Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Social Networks and Finding a Job

I spoke to my friend Christian today about a paper he was writing for a class at HBS about how social networks were affecting job search and recruiting sites.

Some random points I jotted down about my thoughts on how social networking will affect finding a job:

1. Social networks offer reach and targeting. That makes them equally useful to a company's marketing department as recruiting department. In that way, social networking isn't differentially impacting recruiting more so than other functions.

2. Social networks don't attract users that have "search intent for jobs."

3. Search sites (vertical search, Google) are probably more disruptive to the industry in my opinion.

4. LinkedIn is monumentally useful for job search, but isn't really a social network in my opinion. LinkedIn is a big database of contacts so it's useful for finding people.

5. Candidates find jobs through people with which they have strong ties (friends and family), loose ties (friends of friends), or no ties (strangers). Job boards specialize in finding the jobs in the "no ties" department so are less affected by social networking. Social networking can increase the number of people in the "loose ties" group though.

6. New information such recommendations and people's social networking "fingerprints" may become part of the job application.

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