Job hunting in the socially networked era

Being active on social networks and demonstrating your subject matter expertise will help make you visible in modern recruiting apps like Jobvite, which are rapidly gaining traction in forward thinking companies
Written by Oliver Marks, Contributor

If you're looking for a job - and many people have to remain constantly vigilant about what comes next for them even if they're currently employed in our volatile economy - the way in which we unearth new opportunities has fundamentally changed.

I'm once again track chair for the 'Human Capital Management' (HCM) sessions  at the June Boston Massachusetts Enterprise 2.0 Conference where we'll be exploring aspects of the new recruiting realities. Session participants include Jobvite, whose CEO Dan Finnigan I chat with in the video above. (Apologies for the 1990's era Snapple tv spot style camera angle!)

If you're anxiously waiting for the phone to ring or for an email to arrive with some news of employment, it's worth taking a minute to understand how the HR world finds you these days and how to make yourself visible and attractive to them.

For employers the era of being able to just post a job description online and hope to get good replies is gone, despite the horrible economy, because that is so inefficient.  The early internet put classified job ads online and made them searchable in the 1.0 job board world. By 1997 resume databases, those giant bottomless wells that are the bain of many jobseekers lives started to emerge. These searchable repositories of personal profiles are time consuming to search by HR professionals and locate credible talent, which is why you rarely get responses after laboriously filling out the forms.

Today Jobvite is an internet cloud based platform that companies use to manage their entire recruiting process, a social sourcing application that helps companies find relevant talent through employee referrals, social networks and the Web. This last part is key for the job hunter, because it really pays to understand how cutting edge companies like Jobvite work for their clients in finding quality talent like you.

If you're a jobseeker, curating your online profile and making sure you are digitally active and visible is key to success, because services like Jobvite rely on you keeping your online presence alive and regularly refreshed. Linked In spokesperson Lindsey Pollack has a good practical post 'How to Curate Your Own Personal Job Feed' which explains the details of how to do this. LinkedIn also relies on your active participation to help connect you with the right people and job opportunities. Jobvite targets relevant contacts and broadcasts to contacts across Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter from one easy interface to help employer recruiters find you, which is why in our ever more socially networked world it really pays to stay active across .

As Dan says in our discussion above the best job referrals are from people who know you - any employee can share any job a company is looking to fill with people in their network to drive referral hires, which are typically the highest quality, lowest cost source of hires. through Jobvite. More broadly anyone can send or forward a Jobvite, a personal job invitation – through LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter as well as email, and recipients can forward or apply.

I've had a couple of incidents in the past working in large companies when we hired people to teams, with peer interviews, who were bright and confident during the onboarding process.  Once employed they turned out to in one case have serious alcohol problems and another some type of substance abuse issue, a complex and time consuming problem to untangle and deal with from an HCM perspective. Being able to see a bit more depth into an individual's chosen life online, if they choose to share that information, can help in the hiring process and is better than having to make decisions based on a limited 30 minute conference room interaction. Having said that there are plenty of people adept at presenting an attractive online persona to mask their real self and this can also be a huge issue. More on this in a future post.

The bottom line is that just as companies have to market themselves and update content on their websites to continue to attract attention so too the individual has to aggressively market themselves online and update and tweak your online presence and connections until you find a great fit, and then keep up a lower key online presence in case your circumstances change.

Our track at the enterprise 2.0 conference will go into further details around how HCM is playing a larger, more connected part of many firms strategic planning, breaking free of the old HR departmental silo which restricted opportunities for hirer and prospects alike. The issue of filtering the sheer volume of people who are now interconnected and interacting online through multiple channels is sure to be discussed, and may well affect how useful current channels are in the future.

The current state of play for jobseekers today though is to share quality contributions on your areas of expertise liberally, and to engage in intelligent conversations online across multiple mediums to attract and impress potential employers and of course the services they use like Jobvite.

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