The traditional method of finding talent is to post an opening and receive a flood of resumes. Hiring authorities would then go through the process of weeding through resumes to see the best fit. Through the interviewing process, the right candidate would then be selected. This traditional method is time consuming and often takes managers away from regular job duties.
The use of the internet is changing the way potential employees can be screened. Over 30,000 searches through Google are conducted each second. Employers are increasingly becoming aware of the amount of information that can be found through the internet. Everyone has an online presence that reveals much about who they are. Social media can be a tool to help find the right candidate.
Richard Bolles, the author of What Color Is Your Parachute mentioned in a recent AOL article, that “Google is the new resume. 82 percent of people use the internet and social media outlets.” It is now possible to create your own personal website with resume for potential employers. Interested parties can put a name in a search engine and see what their accomplishments and interests are. Instead of a faceless piece of paper like the resume, the internet can paint a clearer more informative picture.
Two sites have really enhanced the use of social media as a screening tool. Twitter is a site where people communicate with 140 characters or less. People set up an account with followers and who they follow. Over 20 million users are this site. People follow others based on their interests and experiences. Employers can tell much about someone through their followers and what they communicate or “tweet”. Content from comments, discussions and interactions can reflect on a person.
Linkedin is another site that is changing the way employers find talent. This is a business oriented website with over 100 million users. It provides a profile where skills and accomplishments are listed. Present and previous employers are listed. Participants can also link with other users, often people in the same professional area. This is helpful for networking purposes. Searches can be conducted by name or business fields. People often used Linkedin to find employment prospects.
One issue regarding the use of social media is how accurate a portrayal it represents. Many people use these sites not thinking potential employers can use them. There is potential liability in using sites to choose candidates. Users often feel there is a sense of privacy in what they express online. Many do not realize that what they say is out there to be viewed. Some sites such as Facebook do have privacy settings that can be adjusted. Employers should use care that the ultimate decision for hiring someone is based on the ability to do the job.
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