Social media is quickly becoming the new "pool" employers are fishing from. Sites like Facebook, Twitter and most notably, LinkedIn, are the go-to sites when companies are looking for tech savvy individuals who can add an edge to their business. While LinkedIn is geared more toward the "professional" aspect of social media, job seekers and employers are turning to Facebook and Twitter to expand their horizons outside of job fairs and college campus visits. Human resource departments are becoming more and more virtual—it’s possible to apply for a job, fill out paperwork online and even attach an electronic signature to it. The first time they see the office in person could be their first day, largely thanks to social media.
*LinkedIn: LinkedIn is a social networking site designed to help people connect on a professional level. They can post job qualifications, whether or not they are actively looking for a job and a host of other information that a prospective employer could use to base a job offer on. A Human Resources person could easily take a person’s application and check their LinkedIn profile to gather more information.
*Yahoo Groups: Yahoo Groups are groups of people who are interested in a variety of things. There are groups for photographers, lawyers, racecar drivers, etc. A member’s profile lists their interests and a variety of other information, including how to contact them. This type of group is an excellent networking tool for those who are looking to expand their list of possible candidates for jobs or assignments. Many groups allow for employers to post job openings as a networking tool.
*Facebook: While Facebook is mostly thought of as a personal social media site, it does offer benefits for employers who are interested in finding out what future employees may really be like. In fact, some Facebook pages may actually turn off an employer. People don’t normally think of their Facebook page as an online destination for their employers, but some companies do check out their employees on various different social media sites. The use of offensive language or inappropriate types of behavior may give a Human Resources staff member a heads up as to how that person may act within the work place. One rule of thumb to remember is that if you are looking for a job, be mindful of what you post on Facebook and other social media sites. It may end up working against you.
*Twitter: Twitter is another social media site that can be used to the advantage of both those looking for jobs and those who are out to find employees. Tweets are most effective when they are spread throughout the day. Where posts on Facebook are usually sent out one time a day, tweets are normally posted 7 or 8 times a day. People looking for jobs may tweet their qualifications, while employers may tweet job descriptions.
*Search networking Groups: Most social media sites, including Facebook and Twitter have networking groups or pages that people join to interact with others who have the same interests. In fact, Facebook users can create a page for others to like and share as a way of forming their own network. By browsing these pages often, an employer can often times find people who are employed but actively looking to broaden their horizons by finding new employment.
There are several ways to use social media to hire new employees. People who are looking for work can also use the sites to get their name out there. By creating a professional looking profile, complete with résumé and cover letter and allowing that to speak for them, they have a ready made virtual portfolio just waiting for employers to take a look.