More than a quarter of people who use professional social networks in the UK say they have found a job using the service.
A survey of more than 1,800 people across Europe (Italy, Spain, France and the UK) who use Viadeo, one of the largest networks in the world, reveals just how important such services have become in developing a career.
Four out of every 10 people said they had secured a job interview using a professional social network, such as Viadeo or LinkedIn, with a better than 50% strike rate for success across Europe. In the UK the strike rate for success was 67%.
Viadeo also surveyed HR professionals (headhunters, in-house HR and recruiters) across Europe to find out just how they were using social networks to find new staff.
The survey illustrates the growing significance of professional social networking to the jobs market
In the UK it found that 1 in 4 recruiters had found and placed a candidate into a position directly from Viadeo and half had used Viadeo to successfully find candidates.
What this survey shows unequivocally is that professional social networks can be used both to find work and, just as crucially, to be found by recruiters, said Viadeo CEO and co-founder Dan Serfaty. Viadeo has 6.8 million users in Europe and 30 million globally.
Viadeo is in 226 countries, across five continents and covers 322 separate industries, making it the broadest reaching professional social network in the world.
More than 70% of our members are middle and senior management, so in effect Viadeo is a killer application for doing business or finding business,” said Mr Serfaty.
When looking for a job, 71.3% of users surveyed said they found social networking sites more valuable than job listings boards online and offline. 95.5 % said they believed professional social networks such as Viadeo and LinkedIn were more valuable than other services, such as Facebook and Twitter, when it comes to finding a job.
In the UK, 82.1 % of HR professionals said they used Viadeo and other sites as a business development tool, while 64.5% of users across Europe said they believed social networks were a good way to generate business leads.
Mr Serfaty said: Using professional social networking boosts your chances of not just finding work, but also your career within an organisation. Social networks like Viadeo are now a fundamental part of a professional's career tool kit.
He added: It's clear that professionals should pay attention to their business social network profile - because other people are definitely paying attention to it.
The process is simply more fit for recruitment in the 21st Century - from highlighting your career successes, networking with colleagues and peers on forums, to setting up job alerts, searching for positions and researching potential career moves, Viadeo, for example, is a whole armory for professionals who want to take advantage of the networked age in a time and cost effective way.
The survey revealed that 9 recruiters out of 10 across Europe were likely to recommend Viadeo to peers both in and outside their organisation.