The Strategist

Boston Consulting Group and Recruit Works Institute Proved That the Internet Does Not Speed Up Job Hunting

12/16/2015 - 15:15

Today the consulting company Boston Consulting Group and the research organization Recruit Works Institute presented a study, which analyzes people looking for a new job. The study’s authors came to a paradoxical conclusion: the technology progress in the recruitment sector has led to both a decrease and an increase in job search time.

Tax Credits via flickr
Tax Credits via flickr
The joint study surveyed more than 13 th. candidates from 13 countries - Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, South Africa, UK, USA, India, China. The surveyed countries host 59% (1.7 billion) of the entire population of people employed around the world (approximately 3 billion).

The report stipulates that "channels of job search are divided into commercial, public, direct and referral." Commercials include printed materials, job search websites, services of temporary and permanent employment, non-professional training programs. Referrals are alumni communities, communications through family and friends. Approximately 40% of the world job seekers are using only one channel for job search, and just about 25% - two channels.

According to the survey, 55% of respondents were looking for a new job through the Internet, 36% - used the print media, 33% - referral channels, 24% sent requests directly to potential employers, 20% involved relevant social services, and 17% applied to agencies recruiting permanent staff.

On average in 13 countries, around 33% of Internet users consider it the most effective channel for job search; referral channels are considered to be efficient by 19% of applicants. Applicants apply directly to employers, and those who used prints, evaluate their effectiveness is even lower: 12% and 10% respectively. Social services employment was considered effective only by 5%.

Speaking about results of job hunting, the report noted that the greatest increase in income and less searching time were observed in the countries with an annual GDP growth of 2% and higher. Exceptions to this rule are Russia, Japan and, to some extent, Germany. In Russia, for example, the average search time work was only 11 weeks. This period consists of seven weeks of the research phase, when a person looks for a suitable job. Then follow 4 weeks of attempts to get a specific and employment. This is less than in four of the seven countries with the highest GDP growth rates. Indians and Chinese spend the time on the job search (9 weeks). Italians are the most unhurried (20 weeks, with 12 weeks of the research phase, and 8 weeks for applying). South Africans are not hasty, too (19 weeks - 12 and 7 weeks, respectively). In the US, the average period of job search is 13 weeks (8 and 5 weeks, respectively); in the UK and Canada - 14 (9 and 5), Germany - 13 (8 and 5), in France, - 17 (11 and 6), Japan - 12 (9 or 3).
The study’s authors concluded that "technology progress in the recruitment sector has led to both an increase and a decrease in the time spent for job hunting. On the one hand, the Internet allows employers to reach a wide audience with one click of mouse. On the other hand, applicants can now subscribe to new job postings and spend more time looking, as they review vacancies only periodically."

However, the study notes that it would be wrong to say that the two most popular job search channels - via the Internet and referral - are better or worse than each other are. "Each channel has its own user - more educated people in the more affluent countries increasingly prefer looking for a job via the Internet. In turn, the referral channels are more attractive for people with less education and lower GDP levels,"- notes the study, adding that each of these channels complement each other and develop recruitment market as a whole.