If you haven’t been in the jobs market for the last couple of years, you could be forgiven for not realising just quite how extensively things have changed. From my position running businesses in the online recruitment industry, I can safely say most candidates need to completely rethink their strategy to ensure their job search is as effective as possible.
So how has social media impacted the recruitment market – and what effect does that have on you the jobseeker? Let me spell out the four fundamental changes that have hit the jobs market and how you can adapt to each to position yourself for success in today’s jobs market:
Change #1: Social Media has empowered employers to build their own in-house recruitment practices
Change #2: Social Media has made it possible for recruiters to engage with candidates in powerful new ways
The main thing standing in the way of employers doing more recruiting in-house has historically been their lack of access to an extensive candidate database. A secondary issue has been that those people with the desire to cold-call potential candidates have usually been able to earn far more working in a recruitment business than working in recruitment for an employer organisation.
Social media like LinkedIn, Google+ and Twitter have given employers a database every bit as powerful as those that were historically the preserve of only the leading headhunting businesses and recruitment agencies. They’ve also given recruiters a means of contacting candidates that doesn’t involve “unpleasant” cold-calling. So in just a few years, the main impediments to employers doing more of their own in-house recruiting have been flattened.
The key action point for you as a candidate is that you must make sure you have a profile on the leading social networking sites; you must make sure this has been optimised so that you appear strongly in relevant search results; and that it’s been well crafted to convert recruiter views of your profile into firm job interview interest. If you’d like more guidance on this aspect of job hunting effectiveness, see this article on LinkedIn job search strategies.
Change #3: Social Media has opened up the possibility of hiring far more staff through referral channels
Change #4: Social Media gives recruiters a whole new insight into your strengths and weaknesses as a candidate
Referral recruiting is something that has been particularly impacted by social networking sites. Given the choice, employers would ideally make all their hires via referral channels. Experience shows that those employers hired through referrral channels are more likely to be a fit for the company long term. They typically join the business faster (so hiring time is reduced) and stay with the business longer (so hiring costs are reduced), a combination that is hard to argue with.
By opening up staff networks to referral recruiting messages, social media has given recruiters a powerful new tool for fulfilling more of their hiring requirements via the referral recruiting route. It’s therefore crucial that you have built up your social networks to include as many former colleagues, classmates and contacts as possible – so that your referral jobs network is as broad as possible. For more insights, see this article on how referral recruiting has been transformed by social media.
Alongside this, all your social media profiles and activity give employers an insight into you that they simply didn’t have before. In some instances this can reinforce their decision to hire; in others it can cause an employer to change their mind about your employability. A lot of focus has been on ensuring that your social media profiles have been “cleansed” of any offending materials before embarking on a job search; but the reality is actually that your whole social media presence will impact the employer’s impression of you as a prospective hire, from the interactions you’ve had in groups to the comments you’ve posted on articles to the tone in which other people speak with you in social media channels. All form impressions about you – and so are something that the modern jobseeker should be taking into consideration.
With the overwhelming majority of employers now including social recruiting as part of their recruitment strategy, it’s essential for the modern job seeker to adapt their job search skills accordingly. Hopefully this article will have given you food for thought about some of the ways you need to adapt when you are next looking to change career.