Saturday, February 23, 2008

‘Social Network’ Recruiting

This is defined as Software and online services help recruiters
mine their contacts for candidates and referrals.
Social networking technology” refers to software and web-based services that enable users to leverage their personal relationships for networking, hiring, employee referrals and references.
Social networking took off in 2002 with Friendster. MySpace, which has since reached critical mass and was acquired by News Corp. last year for $580 million, and Facebook, born out of a Harvard dorm room, followed. And in the past year, the space has turned into a packed, wall-to-wall party: SnowboardGang for snowboarders, Pearl Harbor Stories for survivors and their friends and family, Zebo for people who like to list what they own, even Hamsterster for hamster owners.

Here the partial list of Social Networking :
Catster (www.catster.com) A site for cat lovers and their friends.
Dogster (www.dogster.com) A site for dog lovers and their friends.
Hamsterster (www.hamsterster.com) A site for hamster and gerbil lovers and their friends.
Zebo (www.zebo.com) A site for people to list what they own.
SnowboardGang (www.snowboardgang.com) A site for snowboarders.
Friendster (www.friendster.com) A social networking site.
LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com) A site for professional networking.
WiredBerries (www.wiredberries.com) A site for women interested in health.
Vox (www.vox.com) A private blogging site run by Six Apart, which also runs LiveJournal.
Windows Live Spaces (www.spaces.live.com) Microsoft's social networking and blogging site. Yahoo 360 (360.yahoo.com) Yahoo's social networking and blogging site.
AOL Hometown (home town.aol.com) AOL's social networking and blogging site.
Yelp (www.yelp.com) A site for people to review local businesses.
Bebo (www.bebo.com) A popular social networking site for teens in the United Kingdom.
Cyworld (us.cyworld.com) Founded in South Korea, the social networking site launched in the United States this year.
deviantART (www.deviantart.com) A social networking site for artists.
Mojizu (www.mojizu.com) An online community for artists and their characters.
XuQa (xuqa.com) An online social networking game.
myYearbook (www.myyearbook.com) A social networking site.
Consumating (www.consumating.com) A snarky online dating social networking site.
Last.fm (www.last.fm) A music and social networking site.
MOG (mog.com) A music-oriented social networking and blogging site.

The real power of social networking technology is its ability to reach passive candidates for jobs requiring specialized skills and experience. With U.S. unemployment rates for workers with college degrees at less than 2 percent, recruiters are using networking technology for hard-to-fill positions

Targeting candidates
Till date organizations have found the most value in using social networking sites as sources of candidate information. “Right now they’re furthering the research you can do.
The advantage is they are frequented by people who are Internet savvy, and people who are willing to give out information, including their resumes. “In some ways, those are the customers of job boards".

Sharing Jobs:
Julie Craft, Vice President of the Publisher Network for Simply Hired, the largest search engine for jobs, agrees that social networking sites haven’t yet delivered on their full potential as far as employee recruitment, but she points out that online social networking hasn’t really been around that long. For the most part, 2006 was about assessing what these sites could deliver, she says, indicating that 2007, particularly the second half, was pivotal, and that 2008 will see some major advancements.
Among the changes Craft has seen recently is an increase in the number of employers going to MySpace and setting up recruiting pages.
Simply Hired has a relationship with the site. In June 2006, it launched MySpace Jobs, which Craft says has been a success.
MySpace members can search for jobs while at the site, and some rely on this method. But a key element of the arrangement, one that is no doubt driving success, is that Simply Hired provides all MySpace members with targeted jobs that appear as job widgets on their individual MySpace pages.
By putting appropriate jobs in front of MySpace users, Simply Hired aims to pique their interest. The strategy seems to be working.
“The click-throughs have grown dramatically,” Craft says. “And we aren’t promoting it.”
She attributes interest in part to curiosity. A job in a person’s geographical area, that’s a fit from a career standpoint, is difficult to ignore when it’s right there on the page, she says. And it doesn’t matter whether the person is actively seeking a job.
“The power of the social network is to attract the passive candidate,” says Craft.

Leveraging technology
Simply Hired is also tapping into the Facebook community. In 2007, it launched Workin’ It, an application on Facebook that allows members to build mini-resumes and/or highlight accomplishments.
The mini-resume aspect of the two-part tool allows people to share their education, work experience, and skills in an abbreviated format for networking purposes. Using Workin’ It, members can also give gold stars, or recommendations, to other people on Facebook. The “gold star” feature allows people to collect their kudos from managers, colleagues, and others and display them all on one page. The page of gold stars can be printed and brought to an interview, says Craft, or it can be used as part of a job-search portfolio.
As with its MySpace arrangement, Simply Hired is not promoting the Facebook application. Even so, Workin’ It boasts approximately 800 active daily users. “It has grown exponentially, so this is all viral,” Craft says.

If there is such interest, why aren’t more organizations doing more with social networking sites?

Craft foresees an increase in the number of employers that use online social networks for recruitment. “I think the education needs to continue, and it will continue,” she says. Employers, and HR specifically, are not that technologically savvy, she explains; applications have to get easier to understand so that it’s a no-brainer to invest a slice of recruiting dollars in social networking. Simply Hired expects 2008 to be the year when this change occurs.
But what about the issue of candidate quality? Craft finds that in the past year there’s been a shift in social network users, and it’s largely a matter of educating employers. “I think they’d be surprised that these are executives,” she says.

In fact, Craft believes social networking sites may actually offer more potential than professional networks. “People are finding value. It’s a less threatening, more relaxed environment. You can see the whole person, and you can see them in a different light,” she says.

According to Craft, the personal aspect of social networking fits with today’s job environment, where work and lifestyle go hand-in-hand.

“We believe and we know that social networking is a great place for a job seeker, and for employers to recruit,” she says.

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