Recruitment at back of social media queue for UK businesses

A major Office for National Statistics (ONS) survey of UK businesses finds recruitment is at the bottom of the list of ways social media is used.

Thu, 5 Dec 2013A major Office for National Statistics (ONS) survey of UK businesses finds recruitment is at the bottom of the list of ways social media is used.

The annual ‘E-Commerce and ICT Activity, 2012’ survey, which for the first time this year breaks down what companies use social media for, finds recruiting staff is the fifth most common out of six applications.

The reasons that 7,700 UK businesses surveyed by the ONS use social media in 2012 were:

  1. 33.1% of companies use it to develop business image of market products
  2. 23.4% use it to obtain or respond to customer opinions, reviews or questions
  3. 15.9% make it a platform to exchange views, opinions or knowledge internally
  4. 12.9% use social media to collaborate with business partners or other   organisations
  5. 11.8% use it to recruit employees
  6. 11.6% involve customers in development or innovation of goods or services using social media

This result tallies with another report from recruitment firm Kelly Services last month, which showed that 11% of UK workers had got a job through social media – a much lower figure than elsewhere in the world.

Across each category, there was a marked difference between use of social media at smaller firms and larger firms. For recruiting:

  1. Firms with 10-49 staff: 9.9%
  2. Firms with 50-249 staff: 18.7%
  3. Firms with 250-999 staff: 28.3%
  4. Firms with over 1,000 staff: 44%

In total, 44.5% of companies make some use of social media. Construction was the least active industry with 19.9% of firms using social media, while perhaps unsurprisingly information and communications was the biggest user, at 77%.

This news alongside a new survey of 2,000 UK employees released yesterday by the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development (CIPD), which argued there is still a long way to go before employees’ business use of social media reaches its full potential in the workplace.

Meanwhile, delivering a masterclass in London late last month, recruitment speaker Greg Savage suggested recruiters can actually become more disconnected from their candidates through using technology.

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