The 21st Century Hiring Advantage Essay

2109 words - 9 pages

At the end of 2012 the National Unemployment Rate was 7.8% (“Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey”) and employers were struck with the daunting task of filling 3.6 million job openings (Smith.) In an article for Forbes on the subject of the daunting prospect of the job search, Jacquelyn Smith shares this startling fact: “The average number of people who apply for any given job: 118.” With the downturn in the economy in recent years, candidates for any given job can include inexperienced job seekers, seasoned competitive candidates, and even those who are looking to start their second or third career. The job market is flooded. Employers are overwhelmed by the sheer number of applicants, sometimes willing to compromise by hiring a good candidate with a long resume and an elaborate list of self-declared skills than a great candidate who may have the top one or two attributes for the job and be a better cultural fit for the company (Haden). Applications and resumes can provide information about skills and employment history, but how can employers really tell what they are getting into when making hiring decisions? By analyzing social media, employers can gather information on candidates ranging from personality, organizational fit, communications skills, and references, to awards and accolades in an innovative way. While some question the moral and legal ramifications, employers should unquestionably come into the twenty-first century and use the information found on social networking sites during the hiring process.
During the traditional hiring process: an employer posts an advertisement for an open position. Applicants are accepted and screened, typically over the phone or through reviewing resumes and applications. A select few are then interviewed, often more than once. Finally, a background check is completed and then an offer made for employment. This method of hiring is expensive, time consuming and antiquated. Viewed as a chore more than an opportunity, many hiring managers simply try to see which candidate ticks off the most boxes within the job description (Haden). Employers are short changing themselves, their companies, their current employees, and their applicants when a good candidate is selected instead of a great one, simply because they have said enough buzz words in their interview. The interview portion of the process can even possess unreasonable bias to the applicant. Hypothetical questions about working in teams and working with clients allow the applicant to filter themselves, saying only what they think the employer wants to hear, focusing on strengths instead of weaknesses. Applicants who work in sales and are used to the practice of pitching products and services, will have their own sales pitch prepared and be ready to sell their product – themselves – as the solution to the employers hiring problem. Using social media when analyzing candidates can give an employer more unbiased information about...

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