Social Media in Recruiting – Whats the Buzz?

Facebook – LinkedIn – Social Media – What’s the Buzz?

Facebook is currently “The Social Media” site on the Internet. LinkedIn is the site most often used for “Professional Networking”.

Which site works best for Recruiting New Talent for your Firm?

What are the differences – are there any?

In the early 2000-2006 era a number of “Social Media site were born, among them Facebook and LinkedIn

Let’s talk a bit about social media, what that means really – to most people. Social Media has a couple of different meanings I think – depending on who you talk to.

I would like to propose that the term “Social Media” be relegated to just that – SOCIAL MEDIA.

Facebook does a great job of letting Susie show off her new dog or Molly talk about what a great time she had with her kids at Disneyland over the weekend. Facebook also lets Bill post pictures of all of the fun he and his buddies had getting hammered at the beach last weekend. Those are SOCIAL functions and most likely are not appropriate images you would necessarily want to share with the new hiring manager who you are trying to impress.

HOWEVER –

Facebook has an appetite to be the dominant player in both the Social Media niche and the Professional Job/Jobseeker Niche – so they will do what they seem to do best – innovate – add new features. Enter Branchout – a new feature on Facebook created by a team, with backgrounds in the social media industry and online recruiting; funded by some of the original investors in Facebook.

Here are the important components offered on Facebook through “Branchout”

1. You can now create a professional Profile – No Social stuff here just work history, Education and endorsements – stuff like that
2. Search Jobs – Use Location, Industry and Job Title – Good for general job searches; so far about 3 million
3. Send out invitations to Connect – pretty standard stuff – but a good way to grow your network
4. Search for a company – see everyone who works there and connect with friends or ask friends to introduce you to other within the company – this sounds cool.

Will Facebook become a player in the Job/Jobseeker market niche – almost certainly – they have the exposure the numbers and the desire – the technology will be built and change as the appetite for the product increases. Facebook has recently said that it has over 750 million users worldwide.

Next let’s look at LinkedIn –

LinkedIn actually started a couple of years earlier than Facebook and was conceived and developed from the beginning as a Professional networking site. The natural evolution, to becoming a site to network by industry and the inclusion of a jobs module, catapulted LinkedIn into one of the best places online to network and find jobs by industry. So LinkedIn was started with the Professional in mind – I think that’s important to remember.

Now it is at least 120,000,000 users strong and growing daily – their latest IPO was a huge success and has infused the company with the capital to develop and grow even faster.

As a strictly Professional “Fact Checking” site for reviewing a person’s background for “Job Fit” – LinkedIn is clearly the winner- at this time. The biggest problem with LinkedIn is that most of the site users do not actually use the site – they fill out their profile and then – seldom go back to the site – there has been no SOCIAL component to the site. LinkedIn is highly aware of this problem and intends to fix it – they will need to become more like Facebook – that is they will need to enhance the Social Aspect of their site offering. This is being done as we speak (or as you read this).

So – we have two sites each doing what they do best, trying to do what the other does best – kind of confusing. I personally use both sites and I am not sure I have a great answer to which is better:

Facebook drives me mad with all of the inappropriate ranting and junk pasted on it by people trying to be funny, cool, zany or share their secrets for everyone – anyone to see. I know there are ways to filter all of that but – I just keep deleting my membership – and then of course I turn it back on again after a week or two – I admit it, I am an online junky – and I keep hoping that maybe Facebook will grow up a bit – OK it’s me and the way I use the site – I’ll try harder.

LinkedIn is not much better – but from a different perspective – it’s boring – you really can’t do much with the site except link up with a bunch of different people – the groups are OK but most seem cluttered with junk. OK again – it’s me – I am expecting more out of it than I should.

I guess I will need to keep looking until I find the right site for my needs – from the perspective of Recruiting New Talent for your Firm – which is where this article started – I am guessing that industry Niche sites are going to be the new Social Networking/Professional Job sites of the future. Maybe within the already existing sites – maybe something new.