Get your CVs ready if you want to tap largest database of employers on LinkedIn. The social media platform has ranked UAE as 'most connected in the world' with an average of 211 connections per individual. The world's largest professional network, announced on Tuesday that it has hit the 500 million members milestone across 200 countries and 22 million members in the Mena region. A professional community of this size has never existed until now.
So what role is social media playing to boost the employment both for recruiters and jobseekers. A major chunk of candidates, especially young Emiratis, are searching for jobs on different social media platforms, including LinkedIn.
Abbas Ali, vice-president of TASC Outsourcing said their research, conducted last year, disclosed that 75 per cent of respondents are active on social media platforms on a daily basis. More than 80 per cent fresh graduates are using social networking platforms as the primary source to find a job. Moreover, job seekers are likely to research their interview panel online prior to their interview. Digital mediums have become an indispensable job search tool.
"Recruitment practices have been changing quite a bit over the last few decades thanks to various social and digital platforms. As time progresses, the visible trends are becoming sharper with job seekers spending more time on social and digital media than on traditional sources of information like newspapers. Driven by new technologies, this is crucial for job aspirants to find a suitable match and compete in a global, knowledge-based economy," added Ali.
The growing reliance on social media platforms does make recruitment process far more seamless. Lisa Williams, general manager, First Select Employment Services, said: "If you look at how recruitment was handled in the past it was not only time consuming, but also many potential candidates were inaccessible."
"We generally relied on a smaller geographical boundary to locate candidates. Today using various social media platforms, like LinkedIn, it makes identifying potential candidates somewhat painless. Realistically bearing in mind the number of people connected on professional platforms like LinkedIn using social media for recruitment purposes is no longer a choice, but a necessity, where as recruiters we can tap into the massive pool of candidates on a larger scale."
With over three million members in the UAE, and over 22 million members in the Mena region, LinkedIn is growing rapidly. LinkedIn opened their first office in the Mena region in 2012 in Dubai which serves as a regional headquarters to members and customers.
"We encourage all members to connect with relevant professionals to increase their industry networks. It is great to see the UAE ahead of the rest of the world when it comes to recognising the value of a strong online professional network," said Ali Matar, head of LinkedIn Talent Solutions, emerging markets, Middle East and North Africa.
He said a large majority of the UAE's workforce has come from abroad - LinkedIn makes it easy for professionals seeking to connect with each other around the world, and to keep up to date with relevant companies and industry topics, wherever the market.
"We are excited to have reached the 500 million milestone globally, and look forward to seeing how our breadth of talented members will help us to achieve our goal of creating an economic opportunity for every member in the workforce" Matar said.
However, a bit realistic officials like Bindu Nair, manager, Human Resources and Admin, Union Iron and Steel, explains that from an employers perspective social media platforms are nothing more but a database to conduct phenomenal talent management research and potential referrals. Information is not objective since the data is written by the profile owner and needs further validation which requires extra manual effort. It may be of useful to tap passive job seekers who do not respond to job postings or career sites. Recruiter licenses are expensive and not used for their full capability, so the greatest value one gets from LinkedIn is you can still do it for free. However from an active job seekers perspective it gives you an insight into the firms which are actively hiring. - firstname.lastname@example.org