Recruitment Tips, Employer Trends, and Hiring Insights from CareerBuilder

Social Media

Social Media Takes Water Cooler Talk to Next Level

office water cooler talkSocial media is merely a new term for what we’ve always known about: water cooler talk. However, the talk no longer stays around the break room. Everyone’s opinions and idle chatter no longer spread only through word-of-mouth – they are going viral. Thoughts and opinions are now being posted, tweeted, updated, shared, taped, vlogged, linked to and seen by more people than ever before. What I like to refer to as ‘guerilla gossip’ has changed the landscape for marketing, forcing businesses to perk their ears up and listen to what people are saying about them. While many may believe that traditional advertising still has the greatest impact with – or more appropriately ‘on’ – consumers, the rubber actually meets the road with social media.

If your brand has no presence, no voice, no identity and no engagement with individuals on a personal level, then what are you saying about your organization? Are you conveying that it’s stuffy, afraid, not adaptable to change, rigid, or too erudite for such common interactions? Even if that’s not your intention, it may be how some people perceive your company simply because the brand isn’t in the game.

These days, individuals aren’t just using social media to talk to their friends and families. Across a number of social platforms, people now lambast companies faster and easier about a poor customer service rep, bad product experience, etc. And the reality is that such conversations are taking place whether or not the bashed organization is even aware.

While those conversations may scare a lot of companies, there’s a silver lining to these new forums. Companies can use these spaces as opportunities to immediately respond to frustrated individuals and transform unhappy customers into satisfied, loyal brand advocates. By engaging with individuals, companies create lasting and meaningful relationships with their customers, who may then turn around and talk about these experiences with their friends.

And that’s the point of social media – to tell your story in such a compelling way that current and potential employees and customers will want to pick up the torch and champion your story for you.

So how does CareerBuilder fit into this? You may have thought CareerBuilder just consisted of job postings and a resume database. Well, yes, those tools are what we were built on, but, overall, CareerBuilder is truly a multimedia, data-driven organization that focuses on helping companies attract and retain their target talent. And through our Social Solutions team, we help clients identify and leverage opportunities through social media. Whether companies are looking to recruit, create a space for consumers, talk about products, or engage with their existing employee base – we can help build and/or manage a presence, and provide advice to companies that want to establish their voice in the social space, whether it’s through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc.

For companies looking to use social platforms to connect with potential job candidates, it makes total sense; CareerBuilder has access to 15 years of job seeker data, and we use that intelligence to help shape each company’s social media strategy. We first started in the social recruiting arena over five years ago and launched our first blog more than six years ago. Then there was our iPhone app in 2008 and Twitter job alerts before TwitterJobSearch was even created.

And the interesting fact is, even companies that don’t want to use their social platform as a recruitment tool still choose CareerBuilder. Why? Because we understand that the key to being ‘social’ is engaging, creative, custom content. And clients rely upon the expertise of our community managers, who create great content and provide strategies that align to each company’s overall objectives.

Many companies today outsource social media due to a lack of resources, knowledge or budget to appropriately handle the job themselves.  And while advertising agencies can provide great creative, they also can rack up even greater retainer fees. If budget was the problem in the first place, then finding money to pay an agency may be just as difficult – especially for companies who just want to dip their toes in the water.

The CB Social Solutions team becomes an extension of a client’s business, managing the social media site(s) daily, recommending campaigns and relevant tie-ins, and leveraging social media with a company’s existing communication strategy. As an added bonus, services are a low-cost alternative to creative agencies.

It’s pretty simple. Social media is merely conversation, and it’s evident that no one can afford to sit out. While participation is the first step, knowing what to say and how to say it is crucial to success. Our goal is to help clients become engaged with their audiences and to realize that social media isn’t a big, bad wolf – it’s just a little bit of water cooler talk.

For a list of clients we’ve worked with, check out our list on delicious:

For more info, email

Justin Thompson

About Justin Thompson

Justin Thompson joined CareerBuilder in early 2011 and is - for lack of a better term - the 'job seeker champion' for the brand through the company's social media sites, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+ and more. His background in consumer marketing, advertising and public relations allows him to integrate the world of traditional marketing with emerging media for the sake of helping consumers land jobs and progress in their careers. A lover of music and animated .gifs, Justin brings his off-the-cuff style to our blog and our business.


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