Social Networking Changing the Landscape for Chinese Job Seekers, Kelly Global Workforce Index™ Finds
(May 19, 2011) – More than one-in-three people surveyed from China are going online in their hunt for work, but many are growing nervous about the potential career fallout from personal content on social networking sites, according to the latest survey results from global workforce solutions leader, Kelly Services®.
The findings are part of the Kelly Global Workforce Index, which obtained the views of approximately 97,000 people in 30 countries, including almost 10,000 in China.
The survey shows 38 percent of respondents secured their most recent position through an online job posting, the leading source of jobs, ahead of “word-of-mouth” referrals, used by 25 percent, recruitment/staffing firms (18 percent), direct approaches from employers (12 percent), “other” methods (4 percent), print advertisements (3 percent), and social media sites (1 percent).
Even though a small percentage of people actually secured their most recent job through social networking, 21 percent are scouring social media sites, such as Facebook®, LinkedIn® and Twitter®, seeking job openings or promotions.
The survey, conducted from October 2010 through January 2011, shows that while social media is active as an employment tool, so too is apprehension about the damage it can have on careers. More than a third of respondents admit to deliberately editing content on their social networking pages to avoid career problems.
“The use of social media in finding work is becoming more common because it allows people to target exactly the job they want, and even the organisation where they want to work,” says Mark Hall, General Manager, Director PT operations, Kelly China. “Candidates and employers are becoming more adept in using this medium, which will see it grow and evolve as a means to find work and advance careers.”
Results of the survey in China show:
- Facebook is the most popular social media site for Gen X (aged 30-47) respondents to look for work, while Gen Y (aged 18-29) prefer blogs, and baby boomers (aged 48-65) split their time between LinkedIn and Facebook.
- 40 percent of respondents say they are worried that material from their social networking sites could adversely impact their careers.
- 59 percent of Gen Y respondents say it’s essential to be active on social media in order to advance their careers, compared with 54 percent of Gen X and 43 percent of baby boomers.
- 24 percent of respondents say their employers have social networking policies that regulate use at work.
- Industries where employees are most active in online conversations include Travel/Leisure, Contact Centre/Customer Service, and Education.
- Those most active in searching for jobs online are in Hebei, where 31 percent use social networking to seek work, followed by Henan (28 percent), Hubei and Shandong (both 25 percent). In the Sichuan region 21 percent search for jobs online, while Guangdong and Shanghai (both 19 percent), and Beijing (18 percent) were less active online.
And despite the rise in popularity of social networking, the vast majority of respondents (64 percent) spend an hour or less per day on social media sites, while 20 percent spend no time at all. Only 16 percent spend an hour or more each day.
“It’s clear that social networking is changing the way that people seek out work and engage in conversations about work opportunities. Like any new technology, people are learning that there are positives and negatives, and they need to be careful that they are tapping into the best elements of the Internet when their careers are involved,” Mark concludes.
For more information about these survey results and other key global findings, please visit the Kelly Global Workforce Index.
About the Kelly Global Workforce Index™
The Kelly Global Workforce Index is an annual survey revealing opinions about work and the workplace from a generational viewpoint. Approximately 97,000 people from the Americas, APAC and EMEA responded to the 2011 survey with results published on a quarterly basis. Kelly Services was the recipient of a MarCom Platinum Award in 2010 and a Gold Award in 2009 for the Kelly Global Workforce Index in the Research/Study category.
About Kelly Services®
Kelly Services, Inc. (NASDAQ: KELYA, KELYB) is a leader in providing workforce solutions. Kelly® offers a comprehensive array of outsourcing and consulting services as well as world-class staffing on a temporary, temporary-to-hire and direct-hire basis. Serving clients around the globe, Kelly provides employment to more than 530,000 employees annually. Revenue in 2010 was $5 billion. Visit www.kellyservices.cn and connect with us on Weibo.
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