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BY Stephanie S. Beecher, Associate Editor
What is contained in a social profile matters — a lot. Recruiters absolutely judge candidates by the content presented in pictures, updates and posts, BSCs say.
Scanning profiles provides recruiters with a quick “preview” of potential applicants, says Robyne Novick, executive director of operation, Suffolk County Cleaning, in Greenlawn, N.Y.
“I look for someone who writes eloquently, has a comprehensive resume [and] strong references,” she says. “Once a dialogue has ensued, we determine if the individual seems like he or she would be a good fit for our organization.”
Employers say common gaffes and immediate turn-offs include poor spelling, profanity and references to drugs, sex and alcohol in social posts. Recruiters are more likely to contact a candidate if they possess a membership in a professional organization, mention volunteering or charitable contributions, or present a thorough list of experience.
But, a “squeaky-clean” profile creates skepticism among some employers.
People have been dishonest about their credentials, or have embellished the truth about their level of experience, say Novick and Kelly. Despite a few discouraging circumstances, both companies say they will continue to use social media to recruit employees.
Ultimately, it is up to the employer to verify information gleaned from a social profile. Taking content at “face value” — whether it is good or bad — can lead employers to make a bad hire, or worse, on the wrong end of a lawsuit.
Finding a Social Strategy
The trick, says Gerbyshak, is for applicants to be “perfessional,” — part professional, part personal. That goes for employers, too.
Before launching a social recruiting campaign, Gerbyshak says it is important for a company to map out a clear strategy. Employers should meet with staff from the human resources, marketing and legal departments to make sure hiring initiatives align with brand messages, and are compliant with current employment and labor laws.
Once the message is cleared, employers need to show their social savvy. Candidates are turned off to employers who possess websites or social networks that are sparse, outdated or unprofessional.
Having a clear message, relevant site content, high-resolution digital photos and images, and functioning web links are all vital to the success of the campaign, Gerbyshak says.
“Start with your culture internally,” he adds. “The key is to be fun, yet transparent. Be more conversational and less broadcast-y. People want to see other people,” not a robot.
BSCs have had the most success so far recruiting for positions including administrative, sales or janitorial management. While conversations suggest BSCs aren’t using social recruiting to hire front-line staff, such as janitors, that could change in the future.
“It has to filter down,” Gerbyshak says. “So many jobs are [acquired] through networking,even for unskilled workers."
POSTED ON: 4/24/2013