Confessions of a Recruiter and using Social Media to get a Job


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Presentation at the GradIreland fair focusing on the perspective of an interviewer and outlining the importance of content and use of social media.
This presentation puts the job seeker in the shoes a recruiter and walks through the steps in analysing candidates.

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  • My name is Eoin Kennedy. I have a real mixed past as a ex teacher, ex public relation executive for almost 20 years, ex startup founder and now a trainer in social media. I am not a professional interviewer but I have counselled lots of people going for interviews and gone through the interviewing procedure for many different roles. What strikes me most is the lack of understanding or appreciation of what really happens on recruiter side. So today is going to be a really pragmatic view of the other side.
  • This is what it feel like. Anyone who is recruiting is doing do because they are busy. Although they really need help most people are too busy on the threadmill to help themselves. In addition most people realise whats ahead. Hours of scouring through CVs that feel the same, lost time with interview meeting and in the back of their mind the feeling that even if you find the right person there is a lot of work ahead to get them prodcutive
  • So load of CVs arrive
    6 seconds of analysis
    This is a eye tracking analysis done by the ladders group.
    First thing you see is the different in length of time and spread of where the eye balls went
    The main things looked at were Name, previous position start, current title, current position start and end, previous title, education and a general scanning for matching keyword.
    Not great when you don’t have a long work history but the good news is that a good structure can guide the reviewer through the CV. Just imagine you had to go through 50 of your CVs.
    If we are very organised we will have a marking scheme for the CVs and rank people rather than go on gut instinct.

  • Lets assume that after you reviewed the CVs and progressed to interview stage. I have had lots of experiences like this. Perfect CV, ticks all the right boxes on the interview. The prefect candidate. At this stage we always use a scoring system to prevent bias overruling other things like likeability versus competency. A lot of the time at interviews I find two thing happening – one struggling to come up with questions so that the interview is a respectable length, trying to avoid tricky clichéd questions and sometimes struggling to shut down a candidate. Only a few interviewer I have worked with enjoyed putting people through the mill. The risk is really great at this stage – and its very hard to work out if the person opposite you would really work. Some people do fantastic interviews.
    Interviewing is actually very difficult.
    Make things easy. Short snappy responses. Be genuine. No cliches.
  • This is what I have found after a few weeks. The cracks appear. The referee was a friend and you are stuck with some who just does not work out. Even with probation period its difficult, time consuming and emotionally draining to split company with someone. Meanwhile you are back at square one, having lots a load of time and still no better of fin terms of help.
    This is why people give tricky and what might appear to be rude interviews – you are trying to simulate real life and how they would respond. I am unlikely to get a real answer if I ask if you are good under pressure.
  • As I mentioned at the beginning I worked in PR for a number of years. It’s a difficult business to explain where the value is and how it works. One of the examples I found useful is what do you trust more – an ad for a restaurant or the review in a newspaper. I go for the ad every time – why – well you would say you are wonderful in an ad but the opinion of an expert and his endorsement gives me a real picture and is very valuable.
  • This has become even more complicated with the emergence of social media. So I see the ad, I trust a media review, then I hit trip adviser or another reviewer site to get an opinion. Finally I will hit more main stream social media like Twitter or Facebook to see if any of my friends have been there or to see what others are saying about this. All these are important. So why am I bringing this up. Well because it also relates to the new PR process. The ad is your CV, you might have been really progressive and have some media endorsement but chances are the best place to get some insight into you is what you produce and what others around you say in social media. You control all these.
  • Regardless of what area you are in I would expect to be able to find you in some of these places. The focus I out on how you use them depends on the role – ie if for a social media related job I would expect to see consistent engagement, reasonably wide communities but really what I am trying to get a handle on is if you have any original thoughts and are able to produce content. Its unlikely I will get that much insight on Facebook but perhaps if you liked my company page I would see a reasonable amount.
    Linked In is particularly interesting – its less about the perfect CV here and I am more impressed by someone who contributes to groups they are in, updates their profile, has a reasonable network – the best hire is normally someone who is better than you – and you are all better than me in some area.
    The thing that really amazes me here is that people omit these from their CV – first it’s a pain to find and secondly I might find the wrong one. I asked at an interview about this and was told by each candidate they simply overlooked it and one admitted to having two profiles – one was not that flattering. How was I supposed to know. Guide me
  • This where it gets a bit more interesting. Google + although not as pervasive is where a lot of the quality conversation is taking place and I have used hangouts to connect with candidates in the past. You have probably done lots of presentation in college so why not have the confidence and share those with me via slideshare. You might decide that audio and not written or visual is your thing and audioboo would be good to hear.
    Really what I would love to see are well written blogs where all the other elements can be pulled together. Outside of giving you increased control over your SEO and visibility I also get to see how you think, how you write, compose, how good is your ability to communicate and interact. Chances are you might have some insight or perspective I might appreciate. Surprise and delight. This also give me a lot more to ask you about in an interview.
  • No surprises that I hit google and other search engines to find you. I will also search with the networks themselves and I will also use tools like Topsy or social mention. Some of these have reasonable semantic engines built into them
    You can control what I see here. At the bare minimum you should be putting yourself into my shoes.
  • It really is detective work. I am trying to get a view on you from you but also trying to get a view on you from what others say/RT/interact. Remember the PR model and the big risk.
  • The big problem with all this is that you get lots of data and there is a big difference between information and intelligence. Sometimes you form a view other times you use tools to do the crunching. I find tools like Klout, PeerIndex, Kred and a few others which give you a reputation number useful. In this instance with Klout its between 1-100. Some companies are using Klout scores in the ads and I have heard of lots of cases of interviews ending abruptly after the Klout score question.
  • Also vine and instagram
  • Confessions of a Recruiter and using Social Media to get a Job

    2. 2. Trust.
    3. 3. What Do I Do. Within networks. Social Search.