A CWJobs survey of jobseekers has shown that they're turning to the internet to find jobs. And that means that social media are becoming increasingly important to jobseekers and recruiters alike.
The internet has taken over from trade magazines as the main source for jobseekers, but it seems employers and recruiters may not be taking advantage of it as much as they might. And that's potentially damaging, because innovation in online recruitment is speeding up.
Thanks to the economic crash, and the effect on information-centric industries such as financial services, jobs in IT these days are still relatively hard to come by. Almost a third of recent graduates are unemployed, and more than a quarter of those that are in work gross under £10,000, according to CWJobs' recent survey of 5,000 jobseekers.
No wonder, then, that IT workers are turning to the web, with its high volume and fast turnover, to track the latest opportunities. Around 70% of respondents use generalist job sites on the internet with lots of different vacancies. Around half of all candidates look for job opportunities specifically on a potential employer's website, while just under half of them go to specialist industry websites to find their next appointment.
Twitter has grown dramatically in significance in the past couple of years. Whereas it used to be a site for inane chatter about what you had for breakfast that morning, it is now a site both for that same inane chatter, and for more serious things, such as passing on news links, asking questions of your community - and finding jobs.
While some companies are certainly making strides in optimising their social media strategy, there's a long way to go before people realise the significance of sites like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, the three most-used social media sites among the CWJobs' survey base.
LinkedIn is used more by contractors than permanent staff. This is probably because contractors need to score gigs far more regularly than full-timers, meaning that they have to network more. Services such as Twitter garnered around 10% in both camps.
But 29% of jobseekers surveyed say that they don't use social media sites at all, although given the incredible growth in the popularity of these sites, and the dire situation of the economy following the financial crisis, that is likely to change throughout 2010. As individuals begin to realise that it is possible to find jobs using these outlets, they're likely to catch on and begin firing up sophisticated (and free) social media management tools such as Hootsuite.
So, for recruiters and candidates alike, if you think that social media is for teenagers, think again. The web will continue to play an increasingly important part in the recruitment process - and those who choose not to play will be missing out on a big opportunity.
- Danny Bradbury
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