Joining the social revolution

TWITTER, Facebook, LinkedIn - social media has revolutionised the way people network, search for jobs and recruit for them.

One survey of recruitment activity in 2016 showed that more than 90% of companies use social media to recruit new members of staff, with as many as sixty per cent of employers using social networking sites to research candidates applying for their jobs.

With this in mind, making sure you have a profile and that it is sending out the right messages about who you are and what you can offer prospective employers is vital.

For some of us in the inaugural intake of the fully-funded Executive Springboard programme run by Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce, the internet was still in its infancy the last time we were actively seeking employment.

The majority of us have either progressed up the ranks with the same company, increasing our seniority through incremental promotions over the years, or been lucky enough to have been headhunted for new positions. Either way it’s been a long time since we’ve had to be proactive job hunters.

Whilst many senior executives are familiar with social media they may fail to see the importance of developing a personal and corporate brand using the media. Understanding the key areas that allow you to really stand out in a competitive and crowded marketplace are an integral part of the modern recruitment process.

In particular, the continuing importance of professional commerciality, building a profile, understanding how to leverage your personal brand and increasing engagement and professional connections.

To the uninitiated, knowing how best to use Twitter versus LinkedIn can seem a daunting task – but what we’ve come to realise is that whilst the terminology is different, at its core this is a language we can understand.

Media platforms are the tools. What we’re learning is how to use them to make our USPs clear and distinctive, how to prospect for vacancies and how who we follow, connect with, like or share paints a picture to others of how we are and what we are interested in.

A surprising little bonus which I don’t think any of us were expecting, is that having now engaged with these platforms, the support many of us have received from former colleagues has been both helpful and encouraging in the extreme.

We’re learning how to reach out and make connections in a whole new way. In fact, networking is the second biggest concern all of us had with regards to our recruitment searches and the Executive Springboard places emphasis on obtaining work through networking opposed to online applications only.

Find out next week what happens when we take the plunge and test out our new-found skills at one of the Chamber’s Business Breakfasts.

  • Multiple participants on the Executive Springboard have contributed to the blog series.