Social Media - The New Trend In Hiring
More firms recruiting through IT social media
Standard Chartered Bank recently embarked on recruiting an intern, well versed in social media, entirely online and using the catchy tagline "WANTED - World's Coolest Intern". Joining the growing trend among companies using social medium for recruitment, StanChart's group head of remote banking - Mr Aman Narain said of their recruitment approach, "reinforces how the bank has adapted marketing and recruitment strategies to attract Generation Y". He further elaborated, "This is the real deal. We are looking for a highly engaged, creative and social media-savvy individual who can help propel our online customer engagement to a whole new level." The position will be based in Singapore for six months, helping the group remote banking team to develop a social media communication strategy for Breeze - StanChart's mobile iPhone application and online banking offering, and will work alongside social media experts like Google. Opened to recent graduates or final- year undergraduates in Asia, applicants will need to follow @StanChartBreeze on Twitter and put up blog posts, videos or podcasts to "air" their applications.
The use of social media in recruitment caught attention last year when Tourism Queensland launched an online marketing campaign for the "Best Job in the World". Within days of its launch, applicants from all over the world sent in 60-second video applications and news of the contest spread on social networking sites. More than 34,000 video entries were received eventually for the job, which paid the successful candidate A$150,000 (S$194,000) to explore the islands of the Great Barrier Reef and report back via blogs, a photo diary, video updates and interviews for six months.
Budget Airline AirAsia also joined in the trend by using blogs as a means to hire cadet pilots last year. The budget carrier asked candidates to write a blog on "Why AirAsia should hire you?" AirAsia's Chief Executive - Mr Tony Fernandes, publicised the job openings by tweeting "Who wants to work for me?" That recruitment effort received 1,000 entries.
HR experts are expressing that recruiting via social media tools is becoming an accepted practice. Companies are relying on avenues like Facebook, Twitter and Linked-In to scout for or to learn more about future employees. Using sites like Linked-In, for example, makes it "easier to shortlist candidates based on their participation in relevant discussion groups which helps to showcase their expertise", said Mr Willy Lim, co-founder and master trainer at marketing consultancy NetProfit- Quest. Mr Lim himself goes through social media channels when hiring for his own company. While he "can't say it's 100 per cent accurate", he feels it gives a better picture of the candidate than just relying on a resume.
Indeed, it is imperative to acknowledge that one's online identity can make or break your chances in landing you a job. In a data-rich world, hiring managers are now often using the Internet to vet applications. Owner of Career Solver, a career management business in New York, Ms Barbara Safani explained that she set up her company in aim to help clients create a positive online identity on the Internet through profiles in sites such as Google, Linked-In and ZoomInfo. She elaborated that these sites tend to be among the first to appear if a quick search of your name is done on search engines in the Internet. She further added that her company's services could help people who have little or no presence online, which may be viewed with suspicion these days.
Job seekers should also give their Facebook page a closer look. Despite privacy settings, it's not inconceivable that a potential employer could become a friend of one of your friends and thereby gain access to your page. HR people are looking through these social network sites to screen candidates, as hiring the wrong person could prove costly eventually.
Without question, more data than ever is available on individuals in the net. Hiring managers, if they were so inclined, might be able to learn even about your buying habits, hobbies and interests. Hence, it is advisable to do a search on oneself prior to sending out your job application these days. You may be surprised with what you find, and it is a better strategy to take control of the situation instead of sitting back and seeing what your potential employers may find out about you through the Internet.