Hidden Pool of Job Seekers Compete With Unemployed, Survey Finds

The unemployment rate currently stands at 9.3 percent as reported by the U.S. Department of Labor. But according to a recent Jobvite survey, two-thirds of currently employed Americans have join the unemployed in actively seeking a job or being open to new career opportunities.

Jobvite, a recruiting platform that focuses on the use of social media to match talent with hiring managers, conducted a national online survey of over 2,000 adults on current employment status and also checked whether or not they were actively looking for other positions.

The findings were published by Jobvite in the "Job Seeker Nation 2010" report which states that employed Americans open to new opportunities brings the number of job seekers from 33 million to 110.5 million.

Anne Murguia, VP of Marketing at Jobvite, believes that the report is big news for both job seekers and hiring managers.

The Job Seeker Nation 2010 report shows there's a huge "hidden" pool of talent out there waiting for the right job to come to them," said Murguia.

The report identified these employed Americans who are continuously cultivating relationships and resources to increase their career opportunities as "proactive career managers." Proactive career managers tend to be younger, more educated and earn higher salaries than other segments of the workforce. They are also more likely to have found their last job through a referral, or social network.

Murguia said that the report finds that this segment of professionals are largely between the ages of 18 and 44, have graduated from college and are actively engaged in job search activities.

Employed or unemployed, most of the American workforce understands that they may need a new job at any moment. The jobs we have today are far different than our parents and grandparents – and so are the ways we find them," said Murguia. "This report shows what's happening in the job hunt today – and how people look for work has changed."

For job seekers, understanding that they are competing against a larger number of applicants means being aware of how their peers are going about their job hunts. Murguia identified "savvy" job seekers as those who enhance an online profile with work information, add professional connections in social networks, attend offline networking events, and ask friends for job referrals. Murguia said that she is often surprised how many job seekers do not use social networking sites like LinkedIn or Twitter, as part of their search.

Fortunately, any of us can engage in these activities without a particularly large time investment," said Murguia. "And that investment will pay off when you need a new job or when a new job finds you."

For hiring managers, the Jobvite survey provides insights into job search behavior and into how employers can attract the most qualified workers. Murguia said that these "proactive career managers" are often the exact type of employees hiring managers are looking for, but sometimes they can be the hardest to find.

Proactive career managers are less likely to visit job boards – but they are active in social networks," said Murguia. "So by using social media in your hiring program and engaging employees to tap into their own network, you can attract this valuable segment."

Job seekers shouldn't be worried that the applicant pool is larger than expected, but instead use the survey results to start taking advantage of social networks during their job hunt. Using social media, online networks and employees referrals are beneficial for both job seekers and hiring managers, according to Murguia.

So Murguia suggests to, "update that resume, polish your social network profiles and cultivate your network to find new opportunities."

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