According to a recent research study, 50% of the public are using social media to find a job, and 90% of companies are using it to find staff. There are also websites which aim to help job searching and recruitment through the use of social networking.
Abzuna, a job adverting website conducted a nationwide survey which asked over 1000 UK adults and collected data from their job index about how they use social media for finding a job.
Co-Founder of Abzuna, Andrew Hunter, says “It’s clear that the way in which people look for work has changed dramatically in the last two to three years and it’s hugely exciting to witness how social media has quickly become an integral part of the job hunting process.”
Tony Restell is the director and founder of Social-Hire.com, a website which started in 2011 aiming to help people find a job through social media. “Social media has completely changed the relationship between job seekers and employers, empowering candidates enormously and forcing recruiters to really up their game.”
Social Hire aims to help communication between employee and recruiter and does this for free, “Using existing social media to find a job can be quite costly. A candidate either has to invest a lot of time building up an extensive personal network – or buy subscriptions so as to be able to reach out to new recruiter contacts directly. The Social-Hire model allows you to privately contact every recruiter member, and vice versa. Many candidates want to be actively speaking with potential employers, without this being apparent to anyone else – a concern that’s particularly being aired by users of LinkedIn.”
Tony continues, “Until quite recently, candidates were largely ignored up until the point a company was interested in employing them. Candidates rarely had the chance to speak with someone when deciding whether or not to apply – and often would hear little or nothing back from a company after applying unless they were shortlisted.”
Social media enables candidates to reach out and ask questions to companies they are considering. Candidates can see how the company runs, find out about previous applications and how previous employees are treated, “Employers can also learn a great deal about potential employees from the way they conduct themselves on social media.”
“We give candidates control over privacy. Many candidates want to be actively speaking with potential employers, without this being apparent to anyone else – a concern that’s particularly being aired by users of LinkedIn.”
But what is the most affective way of using social media when job hunting? Many mistakes are often made which can go against the person. “Most candidates let themselves down by only becoming (professionally) active on social media to secure a career move. Their interactions therefore tend to be forced and make them come across as desperate – because they need to see results fast. The far more effective strategy is to buildup a network of contacts that know and respect you, who’ve interacted with you when you didn’t need anything from them – and who you’ve already helped in some way.”
Another common mistake is not checking the account regularly, “Maintain a consistent presence and check your accounts every day to make sure you’re not missing out on critical correspondence.”
The average jobseeker in Britain is connected to 300 jobs via their social networks, the top sectors for social job hunting include Retail, Creative and Finance. But it can have a negative impact on our chances of finding a job and how we are perceived.
Leanne Barton, PR administrator, says, “Last year we saw how employers have begun looking into potential employees’ social media accounts and not just on Linkedin profiles. We need to keep our personal life accounts such as Facebook private. It is also important to keep your professional accounts, such as Linkedin and possibly Twitter, up-to-date and relevant to your industry particularly when job hunting.”
Some argue that social media can be damaging, as messages and comments you write in your personal account can be seen by the whole world – this includes potential employees you have connected with.
Leanne comments, “ I think the best practice for social media and job hunting is if you wouldn’t want your employer or interviewer to see it then keep it private or delete it. “
Tony comments, “Social networking is like dating: no-one is attracted to the person who seems desperate. Think about social networking the way you think about your banking account: you have to make deposits first before you can take any value out.”