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Ask James Caan – Issue 102

Written by Kimberley Startup | July 11, 2012 | 0 Comments

Dear member,

It’s true that our current unemployment market is under some serious stress. A recent KPMG report into the UK jobs market outlined the latest shifts in sector demand and it has to be said that it doesn’t paint the rosiest of pictures.

The overall impression is one of a shrinking market, especially for the financial sector; however, IT and Engineering did buck the trend. There is also good news for the private sector, which is doing well to offset public sector cut-backs.

With statistics such as these emerging, it’s easy to get swallowed up in the doom and gloom of it all. Yet, businesses still need to recruit, and so hiring managers must see the current market as an opportunity to see where new resourcing avenues lie.

Despite unemployment figures, there is still a war for talent; identifying the right people for your team is difficult. That said, there are many resources available to hiring managers to seek candidates, with online recruitment playing a key role. So where should you allocate your resources, especially with new and emerging technologies available?

Take this email I received:

‘What value do you think social media has on today’s talent acquisition programmes?

‘I, like many other HR directors, know we should be using social media platforms because the industry is moving away from traditional resources, however, I’m struggling to realise the true benefits to my talent pipeline. Do you think social media will replace traditional ‘online platforms’ or will the emphasis on the wider recruitment picture (i.e. branding, other benefits) take precedence?’

You are not alone in feeling like this about the ‘true benefits’ social media platforms have on securing tomorrow’s talent. For instance, I read in Personnel Today that more than half (55%) of HR directors believe that social media platforms are an ineffective recruitment tool.

As with any major transformation of an entire industry, it takes time for people to adjust and the full effects to be felt. But, as I always say, doing the same thing over and over again will never render different results.

The impact of social media on the hiring process is a prime example of this. Everybody wants, more than ever these days, to reduce costs whilst enhancing value. And this is where I see social media sites delivering real value.

As you mentioned, the industry is moving away from traditional avenues and looking for new ways to not only place candidates, but to enhance employer reputation and create communities.

A resource such as LinkedIn’s remit is very fitting for today’s requirements. For example, you can post vacancies, share your roles within networks and, when using the jobs tab, you can unlock features to target passive candidates. This can have a good effect on your brand awareness – whether you’re a company with 20 employees or a corporate with offices around the world.

A key factor to consider also is the ‘shelf life’ the CV has. I’d estimate that the majority of roles are applied for online – whether that’s through job boards, email, direct applications via careers sites to name a few. With the candidates themselves embracing social media to look for jobs and market themselves, this says a lot about the transition companies are having to make when identifying talent.

In fact, a survey by webrecruit showed 58% of people believe that LinkedIn will replace the traditional CV in the future. With jobseekers using new platforms to market their skill sets, it’s essential to adapt you recruitment strategies to reflect where the talent’s headed.


James Caan

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