Courier Mail's article "Social networks are not just about having fun" with Managing Partner, Efren Chaux

Social networks are not just about having fun

"STOP, collaborate and listen": Social networking guru Iggy Pintado uses those words to advise jobseekers on gaining the best advantage from online job searches.

The words were immortalised by 1980s rapper Vanilla Ice. "He was so ahead of his time. You have to stop what you were doing before, collaborate and be part of the conversation – and listen to the conversation that's going on," Pintado says.

He says jobseekers who are not plugged in to and using online networks properly are missing out on a valuable opportunity to market themselves to recruiters and employers. "Properly" means maintaining a profile on sites such as Facebook,Twitter and LinkedIn, and using it frequently to upload and source information, and to make connections or meet people.

"If you are looking to score a job and you don't have an (online) CV and you haven't talked (on social networking sites) to recruiters, and you haven't participated and collaborated with them, then you are invisible," he says.

"People like (that) on LinkedIn are not sure of the power of it and what it does. If you look at the statistics, there are 40 million people in LinkedIn worldwide, and most of those people are senior (level) professionals and decision-makers. They are usually in the Fortune 500 companies. In Australia, there are 850,000 to 900,000 people on LinkedIn, and about 15 per cent of those are HR people or recruiters.

"So if you are trying to find a job and you are not on a platform like LinkedIn, it is difficult for people to find you."

They are the "holy grail" of workers, those high-quality workers happily toiling away for an employer and not looking for a new job but who might be persuaded to change for the right conditions.

"Passive jobseekers is the biggest market for social networking," Efren Chaux, director of recruitment form Brown and Chase, says.

"A lot of people want to know what the market is doing, especially now since the global financial crisis has job security on the top of everyone's mind. Social networking is a very easy way for people to be inquisitive about what is going on in the market, and it's all in real time.

"We use sites like LinkedIn predominantly, as it's a professional social networking site and does help to get an indication of a person's background, longevity and skill set. It also allows people to recommend other people," Chaux says.

"Looking at people's Twitter updates gives you a sense of their personality and a sense of their business culture as well.

"Looking at online social networking sites is a good way to cross-reference, to ensure that the information given by a candidate on a CV does align with what's out there in the public domain."

"I think at the end of the day it is just a guide and it helps to join the dots. Obviously the same recruitment processes still ring true, you have to speak to the candidate and do reference checks . . . but nowadays information is flowing so quickly and a lot of younger generations are using websites like Twitter . . . so they are an opportunity to build a rapport with people."

He says candidates should put social networking web addresses on a resume, providing that site contains relevant information that promotes the person's professional skills and abilities in the best light. Avoid overly social sites.

But not all recruiters are convinced. Hays Queensland director Darren Buchanan says there is no replacement for good, old-fashioned real-world fact checking, when it comes to finding a new employee. The worldwide firm is currently reviewing how they use new technologies as part of their business.

"Some sites are beneficial (to find candidates) and others are just a waste of time," Buchanan says.

"A lot of what is online on these sites is biased information. They are self-written or the reliability of it is very questionable.

"I am a bit old-school, I have been in recruitment for 20 years and I am 42 years old . . . the fundamentals remain. Fads come and go but the basics are always there. You can't beat face-to-face contact and talking to someone over the phone. Even doing it via email is fraught with problems."

The information contained on the sites may be taken with a large dose of skepticism by some recruiters, but that doesn't mean social networking sites are not a very handy meeting place.

An illustration of that connectivity is a new generation of websites dedicated to linking niche employee pools to delighted employer groups.

Track Me Back general manager Caroline Rafferty says the site links expatriate Aussies and New Zealanders to a select number of employers who need staff now or will need them in the future.

"Since January, our numbers have doubled to 4000 candidates. They want to put the feelers out there to see what might come up," Rafferty says.

"The site gathers a number of different client partners (employers), pooling their resources to try to attract people living and working overseas to an online forum, so they can talk directly to candidates about opportunities."

If candidates employers are talking to via the site think they won't be suitable for the job, they usually pass information about it to their online social networking friends. That starts something called viral marketing, a highly prized and extremely cost-effective advertising phenomenon for business.

Other adaptations of social networking techniques create new takes on a traditional job board. Online Recruitment owner Geoff Jennings says he runs a number of different Twitter accounts that "feed" (provide updates to) "followers" (people who agree to receive his messages) a one-line description of particular categories of jobs, followed by a weblink to the job ad on a different website such as Careerone.com.au. The information he uses is collated by a third party, a website called an aggregator (www.recruit.net), which "scrapes" information off a number of websites and collates it into a single-line description called a "news feed". Jennings takes this news feed, combines it with an RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed from other sites than ban aggregation, and mixes in a few of his client's positions that he is contracted to fill. He then broadcasts the jobs on Twitter, under account names such as ITjobsbris and ITjobssydney and gamerjobs.

"At this stage I am just testing the service. My company is not yet big enough to draw a large following on Twitter if I only put the jobs my company was recruiting for. But if I put many jobs on I can feed to a broader audience," he says.

"That's my strategy, anyway. I am very up-front about it (on those accounts)."

He maintains a personal account under his own name: "I don't flog jobs in there, it's to brand me as a recruiter. But on the other accounts, people don't want to see me in there among the jobs."

He says while he doesn't get a large number of inquiries from Twitter to his company's positions, the response so far is promising.

"I do get a lot of people 're-Twitting'. That's when people pick up my Tweet and put a RT in front of it and send it out to their network. Then you get that community-based thing going. From that, I have had emails saying 'I am interested, tell me more'."

Social networking expert and author of Connection Generation Iggy Pintado says Jennings could possibly represent the future direction of Twitter.

"I think it will turn into a filter," he says. "New programs are starting to become big on there, and there's job-market information, or whatever, so it is increasingly going to be about finding out information about a particular topic. And then companies are using Twitter to listen. Take the pharmaceutical industry, for example. They are not allowed to directly talk to consumers, but they could do a search for something like Tamiflu, and bring up every single Tweet about their product. They can see the positive and negative comments about it. It becomes a listening device."

 

Read the article: How to be viewed by employers & recruiters as one of the "holy grail" workers by optimally using social media networks

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  • What does it say about a person who does not post on line?
    3/30/2016 2:32:17 AM Reply

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