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Social Media > Talent Acquisition

YouTube, You Score: Why Social Media Users Make Great Candidates

Last month, I talked about how more and more businesses are utilizing social media as a screening tool for candidates.  Today, I came across a great post on AdWeek that puts a whole other perspective on the use of social media for hiring that I wanted to share.  Benjamin Palmer discusses how, as technology changes (and as the popularity of social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and countless free blogging sites grows)  hiring managers should change their tactics to find talent who not only care about these things, but can keep up with these trends.

Although Palmer’s post addresses ad agencies in particular, it seems to me that this advice holds true in nearly every industry today.  ”Now the only way to keep up is if your organization is comprised of people who keep up with all things online all the time — and because they want to. Because it’s their habit,” he says.  If companies want to stay relevant in reaching consumers, they have to advertise where those consumers spend time.  

Increasingly, more and more Americans turn off the TV in favor of surfing the Internet each night.  So, it’s to business’ benefits to find employees who know how to speak to an audience that’s increasingly reliant on the Internet and social media for information and as a way to communicate.  These employees have insight into where to go to reach a new or broader audience and what kind of message this audience responds to – both in regards to your product/service offerings to your employment brand. They’re already interacting with these people – they’re a part of the conversation.

Palmer suggests going beyond the basic resume and interview to find these candidates.  Ask candidates if they have an original YouTube video they’ve made, or photos they’ve uploaded on Flickr or a blog you can read, and then take the time to learn more about these interests. 

Of course, you might be hard pressed to find a candidate who volunteers the URL to a YouTube video he and his buddies decided to make on a random Tuesday at 4 a.m. last summer.  But just asking about their involvement in these sites will give you a better understanding as to their presence on these sites and whether they have “genuine personal motivation to be part of the current social fabric.” 

Not only that, but should these candidates give you access to their blogs or personal Web sites, take the time to review them. Not only will you how much your candidates are in touch with new technology, you’ll get a peak of the type of diverse and innovative ideas they’ll bring to the team, along with the strength of their ability to communicate with a completely different audience.

What do you think?  Do you ever check out candidates’ blogs?  Do you consider employees’ abilities to utilize this new technology (say, for research) more important than you used to?

Mary Lorenz

About Mary Lorenz

Mary is a copywriter for CareerBuilder, specializing in B2B marketing and corporate recruiting best practices and social media. In addition to creating copy for corporate advertising and marketing campaigns, she researches and writes about employee attraction, engagement and retention. Whenever possible, she makes references to pop culture. Sometimes, those references are even relevant. A New Orleans native, Mary now lives in Chicago, right down the street from the best sushi place in the city. It's awesome.
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