Asia Pacific Lags Behind in Recruitment-based Social Networking

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The Asia Pacific lags behind some European countries in recruitment-based social networking, according to a survey conducted by Aquent. The survey revealed a minimal uptake of social networking websites in the Asia Pacific region by candidates and employers for recruitment purposes.

Greg Savage, Aquent International CEO

As a new tool for talent acquisition, social media has yet to be fully tested or quantified in the Asia Pacific region - and almost all feedback is anecdotal

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The Asia Pacific lags behind some European countries in recruitment-based social networking, according to a survey conducted by Aquent, the leading global staffing firm specialising in marketing, communications and creative talent.

The Aquent Orange Book 2008-2009, a salary survey and industry monitor of key Asia Pacific and European markets, revealed a minimal uptake of social networking websites in the Asia Pacific by candidates and employers for recruitment purposes.

"The contrast between its use in the Asia Pacific region and some parts of Europe is stark and cannot be ignored," said Aquent International CEO, Greg Savage.

"Europe is a highly sophisticated labour market and it's clear some employers and many job seekers have found a way to extract value from social media, which is clearly demonstrated in the latest Aquent research."

In Germany (39 percent), France (34 percent), Poland (30 percent), and the Netherlands (23 percent), candidates rated social networking sites as a preferred method of job seeking, as did 13 to 18 percent of employers as a tool for sourcing talent.

Meanwhile, no greater than nine percent of both employers and candidates across Australia, New Zealand, China, Japan, Malaysia, and Singapore utilised social networking sites as a sourcing technique.

But Savage warns that recruitment-based social networking is not without risk.

"As a new tool for talent acquisition, social media has yet to be fully tested or quantified in the Asia Pacific region - and almost all feedback is anecdotal," he said.

"For employers, it remains hugely labour intensive, can be frustrating, and poses very real risks of brand damage and internal misuse.

"Candidates, on the other hand, expose themselves to potential discrimination and can also damage their employment prospects because their online footprint may not come across very favorably at all."

However, Savage believes that despite its flaws, social media may prove helpful in the ongoing access to quality talent, a factor critical to the competitiveness of Asia Pacific companies.

"The next wave of technology that supports talent acquisition is worth exploration and investment, especially as avenues like job boards and print media are becoming less effective and more expensive," he said.

"I suspect employers, both recruiters and corporate, who can blend social networking into a fully integrated recruitment plan, will be the ultimate winners."

About Aquent
Aquent (http://www.aquent.com) is the leading global staffing firm specialising in helping companies find marketing, communications and creative talent. With 73 offices in 18 countries, they have an unmatched network of professionals that enables them to deliver the right solution for any client need and provide exceptional career opportunities for their talent. Today Aquent has over 11,000 professionals working at over 3,000 companies. Over the course of its history, Aquent has made over half a million matches of professionals to our clients on an individual, team or through an onsite or offsite managed service basis. The company's Asia-Pacific headquarters are in Sydney.

About the Aquent Orange Book
Now in its fourth year, The Aquent Orange Book is an industry reference document on salaries and hiring trends published in two editions - Asia Pacific and Europe. Internationally, the Aquent Orange Book covers the following categories, among others: marketing, market research, creative, design, digital, advertising, MICE, publishing, editorial, media, PR and communications, and is targeted towards senior managers.

The survey provides salary information, detailed statistics on staff turnover, retention strategies, talent sourcing strategies, salary increase percentages and forecasts on permanent and contract hiring trends.

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