Print is dead. Long-live LinkedIn

2013

In just five years, social media has become an integral part of job searching as well as a crucial tool for recruiters. According to a new survey, LinkedIn is now the dominant force as far as recruitment is concerned, with print media now all-but extinct.

An annual survey by Right Management, part of the ManpowerGroup, quizzed more than 300 job seekers and 100 hiring managers, recruiters and human resource executives across North America.

Almost all of those questioned (94 per cent), said that LinkedIn was the top social media site for job hunting, while hiring managers chose LinkedIn by a margin of two-to-one as the best place from which to source candidates.

"The increased use of technology, especially advances in social media related technologies, has been relentless," said Monika Morrow, Senior Vice President of Career Management at Right Management.

"Social media, for one thing, helps individuals reach out and build their job search network. They can find people in targeted companies and connect with those who can help."

LinkedIn's overwhelming dominance as a job hunting tool means that Google+, Facebook and Twitter barely get a look-in except as also-rans. Among social media sites used by hiring managers LinkedIn was way out in front, followed by, Facebook, with Google+ third, and Twitter a distant fourth.

This is reflected in LinkedIn's revenue from recruitment products, which rose 69 per cent to $205m in the second quarter of 2013.

Job boards, a dominant force only five years ago, have declined slightly in importance for job-seekers, as have recruitment agencies. And do you remember the days when newspapers carried chunky weekly recruitment supplements? In just a decade, they have been driven to extinction, with the survey showing that print now barely registers as a recruitment medium at all.

The importance of mobile technology in recruitment's future is underlined by the fact that more than six out of 10 candidates now uses a smartphone, (a big rise on the 43 per cent a year ago), with that figure rising to more than seven out of 10 "Gen X" job-seekers. And with almost a quarter (22 per cent) saying they have used smartphone job search apps, this is an area that we can expect to see develop rapidly over the next few years.

In contrast, while video interviews have been heralded as the next big thing for several years, fewer than one in five (18 per cent) said they have experienced one, although that is double the figure of two years ago. Skype is the interview platform most often used, while webcam use has also risen.

Perhaps not entirely unconnected to this is that fact that only a third of the job candidates questioned now have a landline, with the proportion reducing year-on-year (and let's face it, a video interview over a mobile connection is not a pleasant prospect).

As far as hiring managers and recruiters are concerned, half now use social media sites to post job openings and three-quarters log on to find candidates. Meanwhile, two-thirds still use generalist job boards to source candidates

Nineteen percent said they have used video interviews, about the same as year ago; and more than two-thirds expect video interviews to be used more in the next three years.

But while technology tools are becoming ever more central to the job hunting and hiring process, Monika Morrow cautioned that they are still only tools. Finding a new position with the help of technology does not occur as part of an automatic process, she said.

"On the contrary, success almost always comes down to the candidate making a personal connection with a person or persons on the hiring side. The technology, now so integral to the job search, is just a tool, not by itself a solution."