HR News & Trends, Recruiting and Staffing

Survey: Fewer are Looking, But Most Are Open to Taking a New Job

Illustration by istockphoto.com

Jobvite’s annual Social Job Seeker Survey is out this week and it says that fewer working Americans are actively looking for a job, even as the survey found that most of us are open to opportunity should it come knocking.

Of the 1,029 employed workers taking part in the survey, 9 percent said they were actively looking for a job. Last year, 16 percent said they were looking.

Yet even as the active seekers declined, more employed workers moved into the “active” passive category this year. Jobvite says 69 percent of the employed are either seeking a new job or would be open to hearing about one. Last year, 61 percent were in that category.

And here is the headline figure to get your attention: Add in the unemployed respondents, and it turns out 75 percent of the workforce — employed and unemployed alike — are open to opportunities. Last year, that percentage was 69 percent.

61% feel that finding a job has gotten harder

Jobvite, a talent acquisition and recruitment management platform, which leverages social media and referrals, found that both the actively seeking and those passively seeking (which the company collectively calls job seekers) are more savvy than ever about using social and professional networks for business.

Compared to workers who are employed and not open to a new job, the job seekers are significantly more likely to have a profile on Facebook (85 to 75 percent), LinkedIn (44 to 31 percent), or Twitter (51 to 31 percent). Almost two-thirds of them have at least two profiles on social sites.

A quarter of them have updated their Facebook or LinkedIn profile this last year. That’s not surprising considering the Jobvite survey found 61 percent of the actives and passively actives believe finding a job has gotten harder in the last year. A third of them are less optimistic now that they’ll find the right job.

Also not surprising, since any number of surveys have found the same thing, 32 percent of Jobvite’s job seekers credit job boards for their current job. What is surprising was that 26 percent say a newspaper helped them find their current job; 27 percent say a classified ad led to their favorite job.

Referrals, however, were still the strongest source of best jobs and right behind job boards as the source of their current job. Thirty-one percent credit a professional or personal referral for their current job; 41 percent say they got their favorite or best job ever as a result of a referral from family or friends.

Social media getting more credit

Social media got credit by 16 percent for their current job. One in six said they got their best job ever through Facebook.

Add up the multiple responses to the sources and methods people used to get their current job, and between social media and referrals — which these days often come from friends and contacts on social networks — it comes to 40 percent.

“With fierce competition for jobs, which now includes a majority of employed people on top of active job seekers, social media has become a critical tool for job hunting and career growth,” said Dan Finnigan, Jobvite’s president and CEO.

“One in six job seekers polled credited a social network for leading to their current/most recent employment. Maintaining your online presence and keeping employment top-of-mind at all times are vital to professional success. With technology and social networking rapidly evolving, those who don’t engage through Facebook, LinkedIn, and/or Twitter will quickly find themselves falling behind.”

John Zappe is the editor of The Fordyce Letter. He was a newspaper reporter and editor until his geek gene lead him to launch his first website in 1994. Never a recruiter, he instead built online employment sites and sold advertising services to recruiters and employers. Besides writing for ERE.net, John consults with digital content operations, focusing on the advertising side. Contact him at zappemedia@gmail.com.