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Finding work in the labour market: Global research provides valuable insights for the recruitment

The way job seekers are searching for and finding jobs is changing and it will have significant consequences for the recruitment and staffing industry, says labour market expert Jan Denys.

According to new research by Randstad Group, more people are using Google, LinkedIn and social media (like Facebook, Twitter) to find a job compared to recruitment and staffing agencies.

The research, part of a report titled ‘Finding Work in the Labour Market’, was presented at the World Employment Conference 2021 in September.

Understanding changing employee expectations, leveraging technological change, and thriving under increased uncertainty were other themes explored at the conference.

The annual event, organised by the World Employment Confederation (WEC), saw senior executives of national staffing federations and business leaders of workforce solutions firms gather to provide insights for professionals in the recruitment and employment industry.

One particular session, ‘Agents of Opportunity, or Not? How Important are We to Candidates and Workers in a New World of Talent Acquisition?’ was led by Geraldine King, National Federations Committee Chair at the WEC, and Jan Denys, a labour market expert and director of external communication and public affairs at Randstad Group.

The research

How Australians are searching for and finding jobs compared against the global standard:

  • Recruitment agencies – 28% (Aus), 25% (global)

  • Staffing agencies – 12% (Aus) 19%, (global)

  • Public employment service – 12% (Aus), 13% (global)

  • Job portals – 27% (Aus), 32% (global)

  • Job fairs – 9% (Aus), 13% (global)

  • Connections/references – 19% (Aus), 25% (global)

  • Company website – 17% (Aus), 19% (global)

  • Google – 31% (Aus), 25% (global)

  • LinkedIn – 17% (Aus), 18% (global)

  • Social media (Facebook) – 25% (Aus), 17% (global)

(Source: Randstad 2021)

Time is right

Mr Denys said it was the right time to conduct this type of research as there had been no recent comparable studies. And with so many new players in recruitment, it was time to measure their impact.

“It was very strange to notice that up until now no one has done similar research, especially considering all the new ways people are finding jobs,” he said.

“If you want to be a thought leader, you need to explore topics that are not covered by other companies or institutions.”

Mr Denys believed the research could provide valuable insights for the recruitment and staffing industry as there were dangers and opportunities at every turn.

“Every company in our industry has to make SWOT analysis on this, the research is too important to ignore,” he said.

“We are not dealing with normal companies here, these are leading global companies, we have to be realistic.”

When looking at the data, there is no denying the increasing popularity of the new ways job seekers are finding jobs, especially in Australia.

Google, for example, 31 per cent of the 510 respondents used Google when looking for a job compared to recruitment (28 per cent) and staffing (12 per cent) agencies. This is also interesting when compared to the global figure. Australians are relying significantly more on Google compared to the rest of the world.

Considering this, Mr Denys believes recruitment and staffing agencies must find a way to address these new tools to prevent consequences for the industry as a whole.

“There is no other option, companies that can combine man and machine the best will have more successful outcomes,” he said.

“Companies in the industry who can also co-operate the best with these new players and tools the best will also see greater results.”

As Australia is, for the most part, representative of the global finding, when asked if Australian agencies should look to how other countries are addressing these tools, Mr Denys said it was always interesting to look abroad and there could be useful insights to be gathered.

With Australia preparing for a post-COVID world, more people will be job hunting, looking for a change of careers, or wanting to further develop their career, and Mr Denys said the recruitment and staffing industry must prepare for this.

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