Adecco Publishes Global Study on the Use of Social Media in Recruitment and Job Searching

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Social media has become the universal domain for both recruiters and job seekers alike.  Social media websites are essentially storefronts in the new marketplace for jobs.

As the global leader in HR solutions, Adecco wants to better understand how people interact in this new marketplace: how they search for jobs, which platforms they use and how they present themselves online. This is why we’ve completed our first global study on the use of social media in recruiting and job search.

About the study

Developed by Adecco Group in partnership with the Catholic University of Milan, Italy, the study is the most comprehensive research of its kind to date. Responses from 17,272 job seekers and 1,501 recruiters from 24 countries were collected. The topics of research include:

  • The use of social media for professional purposes
  • The effectiveness of social media in the matching of job seekers with open positions in the job market
  • The relevance of web reputation and its impact on recruiting
  • The social capital of individual candidates
  • How recruiters explore the web when looking for a candidate

About the results

Social media is, and will continue to become, the new job marketplace:

  • In 2013 more than half of all recruitment activity involved the Internet (53 percent), with the percentage for 2014 expected to continue to grow (61 percent). In particular, social media is the digital tool expected to experience the greatest increase in usage in 2014 by the recruitment sector.
  • 7 out of 10 recruiters use social media for their daily HR professional activities.
  • 5 out of 10 job seekers use social media for job search purposes.
  • When it comes to profile scouting and the verification of resumes, social media is used more often than traditional search engines.
  • 29 percent of job seekers were contacted through social media by a recruiter at least once; and
  • 9 percent of the respondents received a job offer as well.

Recruiters largely use social media to assess a candidate’s reputation:

  • The use of LinkedIn remains predominant (68 percent), but Facebook is also relevant (52 percent), although this is generally regarded by job seekers as a more personal social networking site.
  • Recruiters believe that the most attractive element to find on a social media profile is previous professional work experience, followed by the presence of professional prizes, achievements, and/or awards, which tend to be overlooked by candidates in their profiles.
  • Personality insights that can be identified from the profile come third, while no interest is shown for the candidates’ number of contacts. This evidence shows that recruiters prefer “tangible skills”: information that is difficult to fabricate, such as previous work experiences and qualifications. The profile’s number of contacts is usually distrusted as a sort of “noisy information”, not providing evidence for professional assessment.

Approximately one third of recruiters admit that they have rejected a potential candidate as a consequence of the information, pictures and/or content posted to the candidate’s profile:

  • Among the different elements which negatively influence the assessment of the web reputation of a candidate, recruiters pay particular attention to the comments posted, especially in relation to the participation of activities, which may violate University or workplace policies.

Social media recruiting no longer applies to only highly qualified and experienced profiles:

  • The majority of profiles searched for via social media today are non-managerial ones, demonstrating that social recruiting is broader than what is normally expected.
  • On the other side, the element that most affects attitudes towards the use of social media for job search is educational qualification, with graduates significantly more active than non-graduates.
  • Gender also emerges as a marker of difference, with women reported to be more active.

The data points above reflect the global results of the study. The full report is available for download here, as well as regional and local reports. Click to learn more about social recruiting and the impact of social media on the job market in the USA compared to other countries and regions.

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