Problem: Job Seekers Use Social Media, HR Does Not (Video)

AKA Who’s Driving This Freaking Thing?

(Subscribers may need to click through for the video. The transcript is below if you’re the reading type!)

I see articles every single day teaching job seekers how to use social media to get a job. On the other hand, I also see a lot of legal types doing their best to scare the pants off HR/recruiters who use social media to find candidates.

I\’m sure you\’ve heard that the headline sells the newspaper. Well, I was sucked into watching a recorded webinar the other day based solely on the title. How could I resist something called Blogging, Social Media, and the Workforce? :-)

Anyway, I realized my mistake pretty quickly. I spent 75% of the webinar listening to someone ramble about laws, phones, and email. Ugh. The last few minutes dealt with what the whole webinar should have been about–blogging and social media. Just a few gems I picked up from the webinar, if I might paraphrase:

  • If you go to a blog and you decide not to hire because you find out that they are of a specific race or religion, that can be a problem. Whoa, you don\’t say! Wasn’t that already illegal?
  • Don\’t let the people who make hiring decisions be the same ones who are using social networks like Facebook. Going to these sites can provide too much information. Huh? That doesn’t even make sense!

Those quotes make me a little queasy. Thankfully I have an antidote in this great comment by Mike Haberman.

When HR people tell me they are too busy in their jobs to use social media, I tell them it should be part of their jobs to use it. The tools are just too valuable to ignore.

I agree completely. Constant growth is a big part of this profession, and putting your head in the sand isn\’t exactly a strategy I\’m a fan of. Think about it. If coaches and other career professionals are telling job seekers to use social media to connect with companies, and you\’re hiding in the basement hoping it will blow over, where does that leave you in the long run? Yeah. Not good.

What are your thoughts?

9 thoughts on “Problem: Job Seekers Use Social Media, HR Does Not (Video)

  1. justin locke

    on the other hand, job seekers should realize that many people with hire&firepower are still not using SM channels and should market themselves accordingly.

    1. Ben Post author

      That was kind of my point, Justin. It bugs me to see so many people pushing job seekers to use alternate channels to connect w/potential employers while those same employers are being warned to stay away from the alternate channels. It boggles the mind.

  2. Mark

    It is a catch 22 right now. HR has to be careful. On the same token job seekers have to use their collective heads as well. You have to assume that someone will google you before they hire you and although they may never list what they find as a reason for not hiring you it may well be.

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  4. John Hunter

    I agree. We find all sorts of reason to use outdated thinking. Social media can be misused and can be a big waste of time. Just because you have been doing something the last 5 years doesn’t mean it isn’t a big waste of time, too. The challenges are to figure out how to adapt to the new opportunities and risks. Those that succeed most are those that engage and find improved methods. But you have to think and try new things and you may be open to criticism because you are doing something different.

    If you want to move into the future but your current organization doesn’t you can try to get them to understand but my advice would be on finding a job somewhere that is interested in new ideas (and anyplace that is knows the consequences of innovation).

    Many people are more comfortable hanging onto methods they have used for years or decades. They can try. My guess is that is a bad strategy.

    1. Ben Post author

      John, your (excellent) comment could be the basis for a whole post. Thank you very much for joining in, because I think you’ve hit it dead on. Innovate or die.

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