Social Media’s Infiltration of Human Resources & Recruitment Efforts
Social Media and Hiring
It goes without saying that probably 99.9% of our tween thru adult population is familiar with social media in one way or the other. Whether you are a 13 year old boy posting pictures of your sneakers on Instagram, or a 30-something year old professional adding your skills and qualifications to LinkedIn, social media is a part of your daily routine.
I recently wrote an article that touched on the Evolution of Social Media and the benefits of using it correctly as well the harmful effects of using it improperly. Now, I want to dive a little deeper into that and focus on setting yourself up for professional success as it directly correlates to social media and job interviews.
Recruiters Are Using Social Media Too
It’s most certainly evident that more recruiters, hiring managers, and human resource departments are really taking notice to the social platforms of prospective candidates during the interview process. It is also evident that many prospective candidates are not keeping this in mind as they begin their professional job searches.
Let me try and put it in prospective for you. There are over 1.19 billion users on Facebook and over 181 million users on LinkedIn alone. That is very large pool of potential employees to pull from. If you are actively seeking a new employee, why not begin your search in a place where such a large pool of “fish” already exists? I you are candidate and seeking employment, why would you not want to take advantage of another opportunity to market yourself, your skills and your qualifications?
Benefits to Using Social Media
A few of the biggest benefits to using Social Media properly when seeking employment are:
- Ability to discover jobs that you never new existed.
- Build credibility and knowledge base by engaging with companies of interest.
- Introduce yourself to new contacts online.
- Set yourself up for the job to find you.
Your profile should actively represent you, who you are and what you have to offer to a perspective employer. You should monitor your social feeds regularly to make sure you are always painting yourself in the best light.
You should also put yourself in a hiring manager’s shoes. Think honestly about what you are putting out there for the world to see, and determine whether it is an image of someone you would want representing that company.
Social Media No-No’s
You should never do any of the following:
- Post about your job interviews.
- Publicly criticize your current work conditions.
- Badmouth another business.
These types of posts, if seen by a hiring manager, can lead to a loss of interest in you as a candidate. Remember, the person interviewing you is also interviewing many other candidates and if you are going to stand out, they must see you as an ideal employee who already possesses the qualities, morals, and values the company needs and upholds.
Preparing for an Interview using Social Media
Searching for a job is never a fun venture. It is time consuming, stressful, and downright nerve wracking at times. On top of that, interviews can be uncomfortable and unpredictable, so preparation is extremely important. As a candidate, you can use social media to prepare yourself for an interview as well. Below are a few tips for preparing for an interview with the help of social media.
- Research a company’s social media platforms and their presence, not just their website.
- Find out who will be doing your interview and research them as well, especially on LinkedIn.
- Jot down a few questions based on posts that you have seen about the company. For example: I see you just had a company retreat, is that something that occurs regularly?
A company’s website should give you all the details of what that company does and what services they can offer. You may even be able to find their benefit package and job descriptions. However, a company’s social media platforms can show you more about the company culture, the employee engagement, as well as how the brand is being portrayed.
An Interview is a lot easier when you feel you know the person conducting the interview. Knowing who they are and what they do for the company allows you to ask the right questions and engage in a level of conversation that wouldn’t otherwise exist. Don’t be afraid to ask specifics. They will appreciate your research and dedication to preparation.
Having a small list of questions regarding the company or the job itself is always recommended. You never want to leave an interview without having asked at least a few questions. When a candidate has no questions, the interviewer is left to assume whether or not you benefited form the interview. It’s hard to gauge interest without dialog. Often, it is these questions that make you stand out and allow the hiring manager to remember who you are.
Important Social Media Tips
Lastly, there are a few important things to keep in mind about social media and it’s relation to obtaining that perfect job you are seeking.
- Privacy settings are never fool-proof.
- It’s a public platform.
- Employers are using it more and more for candidate screening.
- Your profile must be up to date in order to be relevant.
Social media is a very valuable tool that can be used by both job seekers and employers alike. As you transition from young adulthood to a career oriented professional, you need to make sure that you keep in mind that your social presence can hinder your ability to successfully transition from an intern or part time worker to a full time valuable employee for the company of your dreams.
It’s imperative that you allow your own transition to manifest itself in your social activity. Just like the old saying “You are the company you keep,” with the emergence of social media, “You are the person in your profile pic.”
For both job seekers and hiring managers, keep these tips in mind. They will help job seekers stand out to employers, and provide employers with the ideal candidate that will grow their business.