Social networking making small impact on Australian job seekers | Kelly Services Australia

Social networking making small impact on Australian job seekers

12 May 2011 

86 per cent of job seekers don’t use social networking sites to search for jobs 

Australian job seekers continue to go online to search for jobs, 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 more than 4,000 in Australia. 

The survey shows 29 per cent of respondents secured their most recent position through an online job posting, the leading source of jobs. Other methods of securing employment included: 

  • 21 per cent through recruitment/staffing firms 
  • 21 per cent through ‘word-of-mouth’ 
  • 13 per cent through direct approaches from employers 
  • 9 per cent through print advertisements 
  • 1 per cent through social media outlets 

Karen Colfer, Managing Director, Kelly Services Australia, said, “It is no surprise to see that online job boards remain the dominant channel through which people find work in Australia, however it was interesting to note just how few had actually secured roles through social media outlets. 

The survey, conducted from October 2010 through January 2011, shows that while social media is being actively used by 13 per cent of respondents as a job search tool, its success rate in actually helping job seekers secure a job is low - only 1 per cent report they used social media to secure their last role.  

Colfer said, “There is no doubt the use of social media as a job seeking tool will increase over time as it becomes more and more engrained in our everyday lives.  Ultimately it has the power to let people target the exact job they want, and even the organisation where they want to work. 

“It’s clear that social networking is changing the way that people communicate 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.” 

“Our advice to job seekers is to continue proactively managing their ‘digital portfolios’ using their online profiles as a as a ‘digital resume’. Social media is also a valuable search and networking tool so we certainly encourage people to engage through the medium.  

Key findings of the survey include: 

  • 29 per cent of job seekers secured their last role using online job boards, while only one per cent of job seekers secured their last role through social media outlets. 
  • 25 per cent of respondents are worried that material from their social networking sites could adversely impact their careers. 
  • When using social media to search for jobs, Facebook is the most popular social media site for Gen Y (aged 18-29) and Gen X (aged 30-47), but LinkedIn is preferred by baby boomers (aged 48-65). 
  • 27 per cent of Gen Y respondents believe it is essential to be active on social media in order to advance their careers, but only 20 per cent of Gen X and 13 per cent of baby boomers feel the same way. 
  • 36 per cent of respondents’ employers have social networking policies that regulate use at work. 
  • Industries where employees are most active in online conversations include travel/leisure (34%), retail (33%) and IT (32%).  

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 

Media contact:
Michelle Taylor
Recognition PR
02 9252 2266


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