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Networking as an information behaviour during job search

Networking as an information behaviour during job search Although social networks are considered influential to employment outcomes, little is known about the behavioural manifestation of networking during job search. The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of networking amongst 16–24 year old active jobseekers living in Scotland.Design/methodology/approachA sequential, mixed methods approach was applied to gather data, including interviews (no. of participants=7), a focus group (no. of participants=6) and a survey questionnaire (no. of participants=558). The study design was underpinned by a prominent model from the field of Information Science. As such, job search networking has been treated as an information behaviour.FindingsThe findings show that young people acquire different types of information from network contacts throughout job search, and that frequent networking is associated with positive outcomes. This is especially true of engaging with family members, acquaintances and employers. However, barriers such as a lack of confidence or awareness mean that few young people make the most of their social contacts when seeking work.Practical implicationsCareers professionals can use this knowledge to advise clients on maximising the potential of social networks as sources of job search information.Originality/valueA key contribution of this work is that it provides a detailed insight into a topic that has been neglected in previous studies: that of the process of job search networking as an information behaviour. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Documentation Emerald Publishing

Networking as an information behaviour during job search

Journal of Documentation , Volume 76 (2): 16 – Feb 11, 2020

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References (57)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
0022-0418
DOI
10.1108/jd-05-2019-0086
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Although social networks are considered influential to employment outcomes, little is known about the behavioural manifestation of networking during job search. The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of networking amongst 16–24 year old active jobseekers living in Scotland.Design/methodology/approachA sequential, mixed methods approach was applied to gather data, including interviews (no. of participants=7), a focus group (no. of participants=6) and a survey questionnaire (no. of participants=558). The study design was underpinned by a prominent model from the field of Information Science. As such, job search networking has been treated as an information behaviour.FindingsThe findings show that young people acquire different types of information from network contacts throughout job search, and that frequent networking is associated with positive outcomes. This is especially true of engaging with family members, acquaintances and employers. However, barriers such as a lack of confidence or awareness mean that few young people make the most of their social contacts when seeking work.Practical implicationsCareers professionals can use this knowledge to advise clients on maximising the potential of social networks as sources of job search information.Originality/valueA key contribution of this work is that it provides a detailed insight into a topic that has been neglected in previous studies: that of the process of job search networking as an information behaviour.

Journal

Journal of DocumentationEmerald Publishing

Published: Feb 11, 2020

Keywords: Social networks; Information seeking; Networks; Job search; Career information; Networking behaviours

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