Social media as a way to share opportunities

Standing on the sidewalk between rain showers, I was engaged in a discussion on ways to attract candidates to apply for positions at the college. Those of us who live here know that the college is a very special place to work, and our students are truly unique. Yet connecting with those whom the college might most like to connect with when advertising an opening is difficult at best. Among the many constituencies the college would like to reach are former employees who might be interested in returning to the college and Micronesians in the diaspora abroad who might want to come home to work. Social media might be one way to get the word out on job openings, especially into this two particular constituencies.

While social media has not yet proven to be the "killer" academic support application I had thought it might be, I have discovered that it is a powerful way to find and connect with alumni -both former students and former faculty and staff. This makes social media a seriously useful tool for alumni organizations. And it was this thought that made me realize that social media is a natural tool by which to get word out on job opportunities here.

Social media is also now playing an important role in HR recruiting and hiring. What follows is a selection of readings on HR and social media, with a focus on the market leading FaceBook as that has garnered the most attention.

Most directly, I found a job recruitment on FaceBook itself. The
American College Personnel Association - Standing Committee for Graduate Students and New Professionals is a group exists inside FaceBook. The group acts as a centralized resource and advocate to address the needs and concerns of graduate students and new professionals in the American College Personnel Association, thus working to advance the field of student affairs in higher education. Membership in SCGSNP is open to all interested parties, however, their focus is primarily for those individuals who self-identify as a graduate student in a master's or doctoral graduate program, and those professionals who have worked in the field of student affairs from one to five years. For those who are non-members, the ACPA is on line outside of FaceBook as well.

Within that group Huntingdon College Office of Student Life made a job announcement for a Resident Director / Coordinator of Student Life position. That link would require FaceBook membership for access - clearly Huntingdon College wants a director who is familiar with social media!

Thus schools are already availing themselves of social media in their employee recruitment efforts.

A ComputerWorld article noted that, "social networks can also be great recruitment tools. "With 85% of college students using Facebook," said Lee Aase, manager of Syndication and Social Media at the Mayo Clinic and chancellor of Social Media University, Global. Aase said, "employee recruitment with job announcements targeted to students at select colleges with specific degrees can provide companies with a significant advantage over competitors searching for similar talent."
In a nutshell, social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook can expand the networking and marketing potential of any company."

One should bear in mind that FaceBook is a unique media with its own social etiquette and structures. Membership is restricted to people, corporate entities cannot be "members" per se, although "interest pages" can be established for a corporate entity. Thus current recommendations include posting that a job opening exists on one's personal news feed with a link to the actual job announcement held on the college's own web site. The key is to have a lot of friends.

I would note that Micronesians are predominantly in MySpace and Bebo, so recruiting the diaspora would probably require entering those social media spaces. I chose to join FaceBook, in part because at present that is where are students are not. FaceBook is also the market leader with about 200 million users, and more users means a higher probability my own friends are there. In the 34 to 54 age group, FaceBook is really the only player and is showing explosive growth in market share . FaceBook is also the choice of faculty. So FaceBook is the obvious choice for me as a faculty member. FaceBook even has faculty ethics guidelines for faculty choosing to operate in "Face space."

Used wisely and appropriately, social media could be useful tool to get word out to potential job candidates that the college has an opening, especially into the Micronesian diaspora. The effectiveness would depend on having someone in a social media space who is "well-connected" and thus well placed to get "the word out."


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