Old School: Huge Paper Resume Stacks... New School: Recruiting with Social Media

By Amanda Montgomery Prior to the dawning Age of Emerging Media, job candidates seeking employment might have mailed a resume to hiring prospects.  Yes, I said mailed, and it required buying a stamp. Or faxed it in with a cover sheet, or attended an informational interview and followed up with a phone call.

It’s 2010, soon to be 2011— A majority of society now checks Facebook more than Email, Twitter is the new texting medium, and formal leather-bound portfolios are a thing of the past, replaced by online showcase sites like VisualCV or Flickr.  If you have access to the Internet, your ‘job-seeking’ strategies have evolved and recruiters are right there with you.  Social Media is playing a key role in how the hiring process is changing and shifting.

In a recent article from Inc. Magazine, reporter Tiffany Black candidly observes how the hiring landscape is changing amongst wave upon wave of social media technology updates and developments, “Human resources can leverage social media to tap in to potential recruits. This type of head hunting is called social recruiting. It's about engaging with users and using social media tools to source and recruit talent.”

Indeed, engagement is the key ingredient to securing optimal talent and retaining the highest level of candidate out there pursuing new endeavors. Similar to how consumers on social media vehicles do not only want to hear about brands are selling, they want to build a relationship; the same applies to those seeking employment. Candidates are far more likely to ignore information about opportunities if the recruiter or HR contact on the other side does not provide engaging feedback, useful key information, or will not answer questions.

The numbers Black cites are interesting in their own regard. She goes on to say, “As a recruiter you want to be where the most qualified, talented, and largest pool of applicants are. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have over 535 million combined users. That equals a lot of potential talent for your company.”

Another imperative part that’s emerging from this social recruiting ‘model’ is how HR and other recruiting professionals are collaborating amongst themselves to exchange information about the latest industry news, practices that work over practices that didn’t, and what new tools are available to help make their job easier or more effective. Online community discussion forums bring people together from around the world and generate a collaborative space offering different ideas from different perspectives.

While it’s still true that hiring means sorting through resumes and screening candidates now more than ever before both those in the recruiting industry and those seeking to be recruited can converse with each other proactively. Social Media is a significant catalyst driving this synergy forward.