The Recruiter Files

News and Advice from the Recruiting Industry!

The Recruiter Files is a Select Group of Recruiting Professionals sharing their experiences, knowledge and thoughts regarding the Recruiting Industry.

The Recruiter Files - News and Advice from the Recruiting Industry!

Social Networking’s Guide to Finding Employment

Social MediaWith the unemployment rates at an all time high, it is essential, now more than ever, to tap into alternative ways of getting noticed—and getting hired. Recruiters and Talent Acquisition Specialists have relied mainly on the job boards for their pool of resumes. Sites like CareerBuilder.com, Monster.com, Dice.com, and many others are over-flowing with resumes from every industry and educational level. With such a large pool of competition, how can anyone become noticed?

Many recruiters rely on a well-crafted Boolean search string and wait for the website to spit out a handful of resumes that match their job description. But this method can only give recruiters a list of skills, completely overlooking the essence of who these job seekers really are. Most job seekers do not understand the processes recruiters use to find talented professionals, and as a result, become overlooked. The use of social networking creates a new layer for job seekers. The power of sites like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are drawing attention. There are millions of users on these sites. This is no longer a want-ad kind of world—this is a world of cut throat competition based on who you know and who you impress. Social networking can bridge the gap between a nameless resume to a memorable meeting with executives and recruiters ready to put you to work.

LinkedIn is a networking site geared toward professionals. This site has over 135 million members with the majority over the age of 25 making an annual income in the six figure range. LinkedIn members are serious about their professions by linking up with other professionals in and out of their industries. LinkedIn members conduct themselves in a more professional matter than members of Facebook which is geared more towards casual contact. LinkedIn also comes up in the top 5% of all Google.com searches. It is a key site to present your best professional face to the working world. Connecting with co-workers and friends on LinkedIn is appropriate; however, the key is to not limit yourself to those you know. By expanding your LinkedIn connections, there are more opportunities to network with professionals working in companies you might be interested in. Also, joining LinkedIn groups can give you an inside view of company news.

LinkedIn is not the only social networking site that can help land jobs. Facebook and Twitter also have a huge web presence. Many potential employers scan your Twitter feeds and Facebook posts in an effort to get to know you. Updating your statuses to reflect that you are job hunting will get attention. People are more than resumes and companies recognize that. In fact, recently a company posted an advertisement for an investment analyst but instead of receiving traditional resumes, job seekers were asked to provide their LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook links along with a video message as to why these candidates wanted this job. They are most interested in what people are like, what they are like to work with, how they think. By utilizing social media, hiring companies can get a better feel for potential hires and avoid the jungle of faceless resumes.

If you are still not convinced that social media can help you land a job, try these statistics on for size. For every six people, one gets hired using social media. Over half of job seekers use LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter to find jobs. When polled 18,400,000 people say that Facebook got them a job, 8,000,000 give Twitter credit for their jobs, and 10,200,000 people credit LinkedIn with their current positions. And remember, the average LinkedIn user makes over $100,000 in annual income. Do I have your attention?

So, how exactly do sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn help you network and land a great job? First, it is common knowledge that having an inside contact is incredibly beneficial for finding a great job. That’s how I got my current job, but not everyone has a second cousin or friend of a friend that can give inside information or push your resume to the top of the stack. This is where savvy networking can educate you and bring attention to your profile with the big bosses. For instance, searching LinkedIn for company employees can bring you to the person that might end up interviewing you. This is the time to send a private message to connect—only. Pushing your resume during this first contact is ineffective and will most likely get you nowhere. Begin by asking questions about his or her job and develop a relationship. Your contact will be more likely to endorse you if you begin this way—trust me. Also, use groups to connect with people. You will most likely link up with someone in the same group verses going straight for the HR person who will delete your Inmail. And don’t stop there, find out about the person doing the interviewing. Pointing out commonalities goes a long way in relationship building and elbow rubbing.

Using social media has its advantages for getting you noticed. Millions of members take part in professional websites. It is a bridge that fills the gap between an anonymous resume and your professional presence. Recruiters and hiring managers alike troll these sites for potential hires. Introduce yourself and you will get that virtual handshake—that’s a promise.

Boolean Search Strings—Not as Scary as you Might Think!

The first step for sourcers and recruiters is to understand the job request sitting on their desk. Then they need to put together a finely crafted Boolean search string. When we receive a job requisition we now need to condense it in such a way as to bring back excellent resumes that match that job order. Sometimes this can be a bit daunting. As an IT sourcer, I need to be educated on what the job is really asking for. If any skill seems like a foreign fleck of abstract Martian language, chances are a little research is needed. Once an understanding of the job request is gained, the fun begins.

       Taking all of the information from a job description and condensing it into a few lines can be challenging. For example, if a job request is asking for a Senior Oracle Database Developer with skills in Oracle, pl/sql, stored procedures, and Oracle XML, a Boolean string could be constructed as follows:

“oracle database developer” AND oracle AND pl/sql AND “stored procedures” AND “oracle xml”

Now, not everyone writes their resumes with these skills the same way. The opportunity to miss out on a talented professional can happen if alternative spellings aren’t accounted for. So, the revised string could look like this:

(“oracle database developer” OR “database developer”) AND oracle AND (pl/sql OR plsql OR “pl sql” OR pl-sql) AND “stored procedures” AND (“oracle xml” OR xml)

When you put a phrase in quotes, you are telling the computer to bring back results with that exact phrase. If you need to create an OR option, put the options in parenthesis.

Now, our string is much more specific. The more specific the string, the fewer amount of results will be retrieved. Also, note that NOT can be used as well. If our job request specifies that they do not want resumes reflecting work in finance, then we could add that on like this:

(“oracle database developer” OR “database developer”) AND oracle AND (pl/sql OR plsql OR “pl sql” OR pl-sql) AND “stored procedures” AND (“oracle xml” OR xml) AND NOT (finance OR banking)

Sometimes Boolean strings can be too specific. Another strategy is to find alternative names for key skills and create an OR option in your string. Many people leave off skills on their resumes because those skills may be implied in a job title. Be flexible and allow for some loosening up of key words. Not everyone writes their resumes the same way. By allowing for variations on skills or action words, your search string can yield amazing results. Be flexible, have fun, and don’t be afraid to tweak your string!

Shannon Fatigante

 

Sourcing: More than a Good Boolean String

If I told you that there was an amazing and effective tool for sourcing, would you believe me? As a Sourcing Specialist, I look at resumes all day, every day. An effective sourcer knows that finding talented people is more than just punching in key skills and hoping for the database to spit out the perfect candidate. Sourcing requires in depth research, a finely crafted Boolean search string, and perseverance. But what many sourcing specialists miss is the fact that a resume is not the whole person.

One of my responsibilities is to present quality resumes to my team of recruiters. I could very easily punch in my search string on Monster or Career Builder, pull up the resumes, and forward them to the recruiter assigned to that particular position. But how exactly does that help my team? Our computers are used in all sorts of ways to research, find, and contact people that might be a fit for a particular role. But, as sourcers, we are neglecting the most important element of finding a great talented professional! Want to know what that is? Every desk has one, most people carry this tool in their pocket or purse, and millions of dollars are spent on advertising for it. Give up? It’s the telephone!

The role of a Sourcing Specialist is more than a resume pusher. A sourcer needs to investigate those resumes that stare back at them from their computer screens. The only way to do that is to speak with the candidate. By using the telephone, a sourcer can gather important information that is typically not listed on a resume. Is this candidate interviewing with other companies? What type of communication skills does this candidate have? Is this person willing to pursue this opportunity? Will this candidate travel or relocate? Can this person pass a background and drug screening? And better yet, is this person a good fit for the opportunity?

When we take the time to pick up the phone and speak with talented professionals, we are, in essence, being an advocate for both the candidate and the recruiter. The candidate feels valued and humanized and the recruiter is armed with important information to match this person with the best fitting opportunity. When we take the time to make a phone call, the resume becomes more than a piece of paper. That resume becomes a real person with real potential for new and exciting opportunities… and isn’t that why we do what we do?

Shannon Fatigante

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