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We at Youreferme.com are naturally excited about the opportunities provided by social media and online networks to find jobs.

While we hear a lot about the popularity of using social media to find jobs – especially the constant buzz around LinkedIn – we don’t believe social media and online networks have successfully developed a main stream job finding tool.

At Youreferme.com we see the reason for this is that nobody has created sufficiently streamlined process to provide a catalyst for the change.

Until now.

In this blog we aim to explore why by highlighting:

  1. Thoughts as to what the Internet has allowed us to achieve since its arrival
  2. How job-seeking strategies have changed as a result of the internet
  3. Perspectives on how online networks could be better structured to facilitate the job seeking process

At Youreferme.com we don’t want to talk about us (though of course you’re welcome to!). We want to hear your thoughts on our analysis of where things are going right or wrong in terms of social networks and jobs.

If you are interested in having your opinion heard, please contact us or leave a comment below.

Learn to network from the professionals – LinkedIn

I had the opportunity recently to chat with Jonathan Rice, founder of Rice Consulting (http://riceconsulting.co.nz). Jonathan and his team specialise in ‘rec-to-rec’, sourcing recruitment and HR professionals for the recruitment industry in Australia and New Zealand.

We had a very interesting discussion about where and how Jonathan as a professional recruiter spends his time in developing his networks, and how he uses online networks in the recruitment process.

In this post we explore the use of LinkedIn by Jonathan and his team as a part of their recruitment efforts.

LinkedIn as a networking tool…

Interestingly, recruiters are one of the key user demographics on LinkedIn, and like Jonathan are keen networkers. In fact, the majority of roles that Jonathan and his team fill are done so via word of mouth referrals – with LinkedIn being a key source. In fact, LinkedIn is used in approximately 75% of all cases where social media features in the recruiting process.

As a professional recruiter, the holy grail is finding the passive job seeker, someone who is content in their current job but would be interested in new opportunities.
LinkedIn is a great resource for this purpose, as it contains a large number of passive job seekers. It is possible to find people (if they have their preferences set in a certain way) who may be suitable for roles.

There are advantages to using LinkedIn this way as a potential job seeker. The employment industry is dynamic and fast-moving, and it is arguably always of benefit to understand what opportunities might be available, or obtain information that would be useful in your current role.

There are also potential disadvantages to using LinkedIn in this manner. Jonathan recommends that a key skill on LinkedIn is learning how to say “no” to a recruiter who appears to be making contact for the distinct purpose of adding you to their database, and subsequently connecting with all of your connections with a view to doing the same. In other words, learn to differentiate these from a recruiter who clearly has properly looked into you and your background and has a specific opportunity for you.

If you are interested in hearing from recruiters via LinkedIn, here are Jonathan’s recommendations:

1. Put in your preferences that you are open to career opportunities
2. Change settings to “open source circles” which basically means that people can send in mails for free (i.e. they won’t have to pay LinkedIn to send full message)
3. Make sure your profile is up to date, and looking good with information, keywords and special strengths and skills so you are more findable.
4. Make an effort to get recommendations from clients or people who you work for.

And if you don’t want to be approached, do the opposite of the steps above!

In our next post, we explore Jonathan’s thoughts as to the use of other online networks such as Facebook and twitter in the recruitment space.

In the meantime, what are your thoughts on LinkedIn in the job searching process? Is it the key pillar of your online job search or recruitment efforts?

Learn to network from the professionals

Part One – Job Boards

For most of us there’s a great deal that we can learn as to how best to go about networking online, and how to use the various social media tools available to achieve our goals. And who better to learn from than professional recruitment consultants, who live or die by their networks.

I had the opportunity last week to chat with Jonathan Rice, founder of Rice Consulting (http://riceconsulting.co.nz/). Jonathan and his team specialise in ‘rec-to-rec’, sourcing recruitment and HR professionals for the recruitment industry in Australia and New Zealand.

We had a very interesting discussion about about where and how Jonathan as a professional recruiter spends his time in developing his networks, and how he uses online networks in the recruitment process.

In this, the first of a series of three posts, we explore the rise and fall of job boards.

From print media to job boards…

In Jonathan’s experience, the traditional method of using print media has faded in importance over the past few years, and many employers and recruiters don’t spend a great deal of effort or money on those strategies. The rise of job boards has effectively made print media job ads redundant in a very short period of time.

Job boards originally worked well because people were able to find out which companies were hiring without sitting down and skimming a number of different newspapers. As a candidate, it was easy to do keyword searches for particular jobs and be sent emails as they were posted. In other words, job boards became a faster, cleaner easier way of finding and applying for jobs.

However, that ease of use has eventually become a downfall for the job board industry. It’s so easy for people to apply, that people that aren’t highest quality candidate can send out their CV for multiple unsuitable roles, causing a deterioration of application quality across the board.

As a result of these developments, the use of job boards now it accounts for less than half the candidates Jonathan and his team place. Online job boards have tried hard to keep themselves valid, and some are trying to move into social media (with some notable exceptions like Seek who are doing the same thing) yet it remains to be seen whether they can recapture the success and market share the originally achieved.

In our next post we explore the use of online networks such as linkedin, twitter and facebook in the job seeking process.

In the meantime, what are your thoughts on job boards? Are they the key pillar of your online job search or recruitment efforts? Or have you stopped using them as the results aren’t as good as you would like?