…But as recent events have shown, it may be "Tweeted", "Liked", or even "Shared". While Social Media sites such as Facebook did not cause the wave of upheavals happening across the Middle East where citizens have languished in poverty for decades under corrupt and repressive regimes, they certainly seemed to have accelerated the revolutionary process. There once was a time when revolutions were lengthy drawn out struggles, with the American and French Revolutions spanning 8 and 10 years respectively. More recent 20th Century revolutions were often shortened to a handful of years, or even a matter of several months as in the Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia or the Fall of the Berlin Wall, perhaps owing to ever improving communications technology as an organizing tool. This time, fully armed with instantaneous access to thousands, or even millions of followers through Social Media outlets such as Twitter and Facebook, protesters in Tunisia and Egypt have carried out Revolutions that can be counted in days, 28 and 18 to be exact.
While current events have brought full focus on the influence that Social Media now exerts on daily life in a most dramatic manner, it is quickly becoming apparent that this avenue of communication and interaction is affecting all of us in many surprising ways, both big and small. In one interesting anecdote, a former classmate and friend who has a PR Firm in New York City was so intrigued by all the conversations he was having with his Social Media connections about an upcoming convention in Las Vegas that he had not planned to attend, that he decided to send a Flat Stanley version of himself (or “Flag Greg”) to the gathering instead, so as not to miss out on any networking and branding opportunities. And where did I learn about the escapades of Flat Greg? His journey is all being chronicled on Facebook, of course!
One might argue that PR professionals using Social Media to network may not seem like such a big surprise, as their business revolves around innovative messaging techniques and venues, but what about the road crews tasked with patching the epidemic of potholes left behind as this winter’s record breaking snows melt away? Burly workmen in orange reflective vests and hardhats might not meet the image that most of us have of Social Media mavens, until you get your first look at the New York City DOT’s “Daily Pothole”. With this surprisingly entertaining site, you can report that teeth rattling crater you just ran over on your street, as well as see images of pothole repairs in action, and track statistics on citywide patching and repaving efforts. So far over 2000 Facebook users “Like” this site, and I bet you will too!
Some emerging practices related to Social Media usage are starting to raise hard questions, however, as well as offer cautionary tales about what each of us chooses to post on our online profiles or tweet to our followers. Reuters reports, for example, that trial lawyers are turning to Social Media as part of the process of vetting perspective jurors, piecing together far more complex profiles of their available jury pools than ever before. Closer to home, recruiters are increasingly visiting Facebook and LinkedIn profiles of candidates to gather a more complete profile of prospective employees, and in a recent survey of Canadian Human resources professionals, 43 percent responded that they thought it was somewhat or very likely that profiles on Social Media sites will eventually replace resumes entirely.
Granted, 43 percent is not a majority, but whatever the future of resumes might be, Social Media is undeniably becoming a force to be reckoned with for Human Resources departments, and recruiting in particular. In January 2011 alone, Facebook led the pack of the Top 10 US Web Brands in terms of the time spent on the site per person, beating the #2 site, Yahoo, by about 5 hours. And while the top ranked brand in terms of unique audience, Google, came in at 6th place for time spent per person, the capability to display the Social Media activities of your own network directly within Google search results has just recently debuted, weaving an even more complex web of information and social relationships. The statistics on the explosion of Social Media usage are everywhere. Did you know that Facebook users in China increased sevenfold in just the last month? If just the sheer numbers of potential candidates out there alone isn’t reason enough to include Social Media in your recruiting campaigns, then here are 10 more reasons, as related by HR.BLR.com. One of my favorites is #7, Low Cost, very appealing in a tough economy.
So, how can you spark your own Social Media recruiting revolution? It is much easier than you might think with the tools offered by the iCIMS’ Recruitment Marketing Solution. Through the iCIMS Talent Platform, you can post an unlimited number of jobs to over 300 Social Media sites, including Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, create a job openings tab on your Facebook page, and more. But no tool would be complete without a strategy, and so I am happy to announce a free webinar that will help you in your efforts to craft your plan of attack:
Need a Hiring Advantage? Try Social Media!
In this presentation, industry expert Elaine Orler of Talent Function will eliminate the hype and focus on the substantive value of social media as it relates to recruiting.
Date: Wed, Feb 23, 2011
Time: 02:00 PM EST
Presenter: Elaine Orler
Hosted by: ERE
Finally, there is no time like the present to practice your Social Media skills, so be sure to give the share button below a good workout and let all your friends know about this blog and the webinar, and make this blogger happy by clicking on 5 stars in the rating bar as well.