Living in Interesting Times
It’s almost three years since I last started a social job hunt. Back in November 2010, the concept of leveraging social media channels to create awareness of yourself to potential employers, whilst along the way creating content that both chronicled your insights and perceptions of the job hunting process, as well as showcasing the knowledge and attitude that you could bring to a role, was fairly new.
In October 2013 this is now more commonplace; in fact for many individuals it’s expected.
Using Social Networking for Job Hunting
At the recent Social Media Week London I joined Steve Ward and Bill Boorman in presenting to job seekers how they could effectively use social media as part of their job hunt. My session covered three areas:
Research – find out about sectors, businesses and individuals. Who is hiring, who may be hiring and who’s doing what in the industries that interest you and what skills, capabilities and knowledge they may require.
Engage – it’s not just enough to find out the information, you need to interact with the individuals, put yourself on their radar. You need to connect to the people who are doing the hiring, which may mean identifying those who can introduce you to them. And not just the companies and recruiters but also bloggers from your preferred sector; read what they write, comment and share.
Self-Promotion – make sure that what you do brings you to the attention of the people you are trying to reach. Use a video of yourself, create a blog (Tumblr or WordPress), use images and seek out and share interesting and unusual content and become known as someone who has access to and shares interesting insights. Develop reach and contacts.
Influence and Network
There’s little doubt in my mind that the importance of what someone can bring to an organisation in terms of knowledge, network, access to information and (crucially) that oft misused word influence will be crucial hiring factors in the very near future.
Attendees at the recent Discover Sourcing event heard Andrew Grill (ex CEO Kred, now IBM) present on ‘Talent in the Age of Social Business’ and talk of the importance of influence to a business both internally and externally, how to recognise it, source it and the importance of hiring it in to your organisation.
For me Kred are different from Klout, PeerIndex and other influence measures because of the outreach factor and the transparency – not about how much stuff you put out, or how often and how many followers see it, but about how you interact with and share others’ content, and how they interact with what you do.
Are you a trusted source? Do others share what you have shared? Do people trust and act upon what you say? Do you build authority? Or drive unique interactions from new sources? Do you build relationships? These are some of the things that hiring managers will be considering in the future.
When they hire you they will also be hiring a network, a community of people around you who are part of what you can bring to the day job. Connector, facilitator and enabler will be key attributes.
It’s over two years since an IBM Social Jam had as one of its conclusions that employees have a personal brand, existing both inside and outside the business, that companies do not own but effectively ‘rent’ from them whilst they are at work. They went on to say that these personal brands should be rewarded based on how they help the company.
Future of Talent Communities
I found it interesting to hear Don Tapscott talk at HRTech of how talent communities should be about getting tasks within an organisation completed and not just be a ‘pipeline’ of potential future employees. This reminded me of conversations a couple of years ago about how the future of talent community management would be building a network of flexible, freelance workers, creatives and writers, designers and UX specialists, analysts and data scientists. Keeping them engaged and informed, able to share and help, refer and recommend. And maybe some future employees too.
Business as Usual
Where is this leading us? Well, I think that as ‘social’ business becomes business as usual, and sentiment begins to overtake likes, shares and clicks as a key metric, then having a socially enabled workforce, a proper social engagement strategy and the ability to share the stories and create the content that encourages customers, clients, employees, suppliers and partners to want to be a part of what you do, will become crucial, and the organisations that fail to take advantage of this may well get left behind.
Customer and consumer expectations are rising. They often now have better tech than companies and are changing the way they communicate and collaborate. Smartphone ownership is driving a different kind of consumption. For example, we spend too much time talking about ‘mobile’ recruitment when all our candidates are doing is job hunting – the medium through which they connect and apply is irrelevant to them, convenience and experience matters more.
And employees, your number one brand advocates, are not only using social channels but expect to be able to harness the opportunities they offer in their day to day business roles.
Social Job Hunt 2013
And so it’s into this evolving business landscape that I head off on my Social Job Hunt 2013.
I’ve learned a lot over the last three years, and have gained much knowledge and insight from an ever evolving network of connections covering recruitment, HR, employment law, the future of work, digital marketing, social strategy, branding, FMCG and agency. Not forgetting content creation and curation, community building, encouraging employee and management participation and building reach and influence. A lot has changed, and a lot of change is yet to come.
Judging from some of the conversations I’ve participated in, and from the experiences and insights shared, at various events recently we are certainly living in interesting times.
I’m excited about the future, the opportunities and avenues that are being opened up, and am looking forward to playing my part in helping business navigate these interesting times.
It should be a fun ride. Let me know if you would like to talk…