For all those nay sayers out there, I am happy to share the news that YES, social networking does work! But only if you are using it!
As with most networking, you can never be sure where or how your connections will be able to help, you just have to believe.
The Social Exchange
I am fairly active on Twitter and I am dabbling with Google Plus. Though most of my exchanges are on Twitter, there is something really nice about being able to have a dialogue on Google Plus as you are not limited to 140 characters. This is exactly what happened when I shared a post on Google Plus and received the following response/comment:
I loved this description of what they were looking for and I immediately posted it on a LinkedIn group for job seekers in our city. There were several people in this network who responded and at least one of the inquiries turned out to be the Goddess!
This is why it worked:
1. The job description, though brief, served as an insightful teaser for further conversation. (I just shared a post on Twitter yesterday called, Employers: Your Job Posting Sucks, Part II from YouTern.)
2. Because many job seekers aren’t active yet on Google Plus, I knew I had to share the opportunity where it could be found- a LinkedIn group.
3. Most importantly, I knew the company, not well, but had been following them on Twitter for at least a year and we had shared information with each other previously. There was an existing familiarity and I was happy to help. I was also familiar with the group of job seekers, many of whom I had met. It was easy for me to post this description on the group and serve as the intermediary because I personally believed in these job seekers. Trust, familiarity, and willingness to help. This is why social networking works!
The Employer’s Story
Now, from the employers side of the desk:
My partner and I have a pretty unusual business, we create large-scale balloon installations and balloon-based illustrations (You really need to see for yourself: www.airigami.com) Business has been going very well- but as we’ve been growing- our need for someone else to help manage all of the details that come along with that growth was becoming more and more apparent. So we spent many an evening trying to craft the perfect description of our ideal candidate, what skills they might have, etc etc. And we could never seem to list them all- we jokingly said we needed to hire someone who’d know what they were supposed to be doing.
When I first posted to your google+ page, in response to a discussion about hiring/job openings in Rochester, I rather cheekily said we needed a Goddess and listed a few super-powers. It was enough to intrigue a candidate to apply for the position. We hired her. She seems, (and her references glowingly agree) to be the sort of person you could put into any situation, and she’d find not only the most important things that needed to be done- but facilitate getting them done. This is EXACTLY what we need, and I’m glad we snatched her up!
I am fairly certain, many smaller employers are perplexed and a bit overwhelmed by how to hire the right person. It is a daunting task and one they do not enter into lightly nor want to repeat. Social networking tools allow small and even large employers to tap into their networks and source candidates (for free). As a matter of fact, in the CareerXroads study, the single largest source of external hiring was from employee referrals. Using social networks to stay in contact with past employees is easier than ever before! Don’t miss out on un-advertised positions, keep in touch!
Social Networks are Being Used by Employers
But you don’t need to take my word for it. Just check out this infographic from Reppler. Though it is mostly about screening, it still sends a powerful message:
Do you have a success story to share? Let us know how social networking helped you connect to your new employer!
Hannah Morgan speaks and writes about job search and career strategies. She founded CareerSherpa.net to educate professionals on how to maneuver through today’s job search process. Hannah was nominated as a LinkedIn Top Voice in Job Search and Careers and is a regular contributor to US News & World Report. She has been quoted by media outlets, including Forbes, USA Today, Money Magazine, Huffington Post, as well as many other publications. She is also author of The Infographic Resume and co-author of Social Networking for Business Success.