Are you wondering how social media sites influence your hiring chances? Here's one recruiter's advice.
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In today's tight labor market, understanding how IT hiring managers and recruiters depend on online social tools to source candidates is critical. In fact, many IT professionals would be surprised to learn just how sites like Klout, LinkedIn, Google Plus, and MeetUp are shaping today's war for talent.
Just ask Irina Shamaeva. A partner at Brain Gain Recruiting in San Francisco and a headhunting veteran in the IT field, Shamaeva explains how companies today are using everything from social media tools and search engines to online communities to source and recruit top tech talent.
This San Francisco startup has stirred plenty of controversy by assigning users a score based on data gathered from social networks like Twitter and Facebook. The higher the score, the thinking goes, the mightier an individual's social network and the greater his or her influence. No wonder an increasing number of companies are looking to Klout to determine a job candidate's desirability.
"Klout is important if you're very open to sharing your skills in IT [via social networks]," says Shamaeva. "That way you're more visible to those who are hiring."
That's not to suggest, though, that IT job seekers should try to inflate their Klout score with constant Tweets and countless links to different social networks. Rather, Shamaeva says that while some recruiters won't even consider an IT professional unless they boast a high Klout score, hiring managers are far more likely to view Klout as one in "a combination of factors" determining a candidate's market value. Besides, she says, "My Klout score totally doesn't reflect my influence. I have thousands of followers worldwide but my Klout score is pretty low – 49."
Some IT professionals disregard Google as any sort of barometer of hirability. That would be a mistake, according to Shamaeva. "Search engines have started to reflect social influence," she says. "In the past, Google search used to rank web pages high if other pages linked to them." But search engine optimization has given way to a new method for ranking techies with an online presence.
"Google Plus now makes search social," explains Shamaeva. "When somebody searches, it's not the web pages [that are] linked to most that come up high but rather the pages that your friends favor. So if I'm looking for a new hire with cloud computing skills, and an IT professional is ranked high on Google Plus and is influential in the cloud industry, that person's profile will pop up very high in my Google search." That's all the more reason for IT professionals to lend their IT expertise and advice to colleagues via social networks like Google Plus.
The online social networking portal Meetup.com isn't only for avid hikers and wannabe gourmet chefs--it's also a place where IT professionals like engineers often hang out, according to Shamaeva. For this reason, many recruiters tap the site, which helps visitors coordinate offline group meetings in various locations, for members of groups whose interests vary from C++ coding and Android programming to Ruby on Rails and Hadoop.
Without a doubt, LinkedIn is one of the most popular online professional networks in the world. But according to Shamaeva, while LinkedIn is fantastic, many recruiters "combine LinkedIn with other [talent identifying] tools because some IT people aren't really present on LinkedIn and can't always be found using keywords." As a result, Shamaeva says it's important for IT professionals to consider how sites such as Facebook, About.me, and Twitter also convey one's marketability.
Tools like Klout might delve into a candidate's interests and online influence, but Shamaeva says it's more important for recruiters to create a "distributed profile" of a job seeker in order to find the right fit. Enter software for recruiters, like Talentbin, which scours a combination of social networking sites from Facebook to GitHub, for candidates with just the right skills.
"There are new kinds of software for recruiters that build those distributed profiles for you so you don't have to search everywhere on Google," says Shamaeva. "Instead, programs such as Talentbin and Entelo already connect the dots across networks." That's all the more reason for job seekers to keep careful track of what they're saying--and what's being said about them--on sites ranging from Twitter to GitHub.
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