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Use of LinkedIn by contractors virtually ubiquitous
Posted Jun 26, 2012
Almost all contractors now use LinkedIn for networking and contract hunting purposes, and recruiters are increasingly using social network sites to source applicants.
According to a new study conducted by Executives Online, 93% of respondents (including permanent and contract professionals) now used LinkedIn (up from 61% who used the service in 2009).
Two thirds of those surveyed said that they had searched for a job via a social media site, and 17% had actually found a job or assignment via this method.
Recruiters themselves have increasingly turned to social media platforms to source staff - 30% had used such sites to recruit personnel, and 17% had actually successfully found candidates from this source.
Unsurprisingly, the use of social media is highest in the IT / Telecoms industry, both in terms of using sites and hiring people via them. The IT sector is followed closely by Media/Marketing, and Financial Services/Banking.
Not convinced yet?
Despite the obvious rise in popularity of sites like LinkedIn for recruitment / job seeking purposes, many respondents to the survey remain unconvinced about the role social media will play in the recruitment process.
Some of the limitations expressed include the ease with which applicants can provide misleading information online, the lack of confidentiality, and a noticeable drop in quality candidates compared to more traditional recruitment methods.
Others say that, despite the benefits of social media sites, too many users get lost in a sea of 'noise' - in cluttered user groups and blogs.
The job searching functionality on LinkedIn has also been criticised for producing too many matches for each search, and not allowing users to refine searches sufficiently to source a good batch of potential applicants.
A companion for traditional recruitment?
Overall, the marked increase in popularity of LInkedIn by job seekers and recruiters alike suggests that social media will play an increasingly important role in recruitment, despite it's current limitations.
Most recruiters believe that the role recruitment agencies play is not under threat, and that the benefits of social media sites do outweigh the negatives.
LinkedIn is a low cost method of sourcing potential contractors, and although recruiters report having to work hard to filter searches to produce an accurate shortlist of candidates, it would seem that social media job hunting is a growing phenomenon which agencies should ignore at their peril.
It should also be noted that LinkedIn completely dominates the 'social media' market when it comes to job hunting - only 13% of respondents to the poll say they use Facebook for professional reasons, and the percentage who report using Twitter for networking purposes has actually fallen from 11% in 2009 to just 7% in 2012.
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