Byline: Niki Chesworth
IT is not just the world of work that has changed, but also the way we find work. Figures to be published later this month from the National Online Recruitment Audience Survey will show there are now 14.3 million jobseekers looking for work online in the UK at the moment -- double the number of five years ago.
Of those looking online, around 10 per cent will use a mobile or hand-held mobile device such as an iPhone to help in the search, a 250 per cent increase over the past two years.
"Our figures show more people had applied for a job online than had used a social networking site," says Giles Guest whose company, Enhance Media, conducted the survey.
Now, global recruiting business Hays is using technology to make the search for work more flexible and accessible.
It is the first major UK recruiter to launch an application for the iPhone allowing job-hunters to search for work anytime and anywhere -- and is already working on an equivalent app for the new Google Android platform.
Aimed primarily at the contract and temp market, the app allows users to search the new hays.co.uk website.
Users can search for roles by location, keyword, salary and job type. They can then view job specifications and apply online -- all using their iPhone.
"More and more of our candidates are mobile in their work and may not have immediate access to a PC," says Charles Logan, director at Hays.
"In addition many professionals are looking for interim work so need a more immediate way to regularly search for their next job when their existing one comes to an end.
"The iPhone application makes this more flexible. For example, those who are not deskbound -- from construction workers to social workers -- can search for jobs from wherever they are.
"However, those who are based in offices -- where perhaps they do not want to use the work computer to search for another job or to advertise the fact that they are job-seeking -- may also find the iPhone app useful.
"So we feel this will appeal mainly to those who are on the move physically as well as those who are on the move in terms of their jobs."
Although the web is increasingly used by employers, recruitment consultants and jobseekers -- and candidates can often apply online and even undergo online testing -- Logan stresses that technology is just part of the process.
"Our app and the website are a way for candidates to identify potential opportunities and more than seven in 10 come to us in some way through a technology-based approach," he says.
"However, at the end of the process recruitment is still about face-to-face meetings.
"The app is particularly relevant for the interim and temp markets, rather than permanent jobs, which tend to involve more analysis -- for example, where you want to work and the type of organisation."
There is now a large army of temp, agency and contract workers as a result of the recession as employers have sought more workforce flexibility.
"Growing numbers have been on short-term contracts and so need to find work on a regular basis," adds Logan.
"Technology can make this easier. …