During the last year there has been a huge swarm of traffic and overall usability regarding social networking sites. Although this might seem pretty obvious especially to the avid user and member of these networking sites, the actual statistical difference between the usage a year and a half ago and today is pretty amazing and opens doors to new avenues of networking. The growth of job networking sites in particular is in my opinion one of the most interesting developments in search since high speed.
Take a look at the graph below. It shows the statistical growth of the overall members of the social job networking site called LinkedIn. The growth in the social job networking sites like LinkedIn encourage a new type of job acquisition avenue that was not present online just 2 years ago.
The power behind a job networking site like LinkedIn can bypass the typical employment sites like Monster, HotJobs and CareerBuilder in a powerful way. The standard job search engine is based on an classified ad, search and find protocol where employers put ads out for the end user to search and apply. LinkedIn creates a new avenue for its members to actually network with high level employees/business owners across the united states and other countries in many different job fields.
I see the future of social networking sites moving towards a blend of mobile search and social job networking. In the future there will be people sending their LinkedIn account profile via their BlackBerry when networking either in person or virtually. Although this may be feasible now, due to our mobile search hurdles we have not yet seen the climb or growth of the mobile side of social job networking mature to its inevitable climax.
“Young workers are more likely to view career networks as beneficial. Nearly three quarters of GenYers said they viewed these networks as very important, compared with 66% of workers age 30-39 and 61% of workers age 40+.”
As mobile search matures and the growth of sites like LinkedIn accelerates then the younger (and older, if they adapt) generation will soon find these types of sites more beneficial and could possibly kill the standard job search engine.
Below is a statistical break out of 5 major business oriented social networking sites and their current membership state as of 2006. I would recommend signing up for these as well . Also if you would like to network with my personal profile which I have not really done much with please check it out here.
Andrey: The change is coming and it will have an impact far beyond job search networks. In a few years, the Facebook and MySpace generation will enter the workforce. This generation is not afraid to click on links, knows how to get the most out of websites in general, and social media features specifically. They will look for jobs, buy cars, book vacations and take out mortgages for real estate purchases. They will want to do it faster, on the go and from any device, including cell phones. And when that happens, the good old website layouts and features will no longer cut it.