It’s no secret that Australians love social media, but little data exists on the extent of its adoption in finding jobs or enhancing career opportunities. In this year’s Executive Monitor study we further expanded on our earlier investigation on the subject of job seekers’ adoption of social media to find jobs.
Adoption of social media has increased amongst executives. When asked the question – In the last 12 months, which of the following activities have you done to enhance your career and employment prospects? – the majority of respondents (53.4%) indicated that they have registered on social networking sites. Even a small group of 5.7% have started a blog (see chart one). Clearly, social media and networks have registered on the consciousness of executives, who are traditionally conservative on emerging technology and ‘new ways of doing things’.
Effectiveness in Finding a Job
But how effective is social media as a tool or channel to land a new job? When asked how they found their last job only a small percentage (0.8%) directly credited social networks like LinkedIn. An even smaller group (0.1%) credited blogs and micro blogging sites like Twitter.
At this juncture it is important to note that executives may have encountered a job opportunity using social media, but actually credited other channels like search firms and their personal contacts as the main source of their new job.
It is possible, in fact highly likely, that executives are combining multiple channels to find a job. For all the limitations inherent in pinning one particular channel as a source of job, it is clear that share of social media as a channel to find a job is still small. While adoption has increased significantly it appears that social media and networks by themselves are still not the most effective way to land a job.
Future of Social Media in Job Search
Judging from the high rate of adoption it is clear that there is an increasing acceptance of social media as part of the job hunting equation. Yesterday, Linkedin has announced its 100 millionth member (1.6 million strong in Australia/NZ); sooner or later most professionals in Australia will join the bandwagon.
Attitudes also seems to be shifting. On the often thorny issue of employers using social media to conduct background checks, we asked participants – In your opinion is the use of social media to conduct background checks acceptable? (refer chart 3).
While opinions are evenly spread, it’s interesting that a large percentage (21.2%) have absolutely no qualms about employers using social media to snoop on them. More significantly, a huge number are sitting on the fence and appears to be tilting on ‘acceptance’ more than those who are outright opposed to the use of social media to conduct background checks.
From the evidence clearly adoption of social media is on the rise, and this trend is likely to continue. In a hyper-connected world, where the options for job seekers to find new opportunities have increased significantly, there is really no alternative for employers other than create rewarding workplaces that attract and retain the best. The next battle will be for ‘attention’ and employment branding will become even more critical.
(p.s: How do you, or your organisation, use social media to recruit talent? Take our five minute study)