The Social Media Job Search

16 Aug 2017 | 09.18 am

The Social Media Job Search

Recruitment Plus tips for employers and job seekers

16 Aug 2017 | 09.18 am

Social networking site LinkedIn is a popular place to advertise a job, let people know you’re available for hire, and browse the talent out there. However, for employers finding the right hire and convincing them to come and work for you is not that straightforward, according to recruitment agency Recruitment Plus.

The digital shop window for talent doesn’t necessarily work for job seekers either.  Many are frustrated at the lack of real-time job opportunities on the online job networks, or actual real engagement beyond the ether.

Recruitment Plus managing director Anne Fanthom (pictured) says: “Many candidates find the LinkedIn approach has not produced results, or they’re tired of the ‘request to connect’ that doesn’t realistically produce much more than individuals trying to sell them something. Time and again, we find ourselves reminding job candidates and clients that it’s hard to beat the personal approach, and that a good career or hire choice is about a relationship, not an online search.”

There is little evidence that independent online CV libraries produce results for anyone, the experts say, other than perhaps someone selling ads on the back of the number of site hits. Similarly, many companies now use a ‘HR portal’ which invites people to upload a CV.  But where do they go? Do candidates ever hear how their CV was received, or get feedback, negative or otherwise?

A good recruitment agency will respond to all CVs, providing feedback and a current realistic overview of the relevant job market, says Fanthom, who advises:

  • Unless self-employed, be aware that your employer is likely to spot your job search online, so maybe don’t overtly advertise the fact that you’re eager to move on.
  • Use LinkedIn to research a company you’re interested in, check if they’re recruiting, and if any of your contacts are connected.  Referrals are more likely to get you an interview than a cold CV or application.
  • ‘Follow’ companies on your work target list, to keep updated on new offices, investment, products or services.
  • Check a company’s management team via their online profiles and media coverage to establish who and what is worth knowing, and if you’re in any way connected.
  • Give your profile a strong headline; it’s what people notice first — ‘twenty years’ experience building amazing consumer brands’ is better than ‘consumer marketing role sought’! 
  • Sites used by friends and family, like Facebook, can be useful to let people know you’re back on the job market.
  • If in a creative role, like photography, design or interiors, Instagram is great for your portfolio.
  • If job-hunting using social media, make your online presence employer-friendly across all channels.  A professional LinkedIn pitch will be undermined by nonsense on Facebook or photos of crazy parties elsewhere!
  • Similarly, use a sensible photo on your Facebook profile, at least while your job search is ongoing — certain sectors will check your social media presence ahead of calling you for interview.
  • Share video, photography, copy or media coverage that illustrates your professional abilities.
  • Join specialist social media groups where you can be part of conversations with those with similar professional interests.

Online For Employers

Right now, it’s a candidate market, so experienced talent can be selective. A digital recruitment approach by an employer’s HR department is limited in its ability to objectively answer the questions that candidates have in their job search, such as the personalities of the managers, company culture, the track record of placed candidates, and how the company is perceived externally.

“Recruitment consultancies do a very good job of ‘selling’ an employer to a candidate, often even more so than an internal HR team, as the agency is not seen to be particularly biased towards any employer,” Fanthom adds. “However, as with job candidates, online resources can complement work by your recruitment agency and in-house personnel.”

Fanthom’s advice to employers is as follows: 

  • If you do use job boards or social networks to advertise roles and solicit CVs, ensure the posts are up to date and that applications and enquiries are professionally dealt with.  All company communication reflects on the business’s reputation, and sloppy management of digital media won’t encourage better candidates.
  • Encourage senior specialist managers to use their online networking groups as a resource for potential job candidates, particularly in terms of keeping an eye on upcoming talent making waves in their current role.
  • It’s worth getting ‘an in’ to alumni networks from colleges and universities with professional groups in the particular sector you operate in.
  • Use your consumer marketing channels, like Facebook or twitter, to make it known when you’re hiring and incentivise employees and customers to share and re-share — people who already ‘like’ you are more likely to want to work for you and to make a good employee.
  • Make sure your USP as an employer, and the company culture, comes across in all communication, particularly your digital presence like the company website and social media platforms; establish why people are happy to work for you, and work it online.
  • The quality of the recruitment and selection process is key to attracting the right talent to support a high performing team. Taking on an individual who’s not the right fit can be costly in more ways than one, potentially undermining the team and the product or service provided.

According to Fanthom: “A business is only as good as its recruits. However you promote a vacancy, it is important to clearly define the role, the competencies, and to establish if candidates have both the professional acumen and the right personality fit for your business or brand.”

 

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