A Muse Bouche – Gaile’s Tales

I have worked in the field of Human Resources for almost 25 years now.  When I first got into my career, we hand-wrote small memos on 3-ply carbons – one for the memo recipient, one for anyone else who needed to be kept informed, and one for the file.  Thermal paper fax machines were just coming in and cell phones looked like bricks.  Our recruiting strategies relied on job ads in the local newspapers, attending job fairs at community colleges and universities to collect resumes, hosting open houses for people to see our offices, and on-site interviews.

As time went on, one of the biggest changes we have felt at our company is how Recruiting gets their work done, thanks to social media.  For years, we struggled to understand the different applications and how to use them.  We were being asked to explain to our colleagues how we knew we were being successful, and whether we were making wise choices on our spending.  For years, we struggled with trying to keep up while doing our day jobs, and then about 2 years ago, it clicked!  While at a Social Recruiting Summit, we found out there are people out there who live and breathe social media!!  We are now getting ready to find our own Social Media Specialist.

social media cartoon

What is a Social Media Specialist??

Because of their deep insights into all the social media applications, a Social Media Specialist can have a huge impact for a company because they understand the important role social media plays in today’s environment.  Since they’ll be working at our company, they will be committed to our social media efforts.  What that means to us is that we will finally have someone who is up-to-date with all the social media innovations that are going on and they’ll be able to generate relevant content and campaigns.  With their analytics expertise, we’ll get direction on what we’re doing well and where we can be doing better.


What’s next

I’ve started to put together, what I think is, a pretty detailed agenda for some interested candidates once they’ve made it past the preliminary interview.  I don’t know if I am more excited or nervous that I’ll forget something!  Sometimes we just have to take a risk to get the reward!!

If anyone has any thoughts about what to include or how to proceed, I’d love to hear from you!

Here is a link for Social Recruiting Summit I mentioned in case you’re curious to see what that was all about:  https://www.facebook.com/events/965319860231052/

Our tweet for the position can be found here: https://twitter.com/SykesTalent/status/963050090884730880







8 thoughts on “A Muse Bouche – Gaile’s Tales

  1. I’m not sure how my job searches morphed into social media jobs– I usually look at teaching jobs, and added instructional design jobs to the list, but somehow, with taking the “Developing a Social Media Strategy” course, all my job searches are funneling social media marketing positions now. Networking is no longer just actually word of mouth– going to the same physical space to meet and greet people from your industry — but the social media network of people you know and the people they know– and analytics of your searches– like if you look for something on amazon and somehow it now appears on you Facebook feed. Lots of “stuff” going on in the background of social media.

    • Oh, agreed! For example, one recruiter I was speaking to always asks prospective candidates to keep in touch, even if they weren’t the successful incumbent. When they connect on Facebook, she now has access to a whole new labour pool – their friends. She’s a very influential person and a great networker so I can see how this would work for her.

  2. What a great post! This is valuable insight from the HR/recruiter side.

    When I am looking at social media positions, I find that most are marketing based—are you looking through that lens, or more from a communications one?

    • If I had to pick from those two choice, I would say the communications one. I would hope that the marketing element would be evident in the communications being generated. Does that make sense?

  3. I’m uncomfortable with recruiting by social media. I don’t really like putting myself out like that. I had a teacher tell me once “If you need to talk about it, you did it wrong”. When HR recruiters are learning about potential candidates via social media, do you run the risk of missing introverts who may be really great at the position you are trying to fill?

    • Our recruiting process still follows a traditional approach where interested candidates submit their applications in response to an ad or job posting that was on social media. The applications are reviewed based on the skills and requirements of the position we are trying to fill. If they evidence that, we conduct video behavioural interviews and some other steps. The video interview is really the first in-person interaction. I do not believe we would miss introverts because of social media; if anything, it might encourage them to apply since the application process is completed electronically.

  4. This is a fantastic post Gaile! Really interesting to see insights from a recruiter as to what they are looking for in a social media specialist.

    My background is in business and analytics, and I am often intrigued at how social media has gone from being a fun “time waster” just 10 or so years ago, to being an integral part of the digital marketing efforts of large corporations. Companies now want to know how their social media is performing, where they should invest, and other very serious topics. Posting on social media is not just a creative endeavour for a company, it is a revenue creating one!

    Social media truly has become a significant part of the customer journey map that corporations put together. It seems like not that long ago it was considered “creepy” for corporations to ask people to sign in with their social media accounts, but now with cookies and tracking technology, social media platforms like Facebook can track you accross the web and market to you based on what it perceives as your interest. While there is some outrage, the vast majority of people seem to carry on with business as usual.

    In my opinion, I think the main thing that you need to look for in a social media specialist is someone who has experience in conducting business-focused social media efforts. Business and personal social media experiences are very different and too many people feel that their day-to-day social media usage would make them a shoe-in to a social media job, but there really is a significant gap in skillsets between the two.

    • I agree with your insights Pat! I’ve conducted a few interviews and you can certainly tell from the responses the level of business acumen the candidate(s) possess by the end of the interview. There is usually a bit of a judgement call in these situations where, as the decision maker, we assess any potential gaps and determine if the candidate is willing and able to fill the gaps in. I have seen great results and watched people become tenured because of their drive to succeed and rise up to the challenge. This may be another one of those cases!

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