Wednesday 17 July 2019

Online hunting: How to navigate social media to find the best job - and the best employee

A guide of digital do's and don'ts for both employers and job seekers

A guide of digital do's and don'ts for both employers and job seekers (Stock image)
A guide of digital do's and don'ts for both employers and job seekers (Stock image) Business Desk

Advertising a job vacancy, letting employers know you're open to opportunities, and having a general good aul networks like LinkedIn definitely have their benefits.

But the lack of the personal touch when it comes to digital window-shopping is actually proving frustrating for both job seekers and employers, according to one of Ireland's leading recruitment agencies.

Managing Director at Sanderson Recruitment Donal O’Donoghue said that personal relationships and a recruiter's insight and judgement better serve the recruitment task, especially when it comes to senior appointments.

"Many candidates find their digital networks job search has not produced results, or they’re tired of the 'request to connect' that doesn’t produce much more than someone trying to sell them something," he said.

Building what appears to be a more meaningful relationship between prospective employer and employee is actually hugely influential when it comes to finding the right person for the job, or indeed the right job.

Have you ever uploaded a CV into a company's 'HR portal' and wondered if anyone ever looked at it? If anyone ever got confirmation of receipt? If anyone got any feedback or, gasp, a call for interview? Well, you're not alone.

According to the Dublin recruiter, any agency worth its salt will respond to CVs, providing feedback and a realistic overview of the relevant job market.

Sanderson Recruitment offers some advice for those on both sides of the coin looking to use online to their advantage.


  • Unless self-employed, be aware that your current employer is just as likely to spot your job search online, so maybe don’t overtly advertise the fact that you’re eager to move on.
  • Use LinkedIn to research a company you’re interested in, check if they’re recruiting, and if any of your contacts are connected.  Referrals are more likely to get you an interview than a cold CV or application.
  • 'Follow' companies on your work target list, to keep updated on new offices, investment, products or services.
  • Check a company’s management team via their online profiles and media coverage to establish who and what is worth knowing, and if you're in any way connected.
  • Give your profile a strong headline; it’s what people notice first – 'Twenty years' experience building amazing consumer brands' is better than 'consumer marketing role sought'! 
  • Sites like Facebook can be useful to let friends and associates know you’re on the job market, and opportunity you're interested in.
  • If in a creative role, like photography, design or interiors, Instagram is good to showcase a portfolio.
  • Share video, photography, copy or media coverage on social media that illustrates your professional abilities.
  • Join specialist social media groups where you can be part of conversations with those with similar professional interests.
  • If job-hunting on social media, make your online presence employer-friendly across all channels.  A professional LinkedIn pitch will be undermined by nonsense on Facebook or photos of crazy parties elsewhere!
  • Similarly, use a sensible photo on your Facebook profile, at least while your job search is ongoing – some will check your social media presence ahead of calling you for interview.


  • If you do use job boards or social networks to advertise roles and solicit CVs, ensure the posts are up to date and that applications and enquires are professionally dealt with.  All company communication reflects on the business reputation, and sloppy management of digital media won’t encourage the better candidates to consider your opening.
  • Encourage senior managers to use their online networking groups as a resource for potential job candidates, particularly in terms of keeping an eye on upcoming talent making waves in their current role.
  • It’s worth getting ‘an in’ to colleges and universities’ alumni networks with professional groups in the particular sector you operate in.
  • Use your consumer marketing channels, like Facebook or twitter, to make it known when you’re hiring and incentivise employees and customers to share – people who already ‘like you’ are more likely to want to work for you and to make a good employee.
  • Make sure your USP as an employer, and the company culture, comes across in all communication, particularly your digital presence, like the company website and social media platforms; establish why people are happy to work for you, and work it online!
  • The quality of the recruitment and selection process is key to attracting the right talent that will support a high performing team.
  • Taking on an individual who’s not the right fit for a business can be costly in more ways than one, Donal O’Donoghue believes, potentially undermining the team or the product or service offered.

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