The Need To Get Social

In years gone by, a typical job-seeker’s Saturday morning would be spent reading the paper and circling each job ad that took their fancy. Companies and recruitment firms alike paid ridiculous money to have their job ads on the first 8 pages and ad agencies made squillions. Yes, in the late ‘90’s SEEK came to the market, but the newspaper was far more prestigious and probably more widely read … then along came social media.

Around ten years ago, the LinkedIn sales people came to visit me (in pairs with youthful enthusiasm). They told me that LinkedIn was on the way to changing the face of recruitment and I was hugely sceptical. Why would people use social networking to promote their careers and find jobs? Who had time to be on the internet at work when most offices banned personal internet time and what if your boss thought that because you were on it, it meant you were looking for a job? Remember? Now look at it.

As a recruiter, I trawl through LinkedIn, almost daily, until my eyes cross over. I search, I scroll and I sigh (at photos and grandiose statements mainly). It is the way I find candidates for those hard to fill roles. Many are passive candidates who may not have even thought they wanted a new job until my message hits their inbox. Some are sitting there active, just waiting to be found. I am not alone. Hundreds and thousands of recruiters around the world are doing the same thing. Yet, I know people, professional people, absolutely placeable people who are not on it. They don’t see the value. One of my friends, a perfectly professional and placeable HR executive is facing redundancy. She was in the same workplace for many years in the outer Melbourne suburbs and over time lost touch with many of her old contacts. She is terrified of social media and not active anywhere. She views it as an invasion of her privacy, but in reality, right now, she will need it – to reconnect, to newly connect and to be found.

To you who are not on it? Get social and get networking.

The author does not profess to be a social media expert but has seen the face of recruitment change over the 20 years she has been immersed in it.

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