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Is Twitter a good source of new contract opportunities?
Posted Feb 15, 2012
A major study into the social media habits of both recruiters and job seekers has been released this week.
The report looks at the current activity of the recruitment industry and job hunters across the three major social networking sites, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
Although most contractors might assume that LinkedIn is the only credible platform for recruiters and potential 'hires' to interact on, the story isn't as simple as that.
Unsurprisingly, recruitment agencies do use LinkedIn and Twitter far more than Facebook - LinkedIn drives the most views and applications for each job posting.
However the analysis shows that Twitter followers are far more likely to apply for a role than 'connections' on LinkedIn or 'connections' on Facebook.
The report's author, Bullhorn Reach, a social recruitment firm, with offices in the US, UK and Australia, said that agencies seem to be under-utilising the power of Twitter and Facebook, but this could be set to change over the coming year.
Interesting facts and figures
LinkedIn, the professional social network, drives around three times the number of job views as Twitter, and six times that of Facebook.
In terms of applications for work, LinkedIn drives three times the number that Twitter provides (and nine times more applications than Facebook).
However, it seems that Twitter followers are more likely to trust a contact when it comes to job applications - Twitter followers are three times as likely to apply to a job posting from a contact on Twitter, than from a LinkedIn connection.
As a result, Bullhorn Reach expects Twitter to become a far more widely used social network for recruitment purposes.
The average recruiter has 616 LinkedIn connections, and 245 Facebook friends, but just 37 followers on Twitter, despite the apparent benefits the micro-blogging site can provide. In fact, over one third of recruiters surveyed had less than 10, and 75% less than 100 followers on Twitter.
What does the future hold for social media contract searching?
LinkedIn remains the most powerful network for both contractors and agencies, and is likely to remain so for the foreseeable future, but Twitter is by far the most efficient social media network at driving applications.
We should expect to see a significant increase in the usage of Twitter for professional purposes, especially after the recent launch of Twitter business pages.
Joining LinkedIn should be a no-brainer for IT contractors, as it provides access to potential new opportunities, and also a chance to keep in touch with old colleagues; many contractors go through their careers relying solely on past contacts to secure new work, without even visiting a job board.
Given the survey's findings, it may be worth signing up for a Twitter account and following recruiters and specialist job boards, to maximise the number of contract roles you have access to.
It may be worth keeping an eye on the more recently launched Google Plus, as the search giant is also likely to cash in on the lucrative recruitment market.
You may also be interested in the benefits of LinkedIn for contractors.
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