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Using social media and social networking is increasingly important to win contracts

Contractors and clients are steadily increasing their use of social networking to connect contracts with candidates. Indeed, nearly a fifth of contractors and jobseekers have successfully found work via social networking. Using social media and networking to win contracts is becoming increasingly important, particularly as 30% of clients try social networking sites when they need to recruit.

This is according to a new report by executive and interim recruiter Executives Online. It says that during 2011/2012, 17% of interim management contractors and executives had found a contract or job using social networking, up from 14% in 2010. And the number of clients recruiting contractors and executives through social networks has increased dramatically: up to 17% in 2011/2012 from only 7% in 2010.

LinkedIn dominates the contractor and executive social networking space: 88% of those surveyed used LinkedIn in their professional life. In contrast, only 13% use Facebook and the number of contractors and clients using Twitter has actually fallen from 11% in 2010 to 7% in 2011/2012.

The survey asked respondents to rate the usefulness of the social networking sites that they incorporate into their professional networking and, once again, LinkedIn was the clear leader. Fewer than 10% of contractors, executives and clients rated LinkedIn as ‘useless’; the remainder rated it as either ‘useful’ or ‘highly valuable’.

Twitter, on the other hand, is clearly not viewed as a tool to win contracts: nearly all of those surveyed classified the micro-blogging network as ‘useless’. Facebook fared only slightly better, as just over half of respondents felt it failed to serve a useful purpose in their professional life and job search.

Respondents answered questions on other social networking sites, including Xing, Bebo, Viadeo and Experteer, but for each of these site usage by work seekers and hirers alike was in the single figures.

Contractors should strengthen the use of social media marketing and networking in their contract search action plans, as the survey clearly shows that the use of social networking as a recruitment tool is on the increase. In 2011/2012, the use of social networking sites by contractor clients and employers for recruitment has trebled since 2010, to reach 30%. And by 2011/2012, 67% of contractors and executives claimed to have searched for a contract or job using a social networking site.

Published: 22 June 2012

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