Abstracts: March 28th, 2011

This report from DWP on the job-search practices of benefit claimants focused on those who are unemployed and claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance. The study investigated the differences in job-search practices of different sub-groups of job seekers.

Formal methods of job search include using the services of employment agencies or answering advertisements published in newspapers, journals and, more recently, the Internet. Using one’s personal contacts is among the most studied informal job-search strategies.

Research revealed that from 2006 to 2009 approximately one in ten non-retired individuals were searching for work, of whom around half were in employment. The most frequently used method of job search was ‘studying situations vacant in newspapers, journals and on the Internet’, followed by ‘answering adverts in newspapers and journals’, ‘asking friends, relatives, colleagues’, ‘applying directly to employers’ and ‘visiting a jobcentre, job market or Training and Employment Office’.

About one in four individuals who had been in their current job for less than three months at the time of the survey obtained their job by ‘hearing from someone who worked there’, and this proportion was even higher among those with no qualifications – so suggesting that ‘who you know’ is particularly important for them.

The authors of the report believe that perceptions and job-search self-efficacy are important. While possessing the skills necessary to fulfil a particular job may be a prerequisite for a successful job ‘match’, so an individual’s judgements and expectations about their capability to perform effectively at each stage of the job-search process are important in getting a job.

Job Search Study can be downloaded here.