Hiring on social networks may not be the ideal or chosen path for all, for various reasons. Let us consider the various things that could hamper the experience of hiring online using the social media.
Thou Shalt not Waste!
Today, we are all driven by a self-imposed commandment which tells us not to waste time, effort and money and to look at being as productive as possible in all spheres of life, including parenting. Wondering what I am driving at? I am referring to the burgeoning number (in hundreds of thousands) of users who are touted to be joining the various social networks with mind-blowing speed; which makes looking for any kind of information very complex and hard in spite of all the system-assisted associations, groupings, categories and circles that are touted to save our effort and time. Let us not forget that the World’s population is slated to reach 7 billion by Oct 2011. As we go along, it will grow harder than ever and we will find it utterly impossible to short-list a few names from the huge lists that would be generated out of each effort at matching, much like a Google search today turns out some 20 million results for one innocuous query. Most of us have heard of the futility of searching for a needle in a haystack but never imagined themselves involved in the activity. The global accessibility of data on the Internet is may not provide the ideal handholding expected (for either side) if one of them is limited to a localized plan and requirement.
Looks like an orange, feels like an orange!
Voila – it is an Orange! Or is it? What the online shopping sites can never compete in with the brick and mortar stores is the touchy-feely mode of shopping where you see, smell and experience what you are purchasing before you actually pay up. Similarly what referrals and job fairs can do for hiring may not quite be replicated by the online hiring opportunity offered by social media. It will prove almost practically impossible someday to isolate the promising profiles without once again reverting to the time-old dependency on referrals and other ways to help in the process of short-listing from the humongous databases. But of course, the software will try to keep up through innovatively analyzing and creating insights into the profiles based upon the available data on associations, groups, online comments and tweets; leaving only the final job of forming a cohesive opinion of the employee’s candidature and taking a call to human intervention.
Noise vs. Voice
Today, almost all companies which own a website use it for a careers page where they advertise their various open positions. Some have sites which use ERP packages to help them amass databases of resumes submitted by candidates who believe that they have skills that suit the organization (or just covet the idea of working for that particular organization). The team that handles the task of evaluating and short-listing those uploaded CVs definitely deserves some sympathy if not a lot of pity! Ultimately, how many resumes are seriously evaluated is a million-dollar question which goes begging an answer.
Fame or Notoriety?
Public life has a way of catapulting a person from fame to notoriety in a matter of seconds (or vice versa) and the enormous ease with which the Internet has made it possible to communicate across the globe in nanoseconds poses a serious threat to the reputations of every single entity with an online presence. Damage control becomes a matter of urgency and serious concern every time one hears even a negative squeak online. This becomes especially challenging for those companies which are not A-listed by the aspirants – because they are small, new and have not really arrived on the job market in a big way.
If recruiting is finding the right person for the right job; social media hiring may prove very useful to achieve this end without replacing every other avenue of sourcing. If some breakthrough innovation provides an additional leverage to the use of social media, in addition to the advantages offered by the data-mining capabilities (in increasingly short spans of time), we may have to revise our current opinion and say that it is the only way to go.
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