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Hiring Goes Social
Hiring Goes Social
By: iMedia News Bureau

 

 
That social web is having a profound impact on the way people live and interact, is no news. What is news sometimes is the length and breadth in which it is impacting our lives. So far it has been believed that social web does not really have an impact on a few aspects of our lives – like say job hunting. However numbers emerging from various surveys show a very different picture giving proof that away from traditional medium, hiring too has gone towards social web.  
 
According to various reports in traditional media, people are getting hired or are getting projects thanks to their connections on social networking sites. According to this report in Economic Times, people have got hired for simply posting their availability on Twitter and Facebook. The article also states that up to 2% of hiring in India takes place using social networking sites, a figure that is expected to go up to 20 odd percent in the next few years. 
 
That is indeed the case. Ask around and you’ll find that almost anyone who has posted a comment on Facebook or Twitter saying that they are looking for a job or change, have got response from their group with many referring this person to their organization, sometimes resulting in them being hired. This might seem a very simplistic way of hiring, but if you look deep, it is actually not. 
 
When people follow each other for a period of time on social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, they are usually aware of the temperament of the person because though they are not consciously judging, but every interaction leaves an impression. 
 
A decision maker on social web, who is connected to another, has already seen samples of that persons work, but also knows the general mindset of the person over months, evident from their status messages, their interaction with others etc. Thus what one tries to do in an interview i.e. gauge a person’s skill set, psychology and temperament, that work is already done on social web. And best of all, whereas in an interview an interviewer is bound to try and put the best foot forward with the intention of securing a job, on social web interactions that extents months and often years, is not done with that intention and hence is much more honest and trustworthy. 
 
There are other aspects at play when considering hiring this way. Many companies have what is known as a referral program where existing employees, when there is an opening in the organization, refer professionals they know and get paid a little sum for doing so. What better place for an employee to scout for co-workers, than through social web and in people with whom they having reached a comfort level interacting over a period of time. 
 
From a company’s perspective, social web is a very inexpensive way of hiring. Companies know that the people who are on social web also have their resumes floating on various job portals. But going through job portals, or hiring agencies, cost a lot of money. Senior management thus ends up saving money hiring from social web. Not just that but as mentioned earlier, a kind of background checking has already been done on social web. And if they want to do more, they can always do it on the Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn accounts of their prospective employees. 
 
However, hiring in not all fields is done through social web. Usually it is the creative fields, like media jobs, IT, filmmaking etc. that have the highest levels of use of social web to hire talent. Marketing professionals are also taking up to social web for hiring with a vengeance since a person’s communication skill, so crucial to marketing, are evident on social web. Other fields that require a much specific skill set continue to hire by the usual way. 
 
And indeed if one looks at it deeply, social web becomes another extension to how people used to hire in the past when hiring agencies or job portals were not around. Usually it was word of mouth through which the ones close to someone who knows of a vacancy would come to know of a job, apply and finally get the job. Social web is nothing but just that, with the circle of friend today becoming much larger thanks to it. 
 
Over half of Americans are on Facebook. In India, the number at 25 million is still minuscule compared to the nations population, it is growing fast. For at the end of the day, hiring through social media is a win-win situation for all. 
 
Tags: Social web, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, job portals, recruitment agencies