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Social Media Is Not A Silver Bullet

Posted by Kathleen Smith
The presentation above, which was shared at meeting our last week with key members of Booz Allen & Hamilton, inspired the following blog post:
Anywhere you look these days, your inbox, newsletters websites companies are touting “increase your ____________” by using social media tools. This can be sales, contacts, connections, candidates or job opportunities.  I find it interesting that every time a new type of technology comes to the forefront it becomes the next big thing that is to “replace” every other kind of technology that we have been using so far. What was wrong with the way it was? I am not a techie, and I don’t play one on TV (even though I was just called a social media maven in a presentation this afternoon.) but communication, connection and conversation is the same no matter what technology you use. It has to be authentic, genuine, valuable and timely.
Social media does provide more ways to communicate with many individuals and communities. And everyone communicates very differently. We used to communicate via in person, on the phone or in letters. Then we moved to email and texting, but some people still valued phone and letters. Now we can chat, ping, IM, tweet or video – but this is not one size fits all nor does the message. Social media tools opened the way that can communicate, what we communicate and how we do this. The challenge is to determine which channels work for you the best, focus on these, but also keep the other communication channels open so you are not missing other conversations.
And no matter which side of the conversation you are on – job seeker or recruiter – you need to remember these key facts:
  • Authentic – are you doing this because it is important to you, or are you just in it for what you can get out of it immediately or ever?
  • Valuable – are you providing something that is valuable to the other party, or are you providing junk just to get content out there and see whoever bites?
  • Timely – are you talking about last Winter’s Olympics or something that is important to the current conversation.
Job seekers will provide a lot of information in their resumes that might not be relevant to the position that they are applying for or might apply to every one of the job postings that they company has just to see if someone will call them back.
Recruiters will use all kinds of technology to gather candidates, track them, comply with various regulations – but not having a simple conversation with a job seeker.
I would like to say that our social media strategy was fully thought out, planned, implemented and integrated when we started, but it wasn’t. There was and still is much consternation if there is a place for social media in the cleared community.
Now, after having been “social” for almost two years, I can say that social media has a definite place in the cleared community and in cleared recruiting. Conversations still need to happen between companies and candidates. We all have different ways that we communicate online and offline and we need to keep these all open in order to support the overall mission.
This entry was posted on Monday, May 24, 2010 11:26 am

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