The last decade witnessed a revolution that transformed the face of communication. The popularity of internet and the affordability of telecommunications have resulted in a change in the way and speed at which we work. Job seekers have become accustomed to seeking and applying for employment over the internet as opposed to using the traditional forms of search.
With the advent of Web 2.0 social networking sites have been favored by web users. These sites allow a user to post information about himself/herself and the information can range from likes and dislikes to professional abilities and career information. Web sites like My Space, Orkut and Face book have become extremely popular al around the globe for the same reason. While these sites are meant primarily for social networking, others like Linkedln and Ryze have been designed keeping business net working in mind. While, these sites have been primarily been used to connect to old friends and lost colleagues, several people are now realizing the potential lying latent in social networking sites as a job search tool.
An IT professional could be termed as one among the early movers. Five months ago he shifted from Bangalore to Mumbai when he got a job in a Mumbai based MNC through a social networking site. He had been using most popular social networking sites for close to two years. Over a period of time he came across sites that were meant specifically for business networking. Thatâ€™s where he found his current manager and they interacted with each other on the networking portal and after about three four months of communication he came to the IT professional with a job offer and a chance to shift back to Mumbai.
There are numerous examples of people like above who have been able to identify openings in organizations while socializing on net. In fact, it is not just job seekers but also organizations that have caught on to the trend.
Social networking allows companies to get an insight to the lives of their prospective employees. With entry to most portals being free an organization can enjoy unlimited access to the profiles of several candidates which become a more efficient and cheaper mode to contact employees.
In many IT companies networking sites are used as the primary source for recruitment. The format provides relief to a recruiter since it simplifies the search for information.
In an age when the job market is becoming driven by sellers (job seekers) rather than buyers (organizations), few companies are also taking efforts to reach out to employees online by initiating groups and forums on social networking sites.
Recruiting using networking portals is also viewed as a form of employee referral tool. Networking sites allow employees to establish contact with their peers, former classmates and ex-colleagues. Job seekers can always connect with former contacts to explore the possibilities of openings in other organizations even if the opposite person is not the one who is hiring. Networking sites can be useful especially in case of senior level job hunting, since most people would members of their college alumni online and is an ideal resource to connect with senior professionals.
As a recruiter, organizations have the option of deciding which aspect of a candidateâ€™s background they want to check upon. Another aspect that recruiters may consider is the current trend and popularity of different networking sites.
Going against the sentiment shared by the others, a fresh post graduate states that organizations should not be allowed to access information on social networking sites without consent from the job seeker. However, experts feel that networking platforms have been designed barriers and improve communication. Some sites allow any user to access other peoplesâ€™ information while some allow users to place varying restrictions on the information shared. Ultimately it is up to the individual how much information he chooses to share online.
Online forums allow job seekers to move beyond geographies and compete on a global platform. The main advantage of a networking platform over a job portal is the interaction between the parties beyond the interview. People need to remain updated about various developments in the online space to be able to benefit from it. Social networking is experiencing a â€˜boomâ€™ phase in the country with many companies jumping on to the bandwagon. Job seekers need to be able to identify which portals can connect them to the right people ad then use those networking sites. Social networking does offer people a new avenue to find jobs and it is up to the job seeker to utilize it effectively.