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The Social Jobseeker
While the process of hiring has changed over the last five years, so has the process of looking for a job. A severe economic downturn with a noticeably slow recovery has left both the jobseeker and hiring authorities bruised and broken. Gone are the days of hiring walk-ins who saw a sign in your window. Gone is the heyday of job boards producing a field of qualified candidates. Gone is a time when hiring included only two people, the jobseeker and the hirer. We are in a time of revolt and we can thank (or blame) social media.
Everyone is an Expert
I tell smaller companies that social media has leveled the playing field for them – the big guy most likely doesn’t have the engagement opportunities that the smaller company does. Communication and open sharing of opportunity has created a lush field for smaller companies to take advantage of. Cumbersome application processes and ill-conceived applicant tracking software consistently turns jobseekers off. They yearn for a live voice and a firm handshake.
Enter the Virtual Handshake
I have called social media the New Front Porch for a long time and for good reason. It allowed us to be friendly again in a busy world, to stop in and check on your family and neighbors – to have an impact on the outcomes of the day for those with whom you network. The “front porch” is an early American architectural creation. When frontiersmen started to put down roots and began to settle in with growing families, they still longed for their beloved frontier. The front porch was added to the structure of a home to reach into the wide open spaces and fulfill the love of “earth” and embrace that perpetual need that caused explorers to continually press on. It was this longing for openness that drove explorers West and expanded the borders of America. A front porch just made sense.
The New Front Porch (Social Media) has allowed users to expand their own horizons from their own desks and now, the palms of their own hands. Jobseekers have determined that social media is their information gate. Much like how the locks and gates of a dam allow the right amount of water out or in, social media has become a gate for jobseekers and candidates to filter what they want and need to know about opportunity. Jobseekers have taken control of their job search, and candidates are far more in charge of their work horizon now that they can gather and screen information on their own.
The Social Candidate
Once an applicant moves on to become a candidate, they have gained more inside information on which to base their decision. Many would believe that jobseekers will take any job offer, but surviving the unknown terrain of a sketchy job market has created a rough and ready candidate who knows how to explore an opportunity and determine his own path or trailblaze his own destiny toward job satisfaction. The savvy jobseeker of today is in charge, he wants what he wants and he will be loud about not getting what he wants.
What Does That Mean for HR and Recruiting?
If your organization or hiring managers do not create a smooth and intuitive process, jobseekers will let everyone in their network know. Social noise is a loud response to displeasure. If a smooth candidate experience is not facilitated, candidates will share what their experience was like to any and all who will read and listen. All you have to do is follow #INeedAJob on Twitter to get an idea of what is being said, published, and distributed about bad job search experiences. Just like no one talks about a good root canal, not many will talk about a good candidate experience. Why? Because it should be expected – though far too often, it is not delivered.
Stand Proudly On Your Porch
Use your landscape, what you can see, to your advantage. Either fix what isn’t working or expand upon what is. What are your assets, what are your liabilities. As a jobseeker or candidate, take advantage of the social tools which allow you to know more, be better prepared, and make beneficial connections. Good recruiters and good hiring managers will expect it. Good jobseekers are doing it. A meaningful job search produces results that benefit all.
Social changes everything, unless it doesn’t.
by Rayanne Thorn
Talent Management Series
Part 1: The Greatest Challenge for Businesses Today? Talent Management
Part 2: Successful Talent Management Requires Creative Retention
Part 3: Culture Breeds Commitment: The Truth about Talent Loyalty
Part 4: 5 Simple Reasons You Didn’t Get The Job
**Some information presented in this series comes from the book, Ups and Downs of Talent Management in Challenging Business Environments. If you’d like a free copy of this quick read, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be happy to send you a copy. Thanks!