How do job applicants and personnel managers use social media?

In the spring of 2013 personnel service provider Adecco asked a total of 100 personnel managers and 164 job applicants how they use social media. Find out more here about current trends and the right way to use social networks.

According to the study, around a third of companies to date use social media when prospecting for new employees. The clearest finding is that social networks are mainly used for approaching suitable candidates. Around 24% of the personnel managers in Austria use Xing, and only 12 % LinkedIn. The majority of personnel managers indicated that job offers are only very rarely made solely on the basis of a social media profile.

In contrast, the group of job applicants stated that they actively used social networks to look for jobs. The three most important reasons for job applicants to use social networks are:

  • Collecting information on companies (24 %)
  • Building professional networks (23 %)
  • Searching for job vacancies announced on company profiles (21 %)

Do personnel managers actually contact applicants via social networks? Adecco’s study gave the following answer: they primarily contact men and women aged 26-45 (68%), most of whom are currently employed and have a Bachelor (33%) or Master (12%) degree.

Appropriate behavior!

The traditional application, with photo, résumé and application letter, still counts very highly. Where the employer of your choice doesn’t offer an opportunity to apply online, then it is certainly advisable to stick to the traditional application format. Simply sending an email with your documents as attachments often appears unprofessional. In contrast, voestalpine provides a comprehensive online application portal. However, please note that here, too, it is the quality of your supporting documentation (cover letter, résumé and testimonials) which is most important. Online application portals often ask for a wide range of information – fill out the fields completely and conscientiously. This will help to sharpen your profile.

The primary reason that most companies use social networks is to contact candidates directly. So ensure that your profile provides relevant and interesting information. Whether on Facebook, Xing or LinkedIn, mention all your qualifications, references, skills and even hobbies.

However, when applying, don’t rely on your online profile or platforms alone. It is not enough to point to your online presence when writing a cover letter or résumé. It is not the job of the personnel manager to search for all your personal information. The company should be under the impression that you are actively interested in working for them, not that you are choosing the easiest route to distribute your documents and following the path of least resistance!

Pamela Schrampf, Application management at voestalpine Personal Services Pamela Schrampf, Application management at voestalpine Personal Services