Posts Tagged ‘LinkedIn’

Social Media for Recruiting: Are Women Business Owners at a Disadvantage?

September 7, 2012

No matter the size of your business, recruiting the best employees is a challenge. With the increased usage of social media as a recruitment tool, women business owners may be at a bit of a disadvantage.

According to a 2011 study by the Pew Research Center, women use social media more than men. This would seem to give women business owners a bit of a leg up when it comes to using social media to recruit candidates, but that may not be the case.

The Jobvite Social Recruiting Survey 2012 showed that 93% of business owners who use social media for recruiting used the site LinkedIn. LinkedIn is the only social media site that is used by more men than women. In fact, the Pew Research study showed there were nearly twice as many men using LinkedIn as women.

Because business owners who use social media for recruiting report a 43% increase in the quality of candidates, women business owners may be missing the boat on some of the best available talent.  Of course, you can also use Facebook and Twitter for recruiting, and women use these sites much more than men.

Now is the time for women business owners to consider using social media as a recruiting tool.

Ways to Use Social Media for Recruiting

Identify Candidates

Just as business owners are learning to use social media to recruit candidates, job seekers are using their LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook pages to seek work. Some of the best candidates aren’t actively looking for a job, but you can still reach out to them. By identifying these passive candidates, you will expand your pool and increase your chance of finding the best talent.

Post Open Jobs

Posting open jobs on social media sites is another way to use social media as a recruitment tool. Some of your followers will share the job posting with their own network, and greatly increase the number of potential candidates.

Social media isn’t only effective for recruiting full-time employees. It is possible to effectively recruit a seasonal or part time employee using social media as well.  You will reach college students, stay-at-home moms and other groups who are looking for supplemental income.

 Current Employees

Ask your current employees to aid in your recruitment efforts. One way that they can do this is by posting about their job and spreading the word to their social network about any openings. Having a current employee vouch that your business is a great place to work can further increase the interest from qualified candidates.

Consider offering your employers an incentive should their networking result in a new hire.

Screen Candidates

Another way that you can use social media in the recruitment process is to screen candidates once they have been identified. A quick peek at their Facebook profile may be enough to knock some candidates out of the running.

Keep in mind that when you look at the profiles of potential candidates, there is a good chance that you will see protected class information – that is information that cannot legally be used to eliminate candidates. This includes race, gender etc.. Even if you do not use this information to make a decision there is a chance that someone will say that you did.

A Helping Hand

Social Media – Just a Tool

Social media is just one tool. It does not take the place of other methods of recruitment and it certainly does not eliminate the need for the proper screening of candidates. To be sure that you are following all applicable employment laws during the recruitment process, it is a good idea to have a helping hand.

Working with a human resources consultant can ensure that you don’t put yourself in a position to come under scrutiny. A qualified HR consultant can make the recruitment process easier and give you a better chance at retaining quality employees.

Other Tips

Get on LinkedIn

If you do not use LinkedIn, you need to start. While the other social networking sites can aid in your recruitment efforts, LinkedIn is the only one that is specifically for business use.

Need a Following

For any type of social media initiatives to be as effective, you need to continue to develop a following. The more followers, the more access you’ll have to qualified candidates.

Continually work on developing your social media presence.

Don’t Believe Everything You Read

It is no secret that many candidates embellish their resumes. The same is true for what you read on their social media profiles. Don’t believe everything that you read. Instead, you will need to verify important information.

Women in business who are not using social media as a recruitment aid may be missing out on some of the best talent. The next time you have a job opening to fill, or if you just want to develop a list of potential talent for future positions, social media is a great place to start.

Pat Eardley is a Human Resources Advisor with more than 16 years’ experience in human resources management as a recruiter, trainer, and executive. Pat has a diverse background, having industry experience in retail, telecommunications, hospitality and manufacturing. As an Advisor she supports small-business owners in managing growth, compliance, work performance and employee relations, allowing Small Business owners to focus on creating a successful business environment for them and their employees. She is a member of the Society for Human Resources Management, a SCORE Mentor and Center for Women Job Coach. Pat volunteers with local shelters and nonprofit organizations and assists with resume writing, interviewing skills, professional appearance and job placement. You can find out more about Pat and the services she offers at www.pateardley.com.

* First appeared in the Business Review section of The Post and Courier on Monday, July 31, 2012.

Growing Up and Growing My Network – C4W’s Speed Networking Event

November 19, 2010
Guest blogger and C4W intern, Sarah Andrews, shares her experience with Monday night’s Annual Entrepreneurs Speed Networking Event.

 

Monday night made me an adult. Or at least it made me feel like one.

I walked into the Center for Women’s 9th Annual Entrepreneurs Networking Event, wearing slacks and carrying my first set of official business cards. I went in as a senior in college overwhelmed by my future and I left encouraged, empowered, and informed with new contacts and job options.

I wish every senior had the opportunity that I did. Lucky enough to be serving as the Center for Women intern, I planned to attend the event to help them but I did not realize how much I would be helping myself.

Entering a room filled with tons of tables and wonderful women, I found my place at the correctly numbered table. Each table was numbered for 3 different rounds of speed networking, which was much like speed dating only, at the end of the night you end up with job opportunities rather than romantic ones.

And I certainly did end up with opportunities – many of them. Throughout the two hours I was able to meet and exchange business cards with almost 30 women!?! I have already received an email, a phone call and a LinkedIn request… all from one evening.

I have been told over and over again in college that it is more of who you know rather than what you know.

I cannot think of a better or more enjoyable way to increase who I know than an event like Monday night’s. It was so encouraging to see women excited and motivated in what they were doing for themselves and for the community. I walked away with job opportunities and contacts but, more importantly, empowerment to feel like I can truly make an impact in my community, as was evident in each of the women I met.

As if this was not enough, the event also increased what I know as well. The incredibly eloquent and entertaining Dr. Elaine Yarbrough spoke on Women’s Wisdom. She had startling statistics and revealing data on how women are disadvantaged starting as children in elementary school classrooms up to working women in the board rooms. Fortunately, she also shared advice on how to support other women and stand up for ourselves in the office, home, and community.

I now feel like I have a jump start to do just that because of this event and all the great connections I made there!

If you want to join me, be sure to check out the Center for Women and become a member if you aren’t already.

Annnnnd, be sure to come out to the 10th Annual Entrepreneurs Networking event in 2011, especially if you missed the fun this year!

The Job Coaches :: Organize listing resources to search for the right job

November 5, 2010

By Jane Perdue, Principal/CEO with The Braithewaite Group.

Q: Where’s the best place to look for a job?

A: Knowing where to look for a job used to be straightforward: You read the help-wanted ads in the local newspaper, especially on Sunday. Now, like the number of cable channels, the options have exploded for finding open jobs. While the sheer volume of places to look for a job can be overwhelming, using simple steps can help you organize and focus your search.

–Use your network. Fifty percent of all jobs are found through networking. Tell friends, colleagues and relatives that you need a job. Ask them to share job information at their company with you. Tap into social media networking sites such as Linked-In, Plaxo or Digg. With its exploding growth, Twitter is another source. Go to search.twitter.com and enter jobs, career, hiring or job angels in the search box.

–Check major job boards for general positions. If your area of expertise applies to many industries, skills such as administrative support, supervision, etc., use Monster.com, CareerDirect.com , Indeed.com or CareerBuilder.com.

–Tap into local job boards and services. Charleston offers a number of online job-hunting resources: charlestonjobmarket.com, SCIway.net, Charlestonjobs.com, charles.sc.jobs.com, postandcourier.com and lowcountrytoday.com. Be sure to check out the services offered by The Trident One Stop Career Center in North Charleston.

–Visit the career placement department at your alma mater. Many colleges and universities offer free job assistance to students and recent graduates, so give them a call.

–Check out specialized job boards. If you know specifically what job you want, target Web sites that focus on that industry. CoolWorks.com, mediabistro.com, artsusa.org, salesgravy.com and accountingjobstoday.com are just a few examples. Internetinc.com offers a list of the top 100 niche job sites.

–Watch the classifieds. Not all jobs are posted, but the local newspaper remains a viable source of open jobs. If you are targeting a particular industry, trade journals and magazines are other sources.

–Target specific companies. If you have a clear idea of the company you want to work for, frequent its Web site to look for job openings.

–Use online job boards that specialize in freelance work. If you’re tired of the 9-to-5 routine, check out sites that specialize in freelance opportunities: guru.com, elance.com, sologig.com, sparkplugging.com or workathomesuccess.com.

–Executive positions. If you are looking for a job with a six-figure salary and have funds to invest, TheLadders.com and ExecuNet.com are resources that require a membership fee to see their job listings. Using a recruiter who specializes in your area of expertise is another alternative.

So the best place to find a job means understanding the kind of job you want, then organizing job listing resources to match your needs. That can simplify what otherwise can be a complex process.

First appeared in the Moxie section of The Post and Courier Friday, August 21, 2009.

Telling Fear It’s “Game-On”

September 23, 2010

Guest blogger, Sharon Higgins, shares her story of overcoming fear of failure.

“I just don’t know if I want to do it again, Mom. I don’t know if I still have it.”

I glanced over at my 11 year old daughter in her new cheerleading uniform which she was wearing to school to promote the first big game of the season.   ”What? Why? You love tumbling,” I said.

We were in the carpool line and I had casually mentioned that I would re-enroll her in tumbling classes after football season. Isabella had taken gymnastics and tumbling lessons since she was in 3rd grade which led her to this grand moment in her life – middle school cheerleader.   When she first began her lessons, the only thing she brought to the gym floor was a wobbly cartwheel which she displayed with the pride of an Olympic athlete.  She was discouraged that her junior varsity status as a cheerleader didn’t require the gymnastic skills she had perfected over the years…so, why had she even bothered with it?

I said, “This is just the first step, when you are on Varsity there will be more opportunities for using your gymnastics skills.  Don’t worry.”  She shrugged and looked out the window.

I was puzzled.  During countless drives to and from the gym over the years, I had been a spectator to the nonstop chatter of Isabella and her friends exclaiming “I got my back handspring today!” or “I thought I lost my forward tuck, but I found it again!”   I asked my daughter why she wouldn’t want to continue, what changed?

“I’m afraid I’ve been away from it too long. I’m afraid of learning a new skill when I haven’t been using the ones I already know. I’m afraid if I try then I will get hurt – you know, like break something,” she said.

Oh.  I quickly pushed aside images of being in an emergency room with a full body cast being set on my child.  I acknowledged, that yes, there was a risk of injury in any sport but then said, “Isabella, there is always fear of failure in life. Even when you are a grown-up. The problem with fear is that it holds you back from the possibility of doing something really fabulous.”

When she hopped out of the car, I had to ask myself – should I be taking my own advice? What should I be doing right now that I’m sidestepping for fear of failure? Zing. Yup, I knew exactly where Fear was hanging around in my life.

My conversation with my daughter reminded me of a conversation I had with a friend a few weeks ago.  She was going back to the mainstream workforce after taking five years off to be at home with her young children.  She is a smart, accomplished woman with an amazing 20 year career as a director in school administration.  She said, “You doubt yourself and wonder, do I still have it? Can I still speak the same language?”  I am certain her fear has been echoed by many women in her same position.

So, how do you admonish the fears that prohibit you from jumping back into your career, taking the next step beyond your comfort zone or the big one – launching a whole new venture?  How do you gain the confidence to give Fear a strong game-time handshake and say, “Ok, you’re on! Bring it!”

1. Remember Where You Started – Like that wobbly cartwheel that was full of enthusiasm, often remembering where you started and why you wanted to do it in the first place can spark an urge to keep plugging ahead. It may sound silly, but read your resume and remind yourself of what you’ve already achieved.  (Yes, that was you who did all that.) Talk with a former colleague or old friend who remembers your instinctual drive and ambition when you first began.

Recapturing that old enthusiasm can be hard if you are bogged down with too many commitments. Is there something you are spending time doing that isn’t necessary at this point in your life?  Something that isn’t as valuable as what you need to do to achieve your goal? There are plenty of things that we CAN be doing…but that doesn’t mean that we SHOULD be doing them all right now.

2. Write it down –  Get out a piece of paper and make two columns,  “Rewards” and “Challenges.”  The Rewards are what you want to achieve.  Picture yourself in that space; I mean really imagine that. How does it feel?

Sometimes fears seem scarier in the scope of your imagination – especially when you are thinking about them at 3:00 a.m.  When you put it on paper, it becomes a task to overcome and often is a hill rather than a mountain. Analyze the real risk involved; not the roadblocks you have put up to avoid dealing with it. What are practical steps that you can immediately take to overcome the challenge? Is there a viable solution to this problem?  Make a plan and be disciplined in putting it into action for as long as it takes to accomplish the goal.

3. Network and connect– Use local networking groups and social media sites to get your feet wet again before taking the big plunge. When I decided to work 100% freelance, I made my business plan, set my daily schedule, ordered my business cards, arranged my desk the way I always wanted it to be and then I froze.  My only co-worker was a fat cat who slept all day.  I needed conversation to get my mind into the creative and beyond the task of just getting set up.  I logged onto Twitter and LinkedIn and immediately began searching for other freelance copywriters.  I wanted to know what they were saying and what they were working on. Plugging into those conversations can lead you to industry trends and new information that you don’t have time to unearth yourself.  Discussions on social media sites can get your mind back into the game.

I also joined networking groups in my local community such as Center for Women and East Cooper Entrepreneurial Women. Not only did I find others in my field as well as complimentary industries to my own, but I was easily able to showcase my business to others.  Discussing your business or new venture in a casual conversation is far less intimidating than speaking in front of room filled with people.    Never underestimate the power of conversation. You never know where it might lead or what doors it may open for you.

4. Read & Research– Just like my daughter returning to the gym to brush up on her acquired skills and giving her the opportunity to learn new ones, there is a universe of books, articles, magazines and blogs  to be read as well as workshops, webinars and classes that can be taken online or in a physical classroom.  Find a mentor who has already walked the path you are about to take.

5. There is nothing really to lose by taking a chance – When you get to this point then you can truly lead Fear out the door. Our hope when we embark on something new is that it will work out and we will live happily ever after with it.  Sometimes exploring an opportunity that we think we want shows us that it wasn’t indeed what we truly wanted after all.  But, we never would have known if we didn’t give it a try. (I know, that sounds like something a mom would say.)  Isabella thought cheerleading was the pay-off for all the years of gymnastics lessons.  As she explores cheerleading some more, her path might lead her to Varsity Captain or it might reveal to her that gymnastics was her real heart’s desire/true achievement all along.

The thing is while you were taking time off to do something different, you weren’t wasting time.  Chances are, you have been experiencing accomplishments…just in a different arena than you were used to seeing success.  I plan on telling my daughter that cheerleading hasn’t been all for not; she is learning team-building skills that she wasn’t getting from her tumbling classes.  When I look back to my resume from the first few years out of college, I have to laugh that I put “multi-tasker” down as one of strong attributes. I had no idea what it meant to be a true multi-tasker until I had three children, a husband, a house, volunteer commitments and a full-time job.  My friend who is going back to her career is probably a more understanding educator now that she has children of her own.

The means and methods to growing in our skills aren’t always cookie-cutter which fit neatly into a job description.  If we’ve been alert then we’ve been engaged and still “in-the-know” all along. Take confidence in that and push yourself to the next step. You’ve still got it!

Oh, and my own fear?  Actually writing an article on my blog.  I know, a writer who has a fear of blogging, huh?! I’ve been writing plenty of business material for clients and putting voice to other people’s messages, but putting my own thoughts out there?  Err, well, I’ve had plenty of  ‘reasons’  not to do that.  My sincere hope is that you’ve found this article helpful or, at the very least, mildly amusing.  I’ll take it! Either way, I thank you for lending eyes to it because you’ve helped me cross one of my fears off my list. Whew!!!

What’s next?  Bring it on!

Sharon Higgins is a freelance copywriter living in Charleston, South Carolina with her husband and three beautiful daughters. She writes social media & website content, advertising, promotional, sales & newsletters for an array of clients. Sharon is a member of Center for Women, ECEW, The Lowcountry Business Network, Virtual Business Solutions and an active volunteer for Lowcountry Orphan Relief. You can contact Sharon at http://www.sharonkhiggins.com


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