Online networking pays off in job hunt
In a LinkedIn survey, 45% of professionals said keeping in touch with their professional network was key to securing current jobs
When former bank director Heng Wui Liang was thinking of a career switch last year, he turned to his 500-plus LinkedIn connections for help.
Mr Heng, who is now the Singapore country head of online marketplace BankBazaar.sg, is part of an increasing number of Singapore professionals who have landed a job through their online professional network.
According to professional network site LinkedIn's survey released last week, 45 per cent of Singapore professionals said that keeping in touch with their professional network was instrumental to securing their current jobs.
This is higher compared to the global average of 37 per cent.
Over 15,000 professionals from 17 countries were surveyed, including 1,000 respondents from Singapore in industries such as technology, financial services, manufacturing and professional services.
The local respondents were aged between 18 to 54 and over 70 per cent were aged between 25 to 44.
The respondents found their jobs through their online networks in several ways, said a LinkedIn spokesman.
For instance, they connected with someone on LinkedIn or they knew someone who worked in the company.
Others found job opportunities through casual conversations on LinkedIn initiated by a recruiter or someone from their current company.
Mr Heng, who is in his 40s, told The New Paper that he wanted to join a start-up after nine years in banking.
He added: "At this point, it is more about having a meaningful career and future-proofing myself."
Prior to this job - his fourth career - he was an engineer in the United States and ran his own start-up specialising in smart-home solutions.
Mr Heng used LinkedIn to reach out to people in his professional network who worked in start-ups.
"Connecting and reaching out to my network helped me to get a realistic feel of life at a start-up before I made the switch to this role," he added.
SG THIRD MOST CONNECTED
A LinkedIn survey in April showed that Singapore has over one million members on LinkedIn and is the third most connected country - measured by the number of average connections - in the world.
Professionals in Singapore have an average of 152 connections.
Human resources experts said that they have been using LinkedIn during the hiring process.
Mr Erman Tan, president of the Singapore Human Resources Institute, said: "Although some conservative HR practitioners still prefer the traditional method of going through a headhunter and interviews, it (online professional network) is an effective way of finding talent in the age of the Internet, especially among the younger generation who find it a bother to write their curriculum vitae.
"It is like retail nowadays. You may have a bricks-and-motar store, but an online shop is also important."