Social media | BCBusiness

Social media | BCBusiness
If you're on the hunt for a new gig, social media platforms are great tools to find that perfect match.

It’s not who you know; it’s who you ‘like.’

The old maxim, “it’s not what you know but who you know,” may be truer now than ever when it comes to recruiting top talent in B.C. Luckily, thanks to social media, everybody seems to “know” more people than ever.

Many of the smaller organizations on the Best Companies to Work for in B.C. list say they’ve shunned traditional search methods in favour of a more social approach. When they do feel a need to post an opening, they opt for less traditional arenas, such as Craigslist or LinkedIn.

Chris Breikss, president of 6S Marketing Inc., a digital marketing agency located in Vancouver’s Yaletown, lists the company newsletter (with 10,000 subscribers), internal social media networks and outward-facing networks like Facebook and Craigslist among the company’s recruitment methods. He adds, “We often will pay a referral fee internally or externally to find specialized talent.”

These non-traditional avenues allow for a two-way conversation, and Breikss wants candidates to take advantage of that. “We don’t want to be inundated with phone calls asking us for updates on that job position,” he explains. “Show us on social media how you’d like to work here and that you think our culture is great.”

Tasktop Technologies Inc., a Vancouver-based open-source software development company, also takes advantage of web-based and mobile connections to find the right people. The nature of open-source programming requires the company’s in-house developers to work with outside developers, and over time a social relationship is formed. Tasktop CEO Mik Kersten says the company also takes on co-op students from UBC for this same reason: “What we’ve found is that it’s now easier to build some kind of trusting relationship with somebody prior to bringing them into your company and that’s worked well for us.” The company’s retention rate can attest to that – of 50 employees, only three have left since the company’s launch in January 2007.

The social-engagement trend goes beyond the digital realm. Herlinda Burt is the human resources and marketing manager at Summerland Credit Union. She says the credit union is not shy about unconventional recruiting methods, explaining that because her team knows the culture very well, they are encouraged to let her know if they meet anyone in the community who might be a fit. Burt recalls how an employee, who just celebrated her fifth anniversary at the credit union, was “discovered” while working the checkout at a drugstore. A Summerland Credit Union staffer had been so impressed with her customer service that she sent Burt over to meet her.

Burt believes fit is more important than experience. “When we hire someone, we hire for attitude,” she explains, “I can teach someone how to balance, I can teach someone to put a hold on a cheque, I can teach someone what the heck is a stop payment, but I can’t teach them to want to help people.”

Perhaps the update on that old adage should be, “It’s not what you know but who you meet, like, friend, tweet and impress.” 

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