How a recruiter uses social media
I’ve been asked a few times about how to get a recruiter’s attention. In the old days, aka four or five years ago, you asked around, got a few emails and sent off your resume in the hopes of getting a nibble and a new job.
That has changed thanks to online resumes and profiles on social media sites, particularly LinkedIn. Now recruiters can find you directly, but how can you maximize your chances of being found quickly and often? What tools do recruiters use to find candidates for their clients?
“We have 35 recruitment consultants,” says Peter Zukow, General Manager of Lock Search Group. “Different recruiters have adapted to different strategies but all of our consultants have adapted LinkedIn.”
He says that despite the changes in sources, the basics remain the same when looking for a potential employee.
“It’s fairly straightforward,” says Zukow. “We have a mandate from our clients. It can be geographic, number of years of experience, degree qualifications. It’s the tangibles, the nuts and bolts and vetting candidates against the core minimum criteria.”
This is just the beginning. Once a recruiter has found you in a resume database (such as on Workopolis), via LinkedIn or through another social media platform, there are a few steps before you’re face to face with your potential employer.
“Social media provides a very stripped message,” says Zukow. “We often have very primitive initial first contact.” He described it as his recruiters reaching out with a basic, “Hey, saw your resume, would like to talk to you about an opportunity.” After the initial contact, there is usually an email conversation and a phone conversation at the very least between the two parties. This helps the recruiter get a better understanding of you and what you’re looking for in a new position. It also helps them decide if you’re the right candidate for that job. Zukow says his consultants have a pretty successful rate.
Once you’ve updated your online resume, LinkedIn profile and Facebook timeline with your latest education, years of experience and geographic location, what else can you do? Zukow recommends adding as much relevant detail as needed. This includes any assignments, recommendations from your boss, awards and accomplishments (measurable and not) and publications.
Zukow says that the best way is to, “Just be visible and provide as much colour and texture as possible.” He did caution against providing too much colour and texture. “I focus on certain platforms. Facebook is more for family, LinkedIn is your professional resume to the world. It’s a personal thing but it’s really about using common sense.”
When asked if employers do check potential employees’ social media activity, he did say that he has heard of companies do so and it’s becoming more and more common all the time.