No, Social Media is Not Merely an Option 

Aug 10, 2017 | Blog, Maraine Basson

Maraine Basson

You’ve spent years giving blood, sweat and tears to get your qualifications, you’ve spent even more painful years doing the grunt work, you’ve read the “how-to”s to write an A-class CV and you’re prepped and ready to walk into your next interview with an air of confidence and an answer to every question. You think you’ve done all that needs to be done to put your best professional foot forward, but the blunt truth is: you probably haven’t. If you haven’t aligned your online presence to reflect that confident, professional individual that’s going to blow them away at the interview, you haven’t done everything.

Many people seem to write off social media – in terms of their career – as this millennial fad. The truth however is that your top recruiters have already moved to social hiring. If you haven’t, you shouldn’t be surprised that your colleague, sub-par Tom, is getting those head-hunter calls and your phone’s ringing only predicts another insurance-sales call.

Are you being left behind?

In the last 5 years there has been a massive surge of millennials being hired into managerial positions. Statistically 87% of managerial positions were filled with millennials compared to only 38% of generation X (born 1960 to early 1980s) and only 38% of baby boomers (born 1946 to 1964). You can argue that this is largely due to the fact that older generations may have already been in these positions but in the US alone 63.3% of individuals in executive positions are due to retire in the upcoming 5 years. This inevitably predicts a wave of changing ranks.

Why are recruiters moving to social hiring?

There are three main reasons why recruiters have moved to social hiring. Firstly, it’s accessible and searchable, in other words: you’re easier to find. The second and third reasons need slightly more elaborating:

Personality Matters

​Companies have seen the value in matching  – not only technical abilities – but personalities to their positions as well, so they task recruiters to do this too. No matter how well written your CV is, it will very rarely give us the information we need about your personality. This is where social media comes in. This is also what makes social media complicated for you. Social media allows an insight into your personality, your interests, your likes and your dislikes and you need to curate this accurately (see our previous post about presenting your personal brand online).

The Pure Quantities

Facebook alone has 1.968 million users. Undoubtedly millennials do make up the highest percentage of social media users but why would this mean that recruiters have shifted to social hiring? Because, by as early as 2025, 75% of the work force will be made up of millennials and therefore, the simple answer is that recruiters have simply shifted to where the bulk of the candidates are moving.

What do you get out of Social Media? 

The obvious advantage to you is that you’ll be considered for more positions but that’s certainly not the only advantage. Social Media has not only opened the door for recruiters to find out a bit about your personality. The door also allows you to get a peek into recruiters’ and companies’ cultures without you ever having to step a foot into their literal door. You can see who works at the company and, with a little bit of social media research on your part, you can get an idea as to the type of personalities you’d potentially be working with and who you’d potentially be interviewing with.

Perhaps you are prepped to walk into that interview room and perhaps you are better than sub-par Tom. However, the reality is that getting the chance to walk into that interview room is already somewhat dependent on your online presence and will continue to rely on that more and more. So, no, social media is not merely an option – at least not if you’re wanting to get ahead of sub-par Tom.




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