According to the Potentialpark research into the online presence of recruiters, eight students in 10 said that they want to communicate with employers via mobile technology. Furthermore, 86% said they are already using or intend to use their smartphones for career-related purposes, such as visiting companies' mobile career pages or downloading their apps.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the increasingly popular platforms of microblogging and blogs are becoming effective niche channels. Eight per cent of respondents in the UK use a Twitter account for career-related purposes and 44% think that employers should be present on the site.
Jobseekers who responded to the survey also said that they want to be able to find relevant information quickly and easily, as well as desiring customised, targeted job offers, email job alerts and a way to track the status of their applications. They also want personal contact from recruiters.
How recruiters are reaching out across social media
"Finding interesting jobs" is the main reason for students in the UK to interact with employers online, with 65% of respondents saying that this is the case. However, more than half of the respondents also gave other reasons, including: finding attractive companies that they would not think of otherwise (55%); getting in touch with recruiters (52%); and building their professional network (52%). Interestingly, far more of the UK respondents (51%) said they are curious about "realistic insights and interesting background information". This is considerably higher than in Germany (33%) and France (35%).
However, 52% of respondents said that they have privacy concerns and are uncomfortable to share private information when interacting with employers online, and 51% said that they are afraid they could be rejected for the wrong reasons if employers view information on them that is hosted on personal social media profiles.
"Jobseekers are cautious towards, but not dismissive of the idea of using social media for career-related purposes," says Julian Ziesing, research spokesman at Potentialpark. "Slowly but surely they start to discover the power of networks and take control of their candidate brand."
Potentialpark recommends that jobseekers should learn how to share the right information on each platform they use. "You can keep private party photos visible for friends only, and at the same time engage with employers on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other platforms," says Ziesing. "This is no contradiction, but a key competence for ambitious talents to build a powerful candidate brand on multiple channels."
Employers, meanwhile, are advised to respect people's privacy, not only with a clear statement, but by understanding where each platform has its thin line between professional and private interaction.