The Impact Social Media Has On Recruiting

Keith McIlvaine
Posted: 06/03/2010

Have you heard those stories about people who follow their passion and they end up finding their dream job? I have heard these stories as well, and I never truly believed it would happen to me (although I always kept hope and kept chasing that passion).

Well, it did happen to me! And I want to share my story with you in hopes that it will help you to chase your passion. The best part… the job I have didn’t exist within most companies as short as 6 months ago!



I have been a recruiter for over 10 years, both on the agency and the corporate sides. I love networking and connecting with people, so this profession is a great place for me. I also like to keep updated on the latest trends and stay on top of great ways to connect with people effectively. I never needed to change any of my search strategies or methodologies, just added new techniques to the list: mainly surrounding social media.

I was an early adopter of social media within my team and I used it to connect with new people, globally, in order to exchange ideas on a variety of topics but I really focused mainly on HR and recruiting. I found this to be a way to expand my network and learn from a much broader population.

So, what do I do on social media? Pretty much the same as most of you out there. I am active on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn as well as reading blogs and posting blog entries. I am on other sites; however, I do not spend as much time or focus on them right now.

One blog post that really energized me was from Jessica Lee, that she posted just over one year ago. Jessica referenced an online article she read about a recruiter in Silicon Valley who was interviewed at a job fair. The purpose of the article was to allow the readers to learn more about her job search as well as how the job market was changing. Jessica Google’d this particular recruiter and found it extremely difficult to locate this person within the returned results. What I took away from this post was Jessica’s resounding recommendation that all recruiters need to be in social media in order to be found… especially in recruiting!

That day I went out and began to sign up for a few new social networking sites, which I was not already on, in order to:

  1. connect with others more efficiently
  2. to become more active in the conversation
  3. to be found

I put forward a more conscious effort to discuss with others to learn more about what they do. I took time to connect outside of social media (either on the phone or in person if the ability was there) to further develop these relationships. And through these relationships I directly impacted open positions I was working on and did make a hire through Twitter. I continue to leverage all social media resources today to supplement my recruitment activity.

Over time, my company investigated social media for our messaging, our ongoing branding, recruitment activity, and as a new channel for us to grow as a company. As this direction was being considered and decided upon, I was approached to help lead our global recruitment social media strategy, implementation, and execution. This truly was a dream job opportunity for me and it is something so new that I am finding myself directly impacting my company’s message into the market. Yes, I did say dream job even though this position did not exist just a few months ago.

I read about companies creating this type of position and thought to myself that this role would be a phenomenal opportunity for me to expand my experience and knowledge. Also, it would be a lot of fun and a lot of hard work.

Yes, as a recruiter I have always worked to positively impact my company and convey our brand and message in my daily recruitment activities. But now to be able to do this on a much broader scale is completely energizing and humbling–that I was selected to help lead this effort. For a relatively short time, I was thinking that one day I would like to move into this type of an opportunity and determining how might I position myself best for this type of career progression. The results of my personal decision to expand into a relatively untapped medium was that I was rewarded for thinking outside of my team's current strategy and I am now able to directly impact my company in the social media space.

The best part, I am still with my same company and expanding my experience and responsibilities!

My recommendation, to all of you, is to follow your passion. Identify what it is that motivates you and will allow you to do your job better and more effectively. Also, determine how it may impact your day-to-day activity in a positive way so that it is not distracting from your objectives. You may even want to approach this passion with your manager to discuss how you might involve it into your productivity. In hindsight, I wish I approached my managers directly but it did end up for the best.

Don’t wait for something to happen, make it happen. Your dream job is waiting for you as well!

Keith McIlvaine
Posted: 06/03/2010

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