When recruiters are inundated daily with so many applications for a single position, it can often be hard to set people apart using a sheet of paper. Social media offers a great back-up to recruiters seeking to find out more about candidates and an alternative means of reaching potential applicants. But are sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter really a successful, effective, time-saving way to narrow down potential candidates, or is it unnecessary to delve into someone’s personal life so early on in a business relationship?
Many of us share much more information on our social media profiles than we would on a CV. LinkedIn and Facebook profile pictures are often made available for public viewing and Twitter accounts are almost never private. They also might include links to other websites such as blogs and any gory details we may decide to disclose.
However, if employers look at social media profiles with an open mind they can provide a great way to find out more about candidates on a personal level as well as a professional level. CVs can be dry, repetitive and extremely tedious for someone to read over and over again. Social media is fun, interactive, and represents an individual’s ‘real’ self, which is especially important in companies and job roles where personality plays a big part.
Companies can also use social media to find out if someone’s CV is truthful. Believe it or not, it is not uncommon for people to be dishonest on their CV about their previous experience while they are honest on LinkedIn, despite the fact that recruiters have access to their LinkedIn profile. Comparing in this way allows employees to check the reliability of the information provided and LinkedIn offers features that many CVs don’t, such as recommendations by previous employers or business acquaintances.
Social media can also be an effective (and cheap) way to publicise job opportunities, or even for candidates to publicise themselves. @Marketing_Chap is a great blogger, Twitter guru and marketing specialist, who is a personal favourite of mine. He has recently added a new section to his website, entitled “Find a good egg”. With the aim of ‘giving something back’, he decided that instead of running commercial advertisements like most blogs, he would give marketing moguls of the future the chance to stand out and make valuable connections in the industry.
So far the page has been a great success and his first “good egg”, Madeline, is currently working freelance for someone who found her on the blog. Madeline says, “I have had loads of new followers on Twitter and views on LinkedIn… The Good Egg feature has definitely has a positive impact for me.”
We have recently visited a number of careers fairs across the country to find young and talented people looking for a placement opportunity. We’ve found social media to be a great way of not only publicising the fact that we will be attending the fair (retweets from the universities we are visiting is great for this) but also to get instant, direct contact with potential candidates after we have met them. Anyone can send us their CV, but when someone does something outside of the box to get noticed, such as tweeting us to ask for application tips or commenting on our Facebook wall to say how great it was to meet us, that’s what stands out to us.