Social Media in the Hiring Process With Aaron Strout

I had a conversation recently with Jim Storer of The Community Roundtable about the media coverage I received for my use of social media on the job hunt. Jim pointed out that Aaron Strout had written a post in 2008 about using social media in the hiring process, which led to Aaron being featured in the Boston Globe and U.S. News & World Report. Jim suggested that I explore the evolution of the use of social media in the hiring and job searching process and parallels between Aaron and my approaches for a blog post. After finding and reading the pieces from 2008, I reached out to Aaron and asked if he’d be willing to be interviewed via Skype and he graciously accepted. Aaron was kind enough to spend 15 minutes sharing some of his experiences using social media in the hiring process and offering advice for job seekers utilizing social media in their search. The following is our conversation:

Can’t see the video above? You can click here to watch it.

At the time Aaron wrote Hiring in a “2.0” World, he was VP of Social Media at Mzinga here in Boston. He has since moved to Austin, where he’s currently the Head of Location Based Marketing at WCG. He is also the Co-Author of Location-Based Marketing for Dummies. If you’re interested in reading more from him, you can find his blog here. A lot of what Aaron had to say in 2008 resonated strongly with me as I read it a few weeks ago. Although he approaches things from the opposite side of the coin as a hiring manager, we seemed to share some of the same opinions about a traditional resume’s inability to provide a holistic view of a candidate in the way that blogs and social media profiles can. As Aaron told the Boston Globe at the time, by vetting prospective employees through these channels, “I can see how good a writer you are, I can see your network. It gives a much fuller, richer picture of who someone is.” That was the rationale behind me creating http://HireDaveCutler.com, my app and blogging more here, as I wrote about in my post Job Searching; Socially in January.

Have any experience using social media in the hiring process or as a job seeker? I’d be interested in hearing about it. Please share with me in the comments below. Thanks!

Comments

  1. says

    Hi Dave, I’m the other half in the Globe story with Aaron. For me, I think of the hiring process a bit differently. I wouldn’t use social media exclusively because many HR organizations are still figuring out social channels for hiring (take a look at any major analyst report). A mix of the two — traditional and social — is really what the reality was back when I was hired. In fact, many of my friends who have looked and are looking for employment are using that same method. A friend just accepted a position (she started today!!) and while she is active in social media, it was a good old referral which help land her the position.

    • says

      Susan,

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. Congrats to your friend on the gig! I absolutely agree about the need to employ (pardon the pun) both social and traditional method in your job search. I wrote about that a bit in the post referenced above. Networking and securing referrals is usually the name of the game. Of course, social is one way to exponentially grow your network and I’ve definitely found that online networking helps my offline efforts tremendously. I think a happy marriage of the two is probably the most successful approach.

  2. says

    The social footprint element to the process is very interesting. Being able to check out both the person’s overall understanding of the tool and also getting to know the person through their tweets, posts, etc. Its interesting that social media allows for a employer to get a little bit of a better look at a candidate as opposed to reviewing a resume or writing sample. Social media could paint a picture of who the candidate actually is.
    Good stuff Dave.

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