Thursday, August 7, 2008

Who You Know Still Plays a Large Role in Hiring Decisions


Recently the following comment was left on this blog:

About.com just added 3 new sites to their Top 10 Employment sites list:
http://www.linkedin.com
http://www.realmatch.com
http://www.indeed.com

Only one of them is a social network. Employers and recruiters don’t care if they know someone; they want to hire the most qualified candidate .... nothing will ever change that.

This comment was probably generated by a software program that looks for blogs on which to leave comments that connect to someone’s website. At least I would prefer to think this than to think that someone would purposely write such an idiotic comment.

This comment has NEVER been true in reality even if the hiring manager says he/she wants to hire the most qualified candidate. Unless forced by diversity programs and/or government regulations, people hire who they like. And who they like is usually who they feel comfortable with – which frequently translates into a close copy of themselves.

Now the advent of social media networks has somewhat changed the playing field. Today people can connect in non-traditional ways (outside the men’s locker room and the golf course) and become “friends.”

And LinkedIn.com – the one site above that is the social network rather than a job website like the other two sites – is really a business recommendation site much more than a true social media network.

Here’s the thing: There can be so many equally qualified applicants for a job. If you were the hiring manager, wouldn’t you rather hire either someone you know personally or someone recommended by someone you know personally (even if that person is known only through a social media relationship)?

For those of you starting out on your path in life, remember that who you know is still very important in the larger picture. And you also need to be prepared when you discover an unqualified candidate has just been hired in your department. In this case, a good question to ask yourself is: Who does this new employee know either online or offline?

The moral of this story: You should always strive to be the best qualified candidate for any position to which you apply – and finding someone to recommend you who knows the hiring manager is also a good idea.


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1 comment:

Ray said...

I agree with the comment that was left and from what you said, it appears as you do to. The comment said that employers want to hire the most qualified candidate, not just someone they find through a social network...makes sense to me