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Signs of recovery in the UK but job sites still largely ineffective

On the same day the International Labour Organisation issued a stark warning that the global economy was on the verge of a new and deeper jobs recession that could ignite social unrest in “scores of countries” there are signs that the job market in the UK is experiencing a recovery following a decline in the third quarter of this year.

October saw the biggest month-on-month increase in job demand in the UK for almost two years, according to figures released on Monday by the country’s #1 job site, Reed.

“Job demand across the country has recovered strongly across nearly all areas of the private sector compared to the previous quarter, as employers revive their hiring plans,” Martin Warnes, managing director of Reed, said.

Reed claim to offer “More jobs, more choice”

“We do need to be careful not to get carried away by one month’s figures, especially as this increase only brings us back to the level of demand for new staff that the UK was experiencing this spring. Nevertheless, the rise suggests a return of employer optimism to a level not seen for the last eight months.”

When we look at the cold hard statistics from Alexa.com, we can see the top 500 websites in the UK, and the presence of job sites in the UK are few and far between. The UK’s most popular job’s website is Reed.co.uk (133).

A further 22 places down the list you’ll find TotalJobs followed by JobSite (258), Monster (337), JobServe (401) and Jobrapido (447). Out of the tens of UK job websites, only six made it in the top 500. According to Warnes “employer optimism” has returned but if employees looking for work are not using job sites then where are they finding jobs?

The top 10 sites in the UK feature some old reliables… Google, Facebook and YouTube, as well as the BBC, Yahoo, eBay UK, Wikipedia, Windows Live and Amazon.co.uk. Twitter and LinkedIn, which appear just outside of the top 10 at 11 and 12 respectively, are where opportunities are being found nowadays.

Twitter, the UK population of which simply exploded this year (to approximately 15.5 million), and LinkedIn (where the UK has the second highest population of members at 8.3 million) are making headway in recruitment circles. Utilising employment brands on Twitter and LinkedIn to broadcast jobs to their immediate followers, connections and referrals is the quickest and most cost effective way of filling job roles than posting jobs on paid-for job-websites. We are seeing an increase in informal job listings on social networks that never get posted to job sites, since they are the last port of call for hiring managers.

When you’re job searching, and even if you’re not, LinkedIn is a site that everyone who is thinking about a career or a job change or even the possibility of employment should be using. The UK labour force has cottoned on to this,  and LinkedIn’s UK members have increased by 5 million this year alone.

Try searching Twitter for the hashtag #jobs or #jobfairy, or search LinkedIn for updates mentioning “looking to hire” or “recruiting” or “job” and you’ll find thousands of jobs not necessarily posted on Job websites.  While the UK’s biggest job site, Reed, tries to remain competitive LinkedIn and Twitter continue to grow and grow!

Do you use job sites anymore? Or are social networking sites your first port of call when it comes to finding a job? Tell us your thoughts in the comments.

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