Social Networking Promises to Revolutionize the Employment Process…Again.

14 Feb

Social media has profoundly altered the way we communicate. What many people don’t understand is that the information contained within our Facebook pages, Twitter feeds and Tumblr accounts also affects how we are perceived. An individual’s social network provides others, notably recruiters, with a detailed “snapshot” of his or her personal life that would have been nearly impossible to generate even a decade ago.

Employers’ use of social networks as a vetting tool has drawn the resentment of more than a few job seekers; for example, is it in a company’s best interest to hire the weaker of two candidates after viewing their Facebook pages? Fortunately, if companies like San Francisco’s prove successful, social networking sites like Facebook will become a boon for jobseekers and employers alike.

Jobvite’s product, a Facebook app that operates under the assumption that referrals are the best hires, has already been effective in matching prospects with company positions. Their system works like this:

  1. First, a company signs on with Jobvite.
  2. Then, employees are encouraged to download the Jobvite app onto their personal profiles.
  3. When a job posting is listed, Jobvite scans through each employee’s Facebook network for people that may be a good fit for the position.
  4. If an employee’s friend is designated as a prospect, he or she is then invited to forward an application to them.
  5. Ultimately, with almost no effort, the company receives an applicant who can be vouched for by a current employee, and a golden opportunity quite literally falls into the lap of an unsuspecting job seeker.

Will social network-powered referrals transform the recruitment process? Companies like Jobvite think so. Yet, while these remarkable tools are still in their infancy, one thing is certain: make sure you don’t mind an employer seeing everything (everything) on your Facebook/Twitter/Tumblr.

Social media has given us so much, but it has also robbed us of our privacy. While most people use these tools recreationally, it is important to recognize that in today’s world, an individual’s online presence constitutes a form of business communication. After you’ve spent so many hours drafting resumes and cover letters, wouldn’t it be a shame to miss out on that golden opportunity because of something on Facebook? You don’t need to treat every post like a corporate email, but it couldn’t hurt to reflect a moment on the content you’re about to share with the world.

– D



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