At the Society for Human Resource Management, Atlanta conference, I made a point to attend several sessions addressing social media. These sessions were directed to recruiters and human resource professionals responsible for attracting top talent to their organizations. Job seekers can learn a lot from the conversations.Jenny DeVaughn, Director, Social Strategy of Bernard Hodes Group, spoke to a standing room only crowd about integrating social media into recruiting strategies. (Jenny blogs at SocialPrecision.com.) She noted the number of millions of users engaging on social media tools and pointed out that 90% will not leave their mobile phones at home.Â Clearly, social media is “where we are,” and it’s where hiring is going to be as well.
Jenny advised hiring managers to share the best part of their employer brand online, including videos of employees and other information that demonstrates why potential employees would want to join the organization. She mentioned that it is important to share “discreet job activity,” which includes letting the public know what events (such as volunteer work) the organization supports, details about successful employees and other good news about the organization. Jenny also reminded employers not to conduct informal background checks on candidates via social media channels — this is good news for job seekers, although it is still important to be cautious about posting information online.
Jenny also reminded us that it’s important for employers and job seekers to know that employer forums such as Indeed.com’s are unofficial sources of information (although they appear to be condoned by the organization).
It was fascinating to me to hear employers ask the exact same questions about social media that job seekers ask: How to maintain privacy, who to connect with on LinkedIn, how to share the best story with the public, what to do when there is something negative reported online.
Job seekers grappling with these issues should recognize that everyone is still working out how to make the most of social media. We’re in a transition mode — employers are looking ahead and focusing on social media, but there is no one answer for how to do it. It’s the same story for job seekers.
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