Tweeting to get Hired

August 4, 2010 · 6 comments in Social Media,tech business

Yesterday morning I stumbled on this blog post by Abby Gilmore a young Bostonian, transplanted to Tempe Arizona where she used social media to land herself a job as an SEO specialist by using social media and personal initiative.

In a down market, it was nice to see. I’ve written a lot about social media as a recruiting tool. In Twitterville, I wrote about Sodexo who uses social media to recruit chefs and food service managers and save hundreds of thousands of dollars each year in recruiting costs.

But Abby’s was the flip side. She was an applicant, not a recruiter. She was at the beginning of a career, not yet a Candidate for executive recruitment.

I wondered if there were other stories like hers and so, about 24 hours ago I asked on Twitter and got mixed results. I heard from two other young women, both with good stories about how social media helped land them jobs. One would let me use her name, but not the company that hired her until the company launched next month. The other said I could use her company name, but not hers, because her boss said he didn’t want her to get too much glory.

Both those responses do not exactly depict the sort of openness and transparency that too me is at the essence of how social media works.

I did find one new entry-level success story in Josh Freeman, a reporter for Town Crier newspapers, part of Multimedia Nova Corp. , who was recruited by Canadian Social Media honcho Eden Spodek. Josh started as an intern, then was retained fulltime after graduation from journalism school.

The story was supposed to be about people just entering the workforce and I was about to spike the entire story, when I heard from a couple of social media friends.

Ryan Kuder May be the first “twofer.” He landed his last two jobs through social media. A while back Dan Green, an executive recruiter connected with him on Twitter through mutual followship. He recruited Ryan for VP Marketing at Biz360, a business intelligence firm. But Biz360 was soon acquired and Ryan’s job eliminated. But another social media friend sent Ryan a Twitter message alerting him to a new job as VP Marketing for Bizzy, a Silicon  Valley startup.

Up in Canada, Dave Fleet got into social media when he worked for the Ontario government a few years back. He maintains two blogs, one on his passion for running and the other on PR & social media. The latter drew the interest of several people at Canada’s most social media-focused PR agency, Thornley Fallis. They became more conversational with each other on Twitter, where co-founder Joe Thornley eventually offered him a job. Fleet joined and was eventually promoted to vice president.

I intentionally limited this sampling to just 24 hours. What I found was no avalanche of evidence that recruitment is moving from tradional venues onto social media.

But it does show you that there are a growing number of people who are taking the initiative in a tough job market and are finding success.

There is one other example. I am one of a great many social media consultants. As a fulltime focus I am relatively new at it. Fully half my referrals have come through people I know in social media, people whom I have never met in real life.

I think social media is destined to become one huge jobs marketplace. In B2B SAP lets its customers post job listings in its SAP Community Network. It abstains from recruiting there themselves. But I am told quite a few companies and employees have found each other very effortlessly that way.

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Abby Gilmore September 27, 2010 at 8:00 pm

Thank you for including my story on your blog!

Social media is a great tool for job searching right now. Basically I had NO idea what I was going to do after graduation. A few months prior to graduation day, I started taking social media into consideration for my personal job search. I cleaned up my Facebook, Tweeted my heart out and built up my LinkedIn profile as much as I could.

It was because of a relationship I made on Twitter with Elise Redlin-Cook, a Content Strategist at Vertical Measures, that I landed myself an internship, which turned into a job about a month later.

It took a LOT of hard work to turn that internship into a full-time position, but without connecting with Elise, (and then Arnie Kuenn, the President of Vertical Measures) on Twitter, I certainly would not have even known about the position.

Julie Tyios August 6, 2010 at 9:14 am

I’m the Community Manager at Vestiigo.com, a Canadian career community for young professionals, and social media has helped us help talented Gen Y-ers land great careers. In fact, social media has contributed heavily to our success, and our members constantly tell their friends about us and pass along key job opportunities.

We’re seeing more and more word of mouth about great job opportunities over social media, and a lot of people are open and willing to help their friends and connections by passing along these opportunities. We feel it’s a great way to connect with our members and help them get hired quickly, which is why we’ve fully embraced social media in our future marketing plans. In fact, just recently we helped a member find a great career in another city, which she had seen posted through a friend on Facebook. She applied and was hired shortly thereafter. That one post helped her land her dream job.

We feel that social media will play an ever-increasing role in the career search, and help employers find their target audiences better. We’re excited to be heading that up in our niche (young professionals with 2-10 years’ experience), and hope we can keep on exploring various social media channels with the same success we’ve already experienced.

Eric Stoller August 5, 2010 at 3:56 pm

Interestingly, a fairly recent hire to the Sodexo Talent Acquisition team also tweeted her way into getting hired. I think that higher education career services departments are slowly realizing that they can assist their students in getting hired once they graduate by teaching them how to use social media tools. Trish Freshwater’s success story at Sodexo is a perfect case study.

Eden Spodek August 4, 2010 at 6:27 pm

From where I sit, it’s fairly common within the Toronto area to see people developing relationships on Twitter and other social platforms that lead to jobs. In fact, there are few people being hired in digital communications/marketing/PR roles who aren’t engaging with prospective employers online at all levels.

Just to be clear, although I was instrumental in connecting Josh Freeman with his current employer, he doesn’t work for me. We me through Wayne MacPhail, his online journalism prof. After meeting Josh and helping his team with a group assignment, knew he was bright and able to navigate his way though traditional and social media channels. I introduced him to Doreen Iannuzzi and the rest is history.

Cheers,
Eden

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