Game changer or fad?

It must have been incredibly exciting to have been part of the industrial revolution, but did any of those involved actually appreciate or even understand the magnitude of the advances they were making?

What about today? The pace of change and advance in technology is so incredibly innovative, fast paced, disruptive, challenging.  So many assumptions and business models are being challenged. Keeping up with let alone getting ahead of the curve is incredibly demanding.  Change is constant.  Doing what you always did will no longer continue to get you what you always got.  I suspect in generations to come this era will be looked back on and studied in much the same way as the industrial revolution was in my school days.

As a recruiter social media is one such innovation that has been a real game changer.  The recruitment industry has not changed its model in 80 years.  Traditionally a bricks and mortar model, these days I can reach an enormous range of potential talent from across the globe from my front porch.  I am a huge advocate of candidate assessment based on looking someone in the eye and getting to know them and (as yet) you cannot email a handshake.  However take Skype.  I can conduct an in-depth interview across the planet, record it (with the candidate’s consent of course) and play it back to my client if they so wish, for free.

I no longer need an office in London, New York, Paris, Milan or Middlesbrough for that matter in order to reach out to candidates in those areas.  We are a service industry.  Meet our customers at a time and location convenient to them.  They have a multitude of choice, if our level of service fails to meet expectations they have countless other routes to market and not all of them reside with us.  For the recruitment industry social media is a game changer.  It will evolve undeniably, but it is here to stay.

So what about the job seeker?  How can social media help you in your job search?  Is it really the game changer we thought it may turn out to be?  The excellent ExecutivesOnline recently conducted a survey on social media and its place in the job search.  Linkedin was the clear winner as most popular site amongst 60% of the 1264 Senior UK Executives polled, twice that of Facebook, with the other suspects barely making up the numbers.  What is interesting however is the mixed views of social media amongst those executives with respect to its value in the job search.  67% of those polled had never searched for a job on a social networking site.  Only 7% of those polled had ever found a job by such means.

I suspect however a significant number of those polled are underestimating the true value of their Linkedin profile.  In excess of 70% of vacancies never make it to the public domain.  Networking is therefore critical to your career success.   Historically this network would have been incredibly difficult to maintain and certainly to grow without an enormous amount of shoe leather, coffee, lunch, dinner and telephone conversations, an enormous physical undertaking.  The job search is relentless, social media takes the pressure off.

Managed well your social media profile keeps you in mind.  It manages that fine line between polite, courteous and consistent contact and being a pain in the proverbial.  It removes the need to think of a reason to call without appearing desperate.  It legitimizes the constant reminder that is required to ensure you stay at the forefront of your target audiences mind.  This is the real value of social media, not in the immediately quantifiable results it brings but in the platform it gives you to constantly ensure you are updated, upfront and in the frame.  This is where social media is the game changer. Embrace it wholeheartedly, it’s here to stay.


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Filed under Careers, Hiring, Social Media, Talent

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