Adecco Group, the global leader in HR solutions , publishes #SocialRecruiting – Job Search, Digital Reputation and HR Practices in the Social Media Age. Key findings show that social media is, and will increasingly become, the new job market place, but best practices and impacts are not always clear for both the job seekers and the recruiters. The Adecco study provides expert advice on successfully logging onto the job market. The survey, the most comprehensive in this field to date, was conducted in collaboration with the Catholic University of Milan, Italy.

Over 17,000 job seekers and more than 1,500 recruiters from 24 countries took part in Adecco’s survey, sharing their opinions and experiences on the use of social media for recruitment and job search practices. The data, analyzed in collaboration with the Catholic University of Milan, Italy, covers in particular, the use of social media for professional purposes, its effectiveness in matching job seekers with open positions, as well as the relevance of web reputation and its impact on recruiting.

The results clearly show that social media is and will increasingly become the new job market place, playing a crucial role in the process of sourcing and recruiting. According to the Adecco study, in 2013 more than half of all recruitment activity involved the Internet (53%), with a particular focus on social media. The percentage for 2014 is expected to continue to rise (61%). More explicitly, seven out of ten recruiters say they use social media for their Human Resource activities, and five out of ten job seekers say they use social media to search for job opportunities. Moreover, almost 30% of job seekers have been contacted through social media by a recruiter at least once, with 9% receiving a job offer.

Contrary to expectations, social media recruiting is no longer an exclusive prerogative of highly qualified and experienced candidates; the majority of profiles searched for via social media today are non-managerial ones.

Another key finding is that online networking is important in recruiting and job search practices. Job seekers with a richer online network get better results in terms of contacts with recruiters and final hiring. The candidates with high-status online networks are also more effective compared to those with high-status offline networks.

The study also confirms that the candidates’ social media reputation matters and recruiters largely use social networks to assess it. For this purpose, the use of LinkedIn remains predominant (68%), but Facebook is also relevant (52%), although this is generally regarded as a more personal social networking site. When looking at the profiles of potential candidates, recruiters search for previous professional work experience. Information such as professional awards and achievements, is also important, but is often neglected in candidates’ profiles. Recruiters also look for insights into candidates’ personalities. Approximately one third of them admit that they have rejected a potential candidate as a consequence of the content or the pictures posted on his or her profile. Particular attention is paid to the comments posted, especially in relation to activities which may violate university or workplace policies. However, the vast majority of job seekers underestimate the professional relevance of their personal social networks. They largely state that they do not post sensitive comments or compromising pictures, showing that often they are not aware of the impact of their communication choices on the Web.

“This is where Adecco guidance can help”, says Silvia Zanella, Adecco Global Social Media & Online Marketing Director. “The predominant relevance of social media recruiting is a reality today and undoubtedly also in the future. We can help job seekers get the most out of the unlimited opportunities available through the proper use of social networks, and provide recruiters with the best tools to improve the quality of their professional social media practices. That’s why we’ve published our golden social media tips for both job seekers and recruiters.”

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