Some executives at midsized companies may be rethinking their use of social media after the response Enterasys got to its recent decision to rely exclusively on social media to recruit a top-level executive.
Vala Afshar, chief customer officer and chief marketing officer at the networking company, last month told USA Today he wasn't accepting traditional resumes for the six-figure social marketing position. Instead, he wanted tweets. As he said in the article: "The paper résumé is dead. The Web is your résumé. Social networks are your mass references."
To be considered, candidates must have a minimum Klout score of 60; a Kred influence score of at least 725; a minimum Kred outreach of eight; and at least 1,000 active Twitter followers, according to Business Insider.
Afshar, a prolific tweeter himself, immediately became the subject of much online chatter. That included feedback from employers and employees who had placed or found jobs on the social media site over the years, as well as some skeptics.
More companies are turning to social media as part of their recruitment strategies, including midmarket organizations looking to stand out from larger competitors. Last year, Time reported that 92 percent of businesses use or plan to use social media for recruiting, although the article didn’t say whether social networks would supplant or complement traditional recruitment methods. That's up from 89 percent in 2011, and I'd expect 2013 figures to be slightly higher still.
In the 2012 Social Job Seeker Survey by Jobvite, one in six respondents credits social media for their current job: Of those, however, only 16 percent cite Twitter or LinkedIn. Eight percent of those surveyed found their "favorite or best job" via Twitter, while 6 percent credited LinkedIn, the poll said.
More men than women use Twitter to search for jobs, according to the 2012 Social Job Seeker Survey by Jobvite. (Source: Jobvite)
There are countless other people who may not have landed a job wholly based on their social media presence, but who became candidates because of their personal online brand, the items they posted on LinkedIn, and the links they retweeted on Twitter. But does that mean the paper (or more likely, emailed) resume is dead?
If your midsized business is recruiting younger employees or highest paid positions, then social media may be an attractive primary -- or certainly complementary -- route to locating the best candidate. But as Jobvite's chart shows, however, more than double the number of men use Twitter to job hunt, so searches may be biased against women.
There are tools developed specifically for Twitter job quests: TweetMyJobs and TwitJobSearch. Of course, placement firms are leveraging social media as part of their services, too.
Twitter may not be the best resource for all positions or employers. Afshar has almost 14,000 followers, and new employee will be heavily involved in social media; a strong Twitter voice and persona is, then, an important aspect of the candidate's skillset.
When considering whether to use Twitter as one of your job recruitment tools, here are some recommendations:
Does the position require social media savvy? If not, using social networking to recruit these employees may not make the most sense.
How big is your own social media presence? If you or your organization have only a limited Twitter following, your message may only reach a small number of prospective employees.
How will you handle traditional resumes? In Afshar's case, he said he will not review paper or emailed CVs. Can you afford to do that? If not, how will you ensure you fairly judge both types of applicants?
At the end of this process, of course, it's the employee -- not the medium used to find them -- that's most important. Let's not forget this debate roars.
I'm not sure Klout and Kred can really add much to simple parameters like numbers of Twitter followers. Yes, they claim to be more discerning, but they look like blunt tools. Klout, at least: I haven't had much experience with Kred.
"Independent and self-assured CEOs are probably going to be dismissive of analytics too. Not sure they're wise".
I agree. Here's the thing about Klout and Kred. Of course, this is only my opinion coming to Social Media with a human resources background that taught me to put my trust in "reliability" of assessments (based on studies).
Until Klout, Kred or someother likewise service gains the stamp of approval from a respectible (and especially an accredited body), these services are going to be respected by CEOs about as much as those mechanical fortune tellers in amusement parks that spit out "PT Barnum-esque" predictions that seem to fit us all and make us feel good. You know - "There's a sucker born every minute."
Klout and Kred do not evidence a very convincing source of credibility to those, who already doubt the ROI value of Social Media Engagement and Marketing to begin with. What do these Klout scores really mean to a CEO that spends very little time on the Web? How are they arrived at? What makes them numbers worth caring about?
Social Media and Human Resources share very similar beginnings. When Human Resources was Personnel, it was regarded as a light weight business function for mostly non-degreed clerks. Social Media's beginnings are deeply rooted in child's play, not business.
Human Resources tried to distance itself from Personnel by creating a PHR and SPHR certification as a way to gain professional status for its practitioners. CEOs pushed back hard against this not wanting to create another level of higher paid management and professional employees. And, frankly, they did not believe these certifications proved significant expertise of value to them.
Same thing with Klout and Kred. CEO will not be moved by a score they do not understand, particularly as an indicator and predictor of success and positive effect on bottom-line revenues. It's hard to make a case that these scores really mean anything to CEO and his/her business.
It also depends, I'd think, on what a midmarket CEO envisions as the next step for his/her company and where that company is in the whole "midsize" category. As you say so well, some businesses are just after the cusp of startup; they're midsize in employees and/or revenue, but are more like large small companies, if that makes sense. Others are well-established, have been in business for years, and are at the large end of the spectrum, using those same measures. Not all companies aspire to be the next GE, GM, Apple. Some like being in their niche, large or small. So I'd think deciding on whether to embrace new technologies and new business processes, including social media, is part of an overall pattern and plan, too.
Great article, but here is the rub. It is more of a hope than a reality that Midmarket executives are flocking to Social Media. Recent studies show that larger and smaller company CEOs are adapting to Social Media than their in-between brothers and sisters. Here is probably why that is.
Midmarket companies are grownup start-ups feeling their oats having moved up from their former small business category. Most of these CEOs are already late baby boomers, who still view the Internet as a curiosity rather than a serious networking and marketing tool.
When you've "made it" in your mind, you tend to give yourself a pat on the back and prefer to "dance with the girl you brung." In other words, these CEOs are very independent and self-assured. They depend almost totally on themselves to succeed and depend mostly on what got them to the next level of success - their wits and good old street smarts. These folks largely refuse to change their successful formula if it means embracing things they do not full understand and appreciate and things that may divert their attention from what they believe they do best.
Once they are shown the real value of Social Media, they may give it more of a try. However, Social Media takes time to plan, execute and deliver results. This is contrary to a successful entreprenuer's spirit of - do it now and get results today.
This needed to be said. I hope that more Midmarket execs do give Social Media more of a chance to bring them good results. It's not going to go away - only be increasingly accepted by their peers.
Thanks for suggesting Einztein, which I just bookmarked (one of those sites I plan to visit when I have a miute... ). From my quick visit, it appears to be more of a MOOC than a Twitter job-search or job resume-sharing site. Its tagline is "The social learning network," and it says it's the "social learning network for higher education and lifelong learners." Appears to have some really interesting offerings. (If I disappear for the rest of the day, you'll now know why!)
I've heard about Kred and Klout, but like you, I don't really know what it is that sets one apart from the other. I agree that we're definitely not just what one site scores us as. Sure, it can gauge online influence or activity, but certainly it shouldn't be one of the major criteria that will determine if you get a job or not, right? Unless, of course, the job involves reaching out to people online and using that influence...
Indeed....Many thanks--The challenge is to have such companies and key players who have the broad vision to realize this. On a side note, one such site you've noted that I have not had a chance to visit is http://einztein.com that is very much in this vain.
I completely agree: We're all the sum of our parts, not a score on one site. From communities like Internet Evolution, to Facebook and LinkedIn, Twitter and Sulia, to Tumblr, Pinterest, and YouTube, plus a growing number of specialized and new social media sites, there are many resources for all of us to use to communicate and share.
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Putting consumers in the driving seat has always been a potential winner for the midmarket. The less time, money, and effort expended on traditional marketing campaigns, the more focused an agile mid-tier business can be on products and innovation.
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