Social Networks Contribute to Job Hunts

May 14, 2009 ( - Many employees are turning to online networking sites for their professional networking needs, according to a new survey by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

A SHRM news release said nearly 20% of employees use online professional networking sites such as LinkedIn and Plaxo, while 16% use online social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace, and Friendster.

In general, SHRM said, the top five sources for career networking include: friends and relatives (67%); colleagues (56%); conferences/trade shows/conventions (26%); s upervisors/managers/higher level professionals in supervisory role (also 26%); and clients (25%).

“Relative to other networking methods, online social networking still lacks in popularity as a career tool but as job seekers look for more nontraditional approaches to making connections that lead to jobs, we might see an increase in use of online social networking in the near future,” said SHRM in releasing the results.

Additional survey highlights include:

  • Roughly 38% of respondents said they use online professional and social networking sites to learn about a particular company or someone who works at that company.
  • Nearly one in four (18%) report using online professional and social networking sites as a job search method.
  • Employees of publicly owned for-profit companies (41%) are more likely than those in privately owned for-profit companies (11%) to job hunt through online professional and/or social networking sites.
  • Non-management employees(22%) are more likely than executives (3%) to network online through job search/career sites. Executives report they are more likely to network through: conferences/trade shows/conventions; clients; and professional societies/trade associations.
  • Middle-management employees(38%) are more likely than non-management employees (20%) to network through the cluster of supervisors/managers/higher level professionals in supervisory role.
  • Executives(43%) and middle-management employees (36%) are more likely non-management workers (15%) to network during business meetings.

The poll surveyed 605 full-time or part-time employed U.S. residents. More information is available at .