We have discussed the importance of knowing your audience and being strategic in relation to social media. As a recruiter, I use social media on a daily basis. I will discuss the various challenges and benefits of social media from both the recruiter and candidate perspective. I will also provide guidance based on my experience which aligns with what we have learned thus far.
Professional sites such as LinkedIn allow me to find qualified candidates for the positions I am trying to fill. Candidates who are actively seeking new careers often times post their resumes to various databases and also upload their resumes to their LinkedIn profiles. From a recruiting position, it is easy to utilize key word searches to identify qualified professionals. One challenge however, is whether candidates are being forthright about their experience. I have seen candidates adding key words to their resumes and profiles using white text. So although a job search for engineers might render 50 ‘qualified’ candidates, only a small percentage are actually qualified.
The job application process has become a nearly impossible sea of applications often times landing resumes in black holes. Depending on the positions, recruiters will receive dozens, if not hundreds of applications. The scanning process for recruiters is daunting. Many candidates as I previously stated are not qualified, many are under qualified and some maybe overqualified.
The vast majority of candidates that I have placed have been through referrals. I have been strategically connecting with subject matter experts in my field for five years and have created meaningful relationships with my connections to where I am comfortable asking for referrals. My success rate with referrals is significantly higher than my blind recruiting tactics (It does happen, but it is rare and the deals are more likely to fall apart). Having said that, it is imperative for candidates seeking new career opportunities to take full advantage of professional networking sites such as LinkedIn. Networking should not be simply sending connection invitations to every person with a profile, but rather strategic planning and communication with individuals who could provide valuable insights into their industry or have a vast network allowing for increased visibility. Joining various industry specific groups can also be beneficial and can lead to additional connections. Once candidates begin networking it is then important to create a personal brand. Creating original content, liking and sharing content from those in the network can build visibility. Again, the content must be strategic and provide value to the network otherwise connections will ignore or delete the posts.
Although professional social media sites are wonderful tools, personal social media sites will just as quickly derail opportunities for candidates. Individuals must be selective about what they post on social media especially when seeking new career opportunities. Candidates often times incorrectly assume that recruiters only review resumes and LinkedIn profiles. Unfortunately this leads to many candidates missing out on career opportunities. I have witnessed candidates being dismissed from consideration based on their Facebook content, even if it is not original content. Associations are just as important as content when profiles are being reviewed by human resources or hiring managers. My experience as a recruiter has led me to believe that there are four key principles to consider as an active job seeker: be informed, be strategic, be tenacious and be guarded!