FUNDAMENTAL SHIFT ORFLASH-IN-THE-PAN?The Use of Social Networking Sites in Recruitment
There is no constant but“ change, as the saying  goes, so much of this  will continue to evolve    as social networking   ...
ContentsIntroduction                                                     1Research Objectives and Methodology             ...
Introduction                                                                 Executives Online offers a unique, fast-track...
Research Objectives and MethodologyOBJECTIVESOur goal was to understand how both individualsand companies were currently u...
Current Usage of Social Networking Sites    Almost all sites showed an increase in                                        ...
Usefulness Ratings of Social Networking SitesWhen respondents were asked to rate theusefulness of the various social netwo...
More detailed survey questions sought to                                                        assess how useful the soci...
Outlook on the Value of Social Networking Sites in RecruitmentInterestingly, despite the relatively low usage and success ...
Despite the majority positive outlook, some             Please excuse my ignorance but I dontto be little more than people...
is accurate and how much they deliver. I    see my LinkedIn page as advertising    space for my professional career.    I ...
About Executives Online                                                              We offer a unique, full -service proc...
Communities of interest“        which span across     companies, skill areas,      and social groups will          become ...
South of England                  Scotland                          GermanyStaple House, 3rd Floor           Dalgety Bay B...
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Social Networking White Paper

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Social networking sites like LinkedIn, Xing, Viadeo and even Facebook and Twitter are playing an increasing role in helping people maintain and leverage their personal and professional networks. They’re playing a growing role in recruitment as well. Does the hype match the reality? Find out in this updated report from Executives Online. Fundamental Shift or Flash-in-the-Pan: The Use of Social Networking Sites in Recruitment aims to answer such questions as what sites executives are using, how they rate them, how effective they are in hiring and job-seeking, and their potential to transform the recruitment landscape.

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Social Networking White Paper

  1. 1. FUNDAMENTAL SHIFT ORFLASH-IN-THE-PAN?The Use of Social Networking Sites in Recruitment
  2. 2. There is no constant but“ change, as the saying goes, so much of this will continue to evolve as social networking sites find their role amidst more traditional recruitment methods ”
  3. 3. ContentsIntroduction 1Research Objectives and Methodology 2Current Usage of Social Networking Sites 3Usefulness Ratings of Social Networking Sites 4Outlook on the Value of Social Networking Sites in Recruitment 6
  4. 4. Introduction Executives Online offers a unique, fast-track approach to executive resourcing and has been a pioneer in the recruitment field, driving and capitalising on key trends and tracking“ ...we undertook a survey ... to gauge the impact that socialnetworking sites were having on the practice of recruitment.” new developments as technology and the Internet play an increasing role in job search and recruitment. It was thus with great interest that we undertook to survey our candidates and clients to gauge the impact that social networking sites were having on the practice of recruitment. We wanted to understand how candidates were using social networking sites to market themselves, and whether businesses were making use of social networking sites to find or research potential employees. Our first survey on this topic was conducted in September 2009, and we have followed it with another in September-October 2010 to track changes and identify trends. There is no constant but change, as the saying goes, so much of this will continue to evolve as social networking sites find their role amidst more traditional recruitment methods. In the meantime, it is fascinating to watch the process unfold. Anne Beitel Managing Director Executives Online 1
  5. 5. Research Objectives and MethodologyOBJECTIVESOur goal was to understand how both individualsand companies were currently using socialnetworking sites in their job search and/orrecruiting efforts, and specifically which sites theywere finding the most useful. Research questionsincluded:• Which of the social networking sites do you use?• Please rate these sites in terms of their usefulness in your professional life/job search.• Have you ever searched for a job via a social networking site?• Have you ever actually found a job via a social networking site?• Have you ever tried to recruit via a social networking site?• Have you ever actually hired someone you recruited via a social networking site?• How would you describe your view of the importance of social networking sites and technologies?SURVEY METHODOLOGY AND TIMINGSOur surveys were conducted online in September2009 and September-October 2010 among morethan 1,200 senior executives in the UK, who areeither registered with us as candidates for interimor permanent roles, or who have used orenquired about our services. 2
  6. 6. Current Usage of Social Networking Sites Almost all sites showed an increase in When we specified “in your professional life”, popularity and usage among the executives usage remained similar for LinkedIn, but surveyed, reflecting increasing adoption of declined to levels similar to last year for the social networking generally. In 2010, LinkedIn less business-oriented sites. Some respondents increased its lead in popularity and use over found the use of social networking sites to be other social networking sites, with 87% of a phenomenon more relevant in the personal respondents reporting using it, up from 61% realm than in the professional realm. As one last year. Facebook was the second most respondent commented, “Its mixing social popular choice among executives surveyed, and professional lives, typically areas kept with 45% indicating they used the site, up separate for most people.” from 33% a year ago. Twitter and Xing also doubled in usage, with new sites we asked about for the first time used by less than 5% of those surveyed. Which of the following social networking sites do you use? 100% 87% key Percentage of Respondents Using 80% 2009 2010 61% 60% 45% 40% 33% 22% 20% 11% 10% 5% not 4% not 5% 1% 0% asked asked 0% LinkedIn Facebook Xing Bebo Twitter Viadeo Experteer Which of the following social networking sites do you use IN YOUR PROFESSIONAL LIFE? 100% 84% key Percentage of Respondents Using 80% 2009 2010 62% 60% 40% 20% 11% 7% 6% 7% not not 5% 3% 5% 0% 0% asked 2% asked 0% LinkedIn Facebook Xing Bebo Twitter Viadeo Experteer3
  7. 7. Usefulness Ratings of Social Networking SitesWhen respondents were asked to rate theusefulness of the various social networkingsites, LinkedIn once again garnered thehighest ratings for “usefulness.” For sites likeFacebook, Twitter, and Xing, even active userswere far more likely to rate those sites as“useless.” In 2010, more executives arefinding Twitter useful, although thepercentage who find it “highly valuable” stilltrails LinkedIn by several orders of magnitude. Please rate the following sites in terms of their usefulness in your professional life/job search: among our survey respondents was LinkedIn” 2009 Highly valuable Useful Useless 2010 Highly valuable Useful Useless 100% “The most popular social networking site 90% 80% Percentage of Respondents 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% LinkedIn Facebook Xing Twitter 4
  8. 8. More detailed survey questions sought to assess how useful the social networking sites were to the recruitment process itself. More than half of respondents indicated that they had searched for a job using social networking sites, up from a third in 2009. In 2010, 14% report having found a job via social networking, double the prior year’s percentage. From an employer perspective, 17% of respondents had tried using social“Fully a third of respondents indicated that they had networking sites to recruit someone, and 7% had actually hired a candidate they’d foundsearched for a job using social networking sites” this way, up from 4% last year. Usage and Success of Social Networking Sites in Job Searching and Hiring 100% Yes (7%) Yes Yes (4%) Yes (7%) Yes Yes Yes Yes (14%) (10%) 90% (33%) (53%) No (17%) No No (96%) No (93%) (93%) 80% No (90%) No Percentage of Respondents (86%) (83%) 70% 60% No (67%) 50% 40% No (47%) 30% 20% 10% 0% Have you ever Have you ever Have you ever Have you ever searched for a job actually found a tried to recruit a actually hired on a social job via a social job via a social someone you networking site? networking site? networking site? have recruited via a social networking site? 5
  9. 9. Outlook on the Value of Social Networking Sites in RecruitmentInterestingly, despite the relatively low usage and success What best describes your view of the importancerates of social networking sites in the recruitment process to of social networking sites and technologies?date, survey respondents were positive overall about theireventual role, with fully half believing “they will grow inimportance and will someday be how everyone hires andfinds work.” Some saw the use of social networking sites asa way that companies could save on recruitment costs, but 15%even more saw the benefit of social networking sites ascreating more open access to information for everyone. Useful source of information, advice and comment on business issues rather than a direct source of job 50% opportunities or candidates. Use as a recruitment aid 35% to check background of interviewers, interviewees and other stakeholders The market is imperfect, so anything that rounds the square will help. They will grow in importance and will The evidence is now overwhelming that recruiters refer someday be how everyone hires and finds to LinkedIn especially as a research and screening work – 50% tool. Both LinkedIn and Xing are excellent for sales Fine for more junior jobseekers and roles but leads for interims and I am currently pursuing possible not for executive recruitment – 35% assignments as a result of using both sites. Theyre the lastest "flash in the pan," hot today but will be forgotten tomorrow – 15% I think its still early days yet. Users haven’t yet developed a workable recruitment model that everyone can buy into or feel comfortable with. As a sector and function- specific notice board it has its merits but not enough people are using it. Im sure it will evolve with time. I thought LinkedIn was fantastic, in my 4 month search for a job I had more interviews for roles from contact on LinkedIn than agencies or other approaches. In the end I had 5 offers for jobs at the same time, 3 through LinkedIn.One caveat that found some consensus is at which “levels”the value of social networking sites will be most critical.Over a third saw social networking sites as “fine for morejunior jobseekers and roles but not for executiverecruitment.” 6
  10. 10. Despite the majority positive outlook, some Please excuse my ignorance but I dontto be little more than people airing their concerns, moans and respondents had a very negative view of understand how to effectively use theseI am a member of a number of LinkedIn Groups. They seem social networking sites in the recruitment sites for job searching and networking realm, fearing potential dishonesty and so whilst I am a member I am actually unsavoury business practices among both only reactive to others requests. Maybe candidates and recruiters. a tutorial or instructions to use these mediums effectively would be helpful. They are becoming trawling ground for shady recruiters. Had a number of Ultimately, though, while a majority of bizarre communications on LinkedIn respondents concurred that social networkingfrustrations and are of very little, if any, actual use. lately, and have blocked the view of my sites would have some role in recruitment, contacts and am not accepting any mail many noted that they would never fully from people I dont know. Sad, but thats replace more traditional recruitment methods, how it is. or become the “exclusive channel.” Several mentioned that social networking sites will Social networking sites are potentially become a tool of the recruitment industry, dangerous because they allow anyone rather than used by hiring managers from criminals to the security services to themselves. As one respondent wrote, social learn an enormous amount about us to networking sites will become part of “a the point where as individuals we will toolbox of methods of hiring or researching have no privacy and where many people business opportunities.” will lose the art and skill of conversation and relationship building. Several respondents cited the generational aspects of adoption of these new platforms Credibility is doubtful; I have seen and their impact on senior executive recommendations being engineered. recruitment. The “time consumption” factor was another I have not heard of any mature fear: professional finding a job using Linked- In or any other social networking site. [Social networking sites] can absorb The sites have value for contacting colossal amounts of time and their individuals but for anybody over 50 I effectiveness is questionable. doubt whether social networking sites will be the place to find a new role Despite the increased popularity of LinkedIn and other sites, many executive surveyed do Social networking sites have their place . not find them effective, or sufficiently intuitive . . they should be considered part of a such that they can be learned on one’s own: balanced approach to job hunting, just another advertising medium. I have never seen any benefit whatsoever from my membership of I think they will be useful to keep an LinkedIn. Indeed, I am struggling to work online CV, profile and networking out what I am supposed to be doing contacts. I dont think they will replace with it and considering removing my agencies completely. Everyone talks a details from it. lot on these sites but not sure how much 7
  11. 11. is accurate and how much they deliver. I see my LinkedIn page as advertising space for my professional career. I dont think theyll ever replace the need to meet people. Culture, fit and values cant be assessed from a site.Respondents were quick to point out that thevalue of social networking sites was much likemany things in life: “what you get out of themreflects the effort you put in.” Noting the parallelsbetween one’s “real” social/professionalnetwork in the world and the one “online,” onerespondent pointed out that the sameconsiderations would apply: I think they are useful for professional headhunters, but for people such as myself looking to find a candidate to fill a spot in the organisation it is not as useful, as it is very time consuming.Finally, it’s important to note that mostrespondents considered LinkedIn to have fargreater value in the recruitment realm thanany of the other social networking sites. Onerespondent commented rather pointedly onthe topic: “some like Twitter and Bebo areflash in the pans, but LinkedIn will becomeincreasingly useful and survive.” 8
  12. 12. About Executives Online We offer a unique, full -service process with is a bal anced blend of technology and persona l servi ce. Executives Online delivers fast-track executive resourcing – interim management, project management, and permanent recruitment – leveraging our 100,000-strong Talent Bank of senior executives. We source talent globally, via the Talent Bank which is built and drawn upon by“Social networking sites have their place... they should be each of our growing network of offices around the world.considered part of a balanced approach to job hunting” We offer a unique, full-service process which is a balanced blend of technology and personal service. Our approach attracts both the best candidates and the most challenging opportunities, and enables us to rapidly and effectively match then together in successful placements. 9
  13. 13. Communities of interest“ which span across companies, skill areas, and social groups will become stronger providing recruiters with networks of talent ”
  14. 14. South of England Scotland GermanyStaple House, 3rd Floor Dalgety Bay Business Centre Dillenburger StrasseStaple Gardens, Winchester Ridgeway, Dalgety Bay, KY11 9JN 51105 CologneHampshire, SO23 8SR T: +44 (0) 1383 828920 T: +49 (0) 221-460 234 17T: +44 (0) 1962 893 300 Midlands ItalyLondon West Walk Building Via Senigallia 18/2 Torre ACapital Tower, 91 Waterloo Road 110 Regent Road 20161 MilanLondon, SE1 8RT Leicester, LE1 7LT T: +39 (0) 2 6467 2632T: +44 (0) 845 053 1188 T: +44 (0) 845 328 2370 The NetherlandsNorth of England South West and Wales Atrium gebouw2 Victoria Street, Wetherby 1 Friary, Temple Quay Strawinskylaan 3051West Yorkshire, LS22 6RE Bristol, BS1 6EA 1077 ZX AmsterdamT: +44 (0) 1937 581900 T: +44 (0) 117 344 5128 T: +31 (0)20 3012159North East of England Ireland AustraliaRotterdam House 1st Floor, 43 Main Street Level 6, 77 Pacific HighwayQuayside Rathfarnham, Dublin, D14 North Sydney, NSW 2060Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 3DY T: +353 (1) 492 5000 T: +61 (02) 9460 3824T: +44 (0) 191 2064113 Belgium South AfricaNorth West of England Gentsesteenweg 1050, bus 12 West Block, Dunkeld Crescent82 King Street 1082 Brussels Corner Jan Smuts and Albury RdManchester, M2 4WQ T: +32 (0) 475 580 333 Dunkeld West 2196T: +44 (0) 161 935 8246 T: +27 (0)11 2432801 France 17 rue du Maréchal Lyautey 95620 Parmain T: +33 (0)1 34 73 10 72

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