Social Recruiting is Shifting the Definition of Career

Old black-and-white photo of an office worker talking on the phone.Career is a foremost concern for most people, whether they’re currently job-hunting or not. Social recruiting changes what we mean by career. We live in a time of rapid technology change, with a complex and changing job market, with people changing jobs and careers more often than ever before. At the same time, social networks have permeated many aspects of daily life, and are now helping redefine what it means to create a career, and to advance and innovate in a career. And those using these tools to the max have often moved beyond LinkedIn to using Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram and Tumblr to find a better job. If you’re job-hunting:

  • Personal referrals are the preferred hiring channel for most hiring managers, so it’s important to leverage your connections on Facebook and other personal social networks, not just on professional networks like LinkedIn. Don’t spam them, just use the available messaging tools to let relevant people know that you’re looking for that next great opportunity.
  • Your social footprint really matters. If you can’t invest the time in a blog, at the very least use social tools to follow a wide variety of interesting sources across a variety of tech and cultural domains, then curate and publish the most interesting stuff.
  • Every employer looks for candidates with the competence to do the job, and the commitment to make a difference with their work, but today the best employers give increased weight to how well you seem aligned with their culture. If you’re really interested in a specific company, take the time to monitor their social channels to learn what daily life is like there. And as long as you’re being genuine, there’s no harm in wearing your heart on your sleeve; if their Corporate Social Responsibility programs emphasize environmental issues, go ahead and post Save the Earth content from time to time.

If you’re a hiring manager or work in Human Resources:

  • Go beyond LinkedIn and take advantage of the many other social networks, not just for sourcing candidates but for building your identity among the millions and millions of “passive candidates” who aren’t actively looking for a new job but might be enticed by the right possibility. A person’s job in the past is no longer a great predictor of their career in the future.
  • Extend the range of your outreach programs by building new processes that reward your employees when they choose to use their personal social networks to help identify high-quality referral candidates. Your employees understand their friends’ skills and aspirations better than you do.