This week I have been working on a role which required someone with Recruitment, HR and Social Media experience. As someone with a keen interest in tweeting, blogging, connecting on LinkedIn and scanning facebook’s walls, the spec seemed exciting and the position full of opportunity, with room for innovation.
I spoke with many candidates and although found some real gems, was surprised at how many weren’t actually using these tools.
Many responded “I don’t do Facebook!”
Several didn’t feel LinkedIn was a social media tool at all.
The majority however, felt it was something they should do but didn’t know why.
This got me chewing on the end of a bio (nasty habit) and having a good ponder on why I use these platforms and why I would recommend them to my candidates, whether they recruited or not.
I can give real examples of where I have won business after a client has “looked me up online”. In which a perspective candidate has approached me directly after reading a tweet or status update. How I have found, sourced and recruited through LinkedIn connections. Started a conversation online, then met up in person with others who I have then collaborated with on various projects. Sourced excellent local suppliers for my own business.
Yet if I had to pinpoint just one thing, it would be the knowledge I have gained.
The web is just so vast that you need help to navigate even small parts of it. Before these platforms I would have just ‘Googled’ keywords and waded through.
Yet finding relevant information quickly is now so much easier. Information directly or at least pre-screened, from people in your local area, sector, profession or one which you want to know more about.
Their expertise, inside knowledge and experience has led me to wondrous sites, specific tutorials, and fabulous nuggets of information, tried and tested products or tools that I would never have found on my own.
Keeping up to date and in touch with the latest developments, key players, news and of course jobs in your industry is essential to your job search and I do believe using social media is one of the best, easiest and quickest ways to do it.
This knowledge could be the inside track on the company you are about to interview for, the background on the interviewer themselves or the latest hot issues in your industry. Information which may give you the edge over your competitors and win you the role.
Also if you identify a skill set or area you are particularly missing or weak on, proactively gaining an insight from those who do excel in these areas could be just what you need. (Of course I don’t advocate you train yourself to be a brain surgeon from watching E/R on youtube, or like the Bogus US attorney with no qualifications who just picked it up watching TV.)
For example want to learn more about job searching? Check out the list of UK Job Search blogs I created.
In the same way by having a presence on these channels I have shaped and had input into the ‘knowledge’ available about me.
Knowledge is power. Through social media channels I have learned more widely and more quickly than ever before.
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Sarah Cooper has over 14 years Recruitment experience gained in both an internal and agency environment. As one of the founding Directors of McGinnis Loy Ltd, specialist Finance and HR Recruiters, she is still actively recruiting in the marketplace today. Follow her tweets @approachmarket