Social Media: What Employers Think

by Caroline Ceniza-Levine | August 12, 2009

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Inone of my recent CNBC columns I advised jobseekers about managing social networkingoverwhelm.  Recently, I spokewith several employers representing a range of different companies about howthey use social media in their recruiting:

Use of social media is asignal of quality.  Yianni Garcia, MarketingSpecialist for GradeGuru.com, part of McGraw Hill Education, looks at LinkedIn,Indeed, Facebook, and Twitter, when he recruits for his open positions.  While he also utilizes traditional,offline sources, his work in the interactive space means that he wants to findpeople already conversant in the space. For Garcia (and other employers I spoke to), finding people on socialmedia is not just a recruiting tool but a way to screen for skills.  PS.  Garcia also notes that since he has optimized his ownLinkedIn profile, he has gotten a lot more networking and speaking invitations,so he has seen the benefit of social media on both sides.

Social media gives proactivejobseekers an edge.  ChrisFiorillo, VP of Web and Internet Strategy for Adecco Group North America,estimates that more than half of Adecco applicants find them via social media,including Facebook and Twitter. Building an online community is a priority for Adecco Group, and eventhe CEO tweets several times per day. (Jobseekers, if you can get into your target employer’s conversation,you can separate yourself as an applicant!) 

But social media does notreplace offline tactics.  Most everyone I spoke toacknowledged that social media was just one part of their recruitingstrategy.  Matt Smith, Student andBusiness Finder of Responsible Outgoing College Students (a.k.a. ROCS) goes asfar as saying that nothing beats old-fashioned, live communication (and he’s aGeneration Y!).  Smith acknowledgesthat blogs, websites, and online networks help jobseekers distinguish themselves,but he estimates that the vast majority of their hires come from traditionalnetworking.

InJobvite’s recent Social Recruitment Survey, results showed that nearly half(43%) of jobs are not listed on job boards and that a high majority ofcompanies (72%) indicated they were increasing investment in recruiting viasocial networks.  Jobseekers needto embrace this new reality.  Usesocial media to differentiate yourself and send your signal of quality.  Be proactive, and use social media toidentify more job opportunities and expand your networking contacts.

 

Filed Under: Workplace Issues

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