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Social media transforming how Malaysians hunt jobs: Kelly Services survey

AvantiKumar | Dec. 9, 2013
The shift to social media in the workplace presents challenges for APAC employers in planning acceptable usage and content, says Kelly Services Malaysia MD Melissa Norman.

Melissa Norman_Kelly Malaysia (filepic) modified 

Photo  (file) - Melissa Norman, MD, Kelly Services Malaysia.


According to recruitment firm Kelly Services' latest Global Workforce Index, more than of all Malaysian respondents, or 62 percent, report they were contacted through social media about new employment opportunities in the preceding year with a quarter of the respondents saying they had secured a job through social media..

Employees throughout the Asia Pacific region are also using social media as 56 percent of respondents say they were contacted by social media in the prior year, according to the annual Kelly Global Workforce Index [KGWI] findings, said Kelly Services Malaysia managing director Melissa Norman.

Norman said within the Asia Pacific region, Indonesia and Thailand stand out as social media hotspots in the job landscape, with 38 percent of respondents securing a job through social media, followed by China (35 percent), Malaysia (28 percent), India (25 percent), Singapore (22 percent), Hong Kong (19 percent), New Zealand (17 percent), and Australia (14 percent).

In the Malaysian workplace, employees are increasingly using social media discussing their work, their employers and canvassing job openings and career moves, she said.

"Employees are more social and more flexible in the way they engage with trusted friends and work colleagues on social media, and increasingly they expect to have access to technology in the workplace to enable that," said Norman, adding that this trend has been noted across age groups.  "While more Gen Y (33 percent Malaysian respondents; and 29 percent APAC respondents) secured a job in the past year through social media, 21 and 24 percent of Gen X from Malaysia and APAC, respectively and 15 percent of Malaysian and APAC baby boomers did so too."

Conducted online by RDA Group, the annual Kelly Global Workforce Index (KGWI) survey, attracted responses from 122,000 people across the Americas, EMEA and APAC region. The APAC respondents numbered 25,000, which included 5147 Malaysian respondents.

  Employers challenged by shift from traditional methods

Norman said other significant results from survey for Malaysia and the Asia Pacific region include:

- More than half of Malaysian and APAC respondents (67 percent and 56 percent, respectively) say that they are now more inclined to search for jobs on social media than through traditional methods, including newspaper advertisements, online job boards or recruitment companies.

- 57 percent of Malaysian respondents (and 51 percent APAC) say that they use their social media networks when making career or employment decisions.

She said 64 percent of Malaysian respondents (and 52 percent APAC) said the use of personal devices such as smartphones, laptops and tablets in the workplace is either 'important' or 'very important.'

In addition, 62 percent Malaysian respondents (and 51 percent APAC) said the ability to use their employer-provided device for both work and personal use is 'highly influential' or 'very influential' in choosing where they work.

The shift to social media in the workplace presents challenges for employers in planning acceptable usage and content, said Norman.  "Social media is quietly revolutionising recruitment because it can open up the whole process to an enormous pool of candidates.

"Social media also impacts retention because many employees don't draw a distinction between their work and personal life and suddenly they have the freedom to share their working lives with a vast audience," she added.


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