By Max Clarke
Time-poor jobseekers are risking their current roles by searching for new jobs at work, according to a poll by Monster.co.uk.
The survey of over 2,000 jobseekers, all currently employed, found that over a quarter (28 per cent) spend more than three hours per week looking for jobs at work, 16 per cent more than five hours and 7 per cent more than ten hours. If this was consistent across all UK jobseekers, it would amount to a weekly total of over 14 million hours, costing employers more than £250 million every week.
This time is not just spent surfing the internet either. While 60 per cent of respondents say they do search online for jobs at work, 50 per cent say they also update they CV, 49 per cent apply for roles and almost a quarter (23 per cent) shamelessly carry out telephone interviews from the office.
But it appears all this job hunting hasn’t gone unnoticed with 40 per cent of respondents saying they think their boss knows they are looking and 12 per cent saying they have actually been caught by their boss or another colleague. One in fifty of those questioned has actually lost their job this way.
Furthermore, over a third (39 per cent) of respondents have attended job interviews during working hours, with a medical appointment being the most popular excuse for absence (23 per cent), closely followed by a home delivery (22 per cent) and a pet emergency (14 per cent). Worryingly, six per cent of respondents fabricate the death of a relative to explain their absence, more than would fake sickness (one per cent) or a domestic emergency (five per cent).
Male respondents are the biggest culprits when it comes to job hunting at work, with 30 per cent spending more than three hours per week looking for a job, compared to 25 per cent of women surveyed. Regionally, those surveyed in Anglia spend the most time job hunting at work, followed by London and then the South East. Age-wise, youngsters are the biggest culprits with 21 per cent of 18 to 30 year old respondents spending more than five working hours looking for a job. Surprisingly those in the 51 to 60 age bracket are also serious offenders, with only slightly fewer (20 per cent) doing the same.
Isabelle Ratinaud, spokesperson for Monster UK & Ireland, said, “Looking for a new role can be time consuming and many people are clearly so desperate to move that they will spend hours looking and applying for roles while they’re supposed to be doing their current job. But while this may be tempting, it is important that job seekers try to limit their hunt to lunchtimes, evenings and weekends wherever possible. If your boss finds out you’re job hunting on their watch, this could not only affect your reference, it could even result in disciplinary action or dismissal - which could make finding a new job even harder.
“To reduce the chance of being found out, job seekers should make use of all the new technology available. iPhones, iPads and other mobile devices mean that you can now search and apply for roles from pretty much anywhere, at any time of the day, whether it’s on the way to work or in a coffee shop round the corner — but during an authorised break of course!”
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