Social networking has also quickly become a significant part of an organization’s recruitment mix, leveraging popular tools such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. And how we make ourselves known as potential candidates to organizations has also changed. Who would have thought just two years ago that we’d have the opportunity to tap into the networks of the Chief Executives of some of the world’s largest organizations? Your immediate reaction might be to baulk at that suggestion but – isn’t that just what we can potentially do these days with some of the social media channels available to us?
From a recruitment perspective organizations are also realizing the full benefits of social media and these are reflected in sourcing investment trends. Research from the Jovite Social Research Survey 2011 indicates that over half of US companies surveyed have increased their spend on social media channels in the last 12 months, conversely close to a third have reduced their investment in third party recruitment and selection firms.
So, with social media rising in popularity with recruiters, how is it best for those seeking a job to make use of the channels available to find their next career? Here are a few top line tips:
It’s not enough just to open up an account on one of the social media sites, declare you are ‘looking for a job’ and wait for opportunities to find you. You need to think about who you want to work for and use the most relevant channel to find a way in which you can engage with that firm. Search the job listings on LinkedIn and Twitter and keep an eye on the hashtag #jobangels, as well as the regular tweets of every company and organization you’re following.
Choose your channels
You don’t have to be everywhere in the social space – consider where best to invest your time and energy. While LinkedIn is probably going to be at the top of your list as a site for professionals you should still ask yourself what you are trying to do as each channel can play a different role. Are you trying to build your personal image, to influence key people, to apply for a job, to research a market? Take a look at Wikihow.com they have some great tips on how to use specific social media channels to best affect.
Don’t overdo the connections
Because it’s so easy to sign up to various social media it can be tempting to use all channels possible and to sign up to everything going. You don’t have to be everywhere in the social space. Think carefully about this or you will soon become overwhelmed with too many feeds and connections and that will be counter-productive. Be careful of the ‘I have zillions on friends on Facebook’ syndrome.
Do your research
Social media provides you with unprecedented power to uncover your ideal employer. Be clear about who you want to research and about what – their values, the opinions of others who work there? Do you know who the movers and shakers are in the business? If not – find out. These would be useful people to monitor – to see what they have to say about the business you are looking to join.
Having a social media presence can help with face to face networking too. If you know you are attending a face to face event, you can, in advance of the event, start to build your personal brand and make yourself known. It is so much easier to connect with someone when you have already ‘met’ and, hopefully, made a positive impression.
And last, but not least
Think before you post
Common sense should prevail when using social media. While ‘going viral’ can be good it can also be bad, very bad. You may think that firms do not bother ‘googling’ potential recruits or looking up their Facebook accounts but research from social media monitoring company, Reppler, found that more than 90 percent of respondents take account of content on social networking sites in making recruitment decisions. Depending on what you have posted this could be a good thing of course.
Worried? Don’t be – you can take positive action. There are a number of social media monitoring organizations out there who are constantly scanning the biggest social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Flickr. Reppler is one such organization. They will supply you with a ‘Reppler Image Score’ [http://www.reppler.com/] capture, for free. The score will include such factors as tone of content, appropriateness of content and the consistency of a person’s profile information across social networks. Once you have applied for an image score the service will continue to monitor your social online presence and flag areas which you may wish to revisit.
In today’s tough climate, no one wants to slip up at the first hurdle so making sure you have a positive clean social media presence is really important.