Nowadays, social media is simply part of our routine - 76% of Facebook users log in daily, 51% do for Instagram and 42% for Twitter. The stats are mind-blowing. According to research, in 2017 global social media users stood at 2.80 billion (a 21% increase since 2015), and had a 37% world penetration. Social media is still barely 20 years old and has already changed so much, including the ways that we engage with companies, build brands and find jobs. With this in mind, we looked to one of the most old-school elements of recruitment still in existence – the CV – and asked ourselves, how could social media and digital technology transform the resume?
1. I can see my name in lights
Nowadays, anyone with a smart phone and a sense of entitlement can become a minor celebrity. Creating your personal ‘brand’ has become endemic, fed by a burgeoning social media scene that includes everything from Twitter and Facebook, to Instagram, Pinterest, Snap Chat, WordPress and Youtube. With such a fixation on self-promotion and the growing ease of video technology, it seems inevitable that video applications will become a thing of the future (this is, in fact, already employed by certain companies). Whether you’re conveying your personality in short, snappy sound bites or undertaking formal asynchronous video interviewing, there is every possibility that résumés are about to get a digital makeover.
Of course, this isn’t a one-side only sort of affair. Organisations are already jumping onto the social media bandwagon for their recruitment needs – going beyond LinkedIn to launch fully-fledged social media marketing campaigns. For us though, the future is in pictures. In 2016, Snapchat was voted most popular app by teens with 81% saying they used the app every month and 79% used Instagram monthly. As GenZ enter the workplace, we don’t think it’s inconceivable that one day everything – from job adverts to job applications to job interviews – will be entirely image-centric.
2. When binge-watching Sherlock comes in handy
The increasing popularity of social media aggregation tools (e.g. Hootsuite, Yoono, Tweetdeck, Flock and Netvibes) could prove useful for any recruiter-come-detective inspector. These online applications and desktop software condense all social media activity into one platform, enabling users to review live updates, shares, likes and so forth in one place as well as broadcasting any personal updates. What this means, of course, is that your digital footprint is concentrated in one place.
In the future, employers could browse similar aggregator sites for prospective candidates, providing access to a complete history of your public, online profiles and internet activity – including what you got up to last Friday night. One example of where we are already seeing this is with Talent Xray – a candidate sourcing tool that enables recruiters to search across multiple social networks, including LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+ all in one neat platform. What this means is more accurate and in-depth candidate profiling but also potentially a harder time finding that (on the surface) perfect candidate fit. With social media aggregator tools for recruitment, your CV breakdown of professional accomplishments would be moot, as your entire social media profile would speak for itself. And if the idea of an employer having everything you’ve ever done on social media – including that questionable haircut ten years ago – at their fingertips doesn’t scare you, nothing will.
3. Swipe right
The likes of Tinder, Match and eHarmony have taken the dating world by storm. Now, is it time for recruitment to get on board the ship of mass consumerism? Imagine a world where finding your next job was based purely on gut instinct, where formality was removed and “hitting it off” was as much about finding the right job fit as it was about credentials and experience. Imagine the ease of swiping a job you like the look of, receiving a mutual like, talking (or flirting) for a little bit over messenger and attending an event – maybe like speed dating – where you speak to the hiring manager and gauge whether the attraction of the opportunity is still there. Doesn’t it give you heart palpitations?
Interestingly, some companies are already making the move to this format – Reed’s mobile app enables users to ‘swipe’ recommended jobs, while TheLadders uses the same format in reverse by enabling recruiters to ‘swipe’ prospective candidates matched to a job posting by a special algorithm. This move would arguably make job hunting faster, cultural synergy stronger and rejection less painful (there’s always plenty more fish in the sea).
If this sounds like the way forward for you, or simply an interesting topic, see us expand on it here.
4. Phone a friend
Referral networks are nothing new - it’s a pretty well established fact that talented people know talented people. Social media takes the concept of referral networks and magnifies it to overwhelming proportions, providing vast webs of talent that don’t just consist of friends, families and ex-colleagues, but extend across borders, disciplines and companies. Tapping into a referral network could mean speaking to a second line helpdesk analyst in Ipswich about a bi-lingual Ruby on Rails developer from Norway they met while on holiday. As we progress toward a gig-centric economy the importance of referral networks is likely to be amplified, meaning that recruitment could one day be generated primarily through social media and a ‘who you know, not what you know’ approach. Companies are already recognising the value of employee brand advocacy programmes on social media, which has grown by 191% since 2013. It’s time to send out those LinkedIn requests.
5. There’s strength in numbers
Sure, this isn’t social media or even social app related, but we couldn’t talk about the dissolution of the CV without mentioning crowd sourcing. Crowd sourcing – namely going out to the public to solve a specific challenge or to meet requirements for a short-term project – is becoming a prominent feature of the gig economy. In these communities, individuals vie with each other to present open, often creative, solutions to tech problems, often with some form of incentive or prize awarded to the best entry. Examples of crowdsourcing platforms include the likes of Innocentive, NineSigma, Kaggle, TopCoder, Chaordix and DataStation. Crowdsourcing platforms are already playing a huge part in businesses and are the genius behind multiple marketing campaigns, as well as proving useful in cybersecurity through bug bounty programmes. The evolution of crowdsourcing as a means to acquire niche skillsets and innovative ideas could result in the complete collapse of the CV; after all, who cares how many GCSEs you have if you’ve just solved a burning tech problem and generated millions in savings in the process?
Perhaps this blog is a bit morbid. We’re pushing social media into the post while the CV is still warm in its grave. Of course the résumé isn’t extinct yet. It might be a little battered and bruised, struggling to keep up with the tech industry on its crusade towards digital-everything, but it’s not gone. We will always need ways to ratify, benchmark and evaluate talent. It’s just that social media – in its typical way – has expanded this potential, extended it, blown it out of proportion and made new ways of talent engagement possible. Whether this is going to make recruitment more complex or far simpler is yet to be determined, but when we find out, we’ll drop you an instant message/tweet/post/blog/vlog/snap/pic or maybe, if we’re feeling sentimental, even a postcard.