Thursday, May 27, 2010

Job recruitment

I’ve been helping another reseller with some recruitment using a method I’ve developed over the years to find not just competent technicians but also good employees. However, I must admit that I’m pretty disappointed in the quality of responses that I’ve seen so far. I was also stunned to see that none of the applicants for the position used any sort of social media tools. No Linkedin, blogs, etc to promote their qualifications.

 

To me this indicates that good technical people don’t reply to online job ads any more. So what are they doing? I reckon they have their details up on places like Linkedin, for example, and use it to connect with people and solicit testimonials from their contacts. I’d also say that they are blogging about technical topics to demonstrate firstly their discipline to write regularly but also provide a ‘living’ CV that they can refer anyone to as a way of highlighting their ongoing efforts in their professional field. There are plenty of other ways that smart people are using social networking to get ahead. Take a look at this example:

The Google Job Experiment - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7FRwCs99DWg

 

If you are someone looking for a better job then you really need to be using social networking and becoming connected with as many people as possible. In many cases it is the strength of weak ties that lands you the job you never expected via a friend of a friend. Best of all, most of the tools of social network are free to join and maintain.

 

Now if you are looking to hire someone I gotta say that the same message also applies to you. If you think you are going to land that great employee simply by running an online ad I think your chances are going to be fairly slim. Many smart businesses, again are using social networking to stay in touch with ex-employees, customers and other contacts. In this way they are extending their reach and ‘weak links’ so when the day comes that they need someone they will either have that individual with their existing social network or they can use their network to find someone.

 

As a business or an employee you need to maintain and foster your networks but by doing this you are constantly giving yourself the greatest chance of having the position or person you want find you. Personally, I think now days the first place I’d start looking for someone is via Twitter or Linkedin. Why? It doesn’t cost anything. Only after exhausting all my social networks would I consider running an online ad.

 

Most amazingly of all, many small businesses totally ignore social networking as a method of recruitment. Most prefer to employ ‘someone they know’ but few utilize the tools that effectively allow them to do just that. To me, this is simply another example of how important social networking is in the SMB market. Smart business are leveraging it for all sorts of things like marketing, publicity and, as I outlined here, recruitment. Most businesses know how hard it is to recruit good staff. You have a much greater chance if you go to where progressive talent is located (i.e. social networking). If you simply run an online add you are really just ‘hoping’ there ‘maybe’ someone out there. Not a very good return on investment in my books.

 

Times are changing. If you are a good business or a good employee don’t rely on the old ways of recruitment, start to understand and utilize the tools that social networking provide and save yourself time, money and really stand out from the crowd. I really feel sad for not only all those people who have submitted ‘bland’ CVs for me to evaluate but also for the business who is using this method to recruit. The chances of any of them truly finding what they are after is very slim in my books, very slim indeed.