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Job hunters turned off by ‘unprofessional social media’

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UK workers are shunning social media when applying for jobs because they do not think their profile will be taken seriously by prospective employers, a new survey by hyphen, the recruitment solutions provider, has found.

The poll of 1,000 workers shows that the number of professionals that use social media to apply for a new role has halved since last year – with a mere one in 20 (4.4 percent) making regular applications for jobs through digital channels in 2013, compared to 1 in 10 (9.1 percent) last year. Meanwhile, nearly a quarter (23.9 percent) of professionals say that even if they did apply for a new role through social media, they believe that their application would not be taken seriously. Last year, nearly half that amount (13.9 percent) expressed this view.

In spite of the growing importance of social media to corporate marketing strategies, and a significant investment in digital platforms, the poll shows that candidates are increasingly turned off using Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to apply for jobs. The poll revealed, however, that graduates are now more likely to apply for jobs using social media than last year, with one in 14 (7.7 percent) young professionals regularly making applications for jobs through digital channels – compared to just 3.1 percent last year.

But with even so-called digital natives still using other channels as their primary vehicle for finding and applying for jobs, firms must now either find new ways of engaging with talent through social media, or overhaul their online recruitment strategies entirely.

Zain Wadee, Managing Director at hyphen said: “Many companies have invested significantly in social media as a recruitment channel. However, it seems that many candidates are still using more traditional channels such as job boards and careers websites when it comes to making direct job applications. “With fewer professionals using social media to apply for jobs purely because they do not think their approach will be taken seriously, or because it could be deemed unprofessional, firms that wish to engage with talent on social channels need to find ways of overhauling their employer brand or methods of engagement to get up to speed with new methods of communication.

“Developing recruitment and talent-focused channels on social media sites should not be seen as a place solely to offload information about recruitment schemes and new roles, operating as a simple broadcast service to potential talent. Remember that people hire people. Effective use of social media as a recruitment channel should seek to encourage engagement and affinity with the employer brand, and adapt to the needs of the target audience. Failure to do so risks alienating talent, particularly a new generation of digital natives.”

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