Sixty per cent of M'sians use social media for job searches

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KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 22): More than half or 60% of Malaysians use social media to search for job opportunities, ranking fourth in the world in terms of workers using social media in making their career decisions.

This number far surpasses the global average, which is 36%, according to a survey conducted by Kelly Outsourcing & Consulting Group (Kelly OCG).

As more millennials join the work force, this is an interesting development which companies, organisations and businesses should pick up on to "attract, enage and retain" top talents, said the outsourcing and consulting firm.

"The 2014 Kelly Global Workforce Index (KGWI) survey results saw increasing number of employees use social media and online tools such as online talent communities, as the medium to facilitate their career moves.

"This phenomenon is more inclined in Asia-Pacific, which stands out as a hot spot with over half (51%) of employees involving their social media network for employment decisions. This is significantly higher than Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) (34%) and the Americas (30%)," Kelly OCG vice-president for Asia-Pacific, Anthony Raja Devadoss, said in a statement today.

"At least, 60% of the local workforce use social media as a job search tool contrasting the global average of 36%," he added.

According to the same survey, only 30% of the job positions in Asia-Pacific, however, are secured through the online avenue. 

“This opposing trend therefore warrants a re-think about how organisations engage the right talent. This is a pertinent issue as the worldwide talent gap continues to widen and projected to reach 81 million by 2018," Devadoss said. 

He added that for employers there is a greater opportunity to engage in talents across "industries, occupations, countries and continents". 

He said given these trends, companies should consider integrating social media and online tools to finding new talents.

The survey also pointed out that there are more online talent communities sprouting up where among others employees open up about work and workplace challenges. These networks are the highest in Asia-Pacific (25%), followed by the Americas (19%) and EMEA (10%).

“With a more open and networked business environment, employers have the chance to showcase available opportunities and become the preferred employer. This can improve the quality and speed of talent acquisition as well as retention rate. 

"The concept of online talent community is still relatively new in Malaysia, but forward-thinking employers recognise it as the next generation of sourcing and social recruiting," Devadoss said. 

KGWI is an annual global survey revealing opinions about work and the workplace. About 230,000 people across the Americas, EMEA and Asia-Pacific regions responded to this year's survey, which was conducted online by RDA Group on behalf of Fortune 500 Kelly Services Inc.