobs, but many are growing nervous about the potential career fallout from personal content on social networking sites, according to the latest survey results from Kelly Services.

The survey, conducted from October 2010 through January 2011, shows that while social media is being actively used by 13% of respondents as a job search tool, its success rate in actually helping jobseekers secure a job is low with only 1% reporting they used social media to secure their last role. The survey shows 29% of respondents secured their most recent position through an online job posting. Other methods of securing employment included:

  • 21% through recruitment/staffing firms
  • 21%through word–of-mouth
  • 13% through direct approaches from employers;
  • 9% through print advertisements; and
  • 1% through social media outlets.

Karen Colfer, Managing Director, Kelly Services Australia, said, “It is no surprise to see that online job boards remain the dominant channel through which people find work in Australia, however it was interesting to note just how few had actually secured roles through social media outlets.

There is no doubt the use of social media as a jobseeking took will increase over time as it becomes more and more engrained in our everyday lives. Ultimately it has the power to let people target the exact job they want, and even the organisation where they want to work.

It’s clear that social networking is changing the way that people communicate and engage in conversations about work opportunities. Like any new technology, people are learning that there are positives and negatives, and they need to be careful that they are tapping into the best elements of the internet when their careers are involved”.

Other survey finding included:

  • 25% of respondents were worried that material from their social networking sites could adversely impact their careers;
  • When using social media to search for jobs, Facebook is the most popular social media site for Gen Y (agend 18 – 29) and Gen X (aged 30 – 47) but LinkedIn is preferred by baby boomers (aged 48-65);
  • 27% of Gen Y respondents believe it is essential to be active on social media in order to advance their careers, but only 20% of Gen X and 13% of baby boomers feel the same way;
  • 36% of respondents’ employers have social networking policies that regulate use at work; and
  • Industries where employees are most active in online conversations include travel/leisure (34%), retail (33%) and IT (32%).

[Source: Recruitment Extra June 2011]