Nowadays, 3 professional social networks stand out on the Web: Viadeo, Linkedin and Twitter.
However, in France, they are still suffering from a weak reputation in the eyes of the public.
According to an online survey from Adecco France conducted last June, out of the 5317 polled persons, 80% don’t use or don’t know Viadeo although it is the first professional social network in France.
It’s the same for Linkedin. Twitter is known, but 70% of the people who responded are not using it.
However, France has a high internet adoption rate within its population. What could be the reasons of this delay?
First of all, the French remain deeply attached to the traditional job research techniques (personal network, press, job agencies, unsolicited application).
Besides, 45% of them do not wish to disclose personal information on the web to satisfy their need of confidentiality and security. It is in high contrast with the massive adoption of facebook, a preferred public communication channel where people share the most confidential details about their private lives.
The lack of information and understanding of the benefits of the offered functionalities is also a limit of the social networks usage, considering that 43% of the people who responded don’t find it a real utility.
The recruiters are also sticking to traditional HR methods, even if they acknowledge that professional social networks will have a sizeable influence in the years to come (Viadeo & Ipsos Study– 10/25/12 – RMSCONF).
Nevertheless, even if the adoption speed remains slow in France, those social networks start, little by little, to change the established customs.
The Adecco’s survey has highlighted that among the 23% of professional social networks users, 46% of them are executives from Finance, Computing, Sales Engineering and Marketing sectors. Therefore, they are aware that social networks can help them emphasize their skills, improving their professional credibility and/or finding a job.
Surprisingly, the survey shows that out of the 5317 persons who responded, 754 had been contacted by a recruiter on a professional social network. More than 1 out of 5 candidates received a job offer afterwards, and more than half of them accepted the position. It shows that, once the applicant is contacted, social networks are particularly efficient; there is a better success rate compared to traditional CVs.
On the contrary, across the Atlantic, there is a massive trend for social network based recruitment. The annual Jobvite Social Recruiting Survey (the leading recruitment platform for the social Web) revealed that social recuiting has become an essential HR practice. Indeed, 92% of U.S. companies were using social networks and media to find talent in 2012, up from 78% five years ago. LinkedIn continues to be a dominant recruiting network, used by 93% of the people who responded (87% in 2011 and 78% in 2010). According to Jobvite, employers scrutinize social media activity, adding that seeing a spelling or grammar mistake in a social profile can lead to a negative reaction for more than half of respondents. Thus, social recruiting has become an essential resource in the war for talent as competition becomes ferocious.
France remains globally traditionalist in terms of job research and recruiting, even if executives start to understand the interest of professional social networks to boost their careers (cf. article from Echos.fr – 19/11/2012 : « Linkedin &Viadeo, deux réseaux incontournables pour la carrière » http://www.lesechos.fr/entreprises-secteurs/service-distribution/actu/0202383567663-linkedin-et-viadeo-deux-reseaux-incontournables-pour-la-carriere-512004.php)
In contrast, the USA are several steps ahead, as digital recruiting is an integral part of HR methods.
When is the French ecosystem going to wake up ?