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Beware the hidden bias behind TikTok resumes

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Social media has served as a launchpad to success almost as long as it has been around. The stories of going viral from a self-produced YouTube video and then securing a record deal established the mythology of social media platforms. Ever since, social media has consistently gravitated away from text-based formats and toward visual mediums like video sharing.

For most people, a video on social media won’t be a ticket to stardom, but in recent months, there have been a growing number of stories of people getting hired based on videos posted to TikTok. Even LinkedIn has embraced video assets on user profiles with the recent addition of the “Cover Story” feature, which allows workers to supplement their profiles with a video about themselves.

As technology continues to evolve, is there room for a world where your primary resume is a video on TikTok? And if so, what kinds of unintended consequences and implications might this have on the workforce?

Why is TikTok trending for jobs?

In recent months, U.S. job openings have risen to an all-time high of 10.1 million. For the first time since the pandemic began, available jobs have exceeded available workers. Employers are struggling to attract qualified candidates to fill positions, and in that light, it makes sense that many recruiters are turning to social platforms like TikTok and video resumes to find talent.

But the scarcity of workers does not negate the importance of finding the right employee for a role. Especially important for recruiters is finding candidates with the skills that align with their business’ goals and strategy. For example, as more organizations embrace a data-driven approach to operating their business, they need more people with skills in analytics and machine learning to help them make sense of the data they collect.

Recruiters have proven to be open to innovation where it helps them find these new candidates. Recruiting is no longer the manual process it used to be, with HR teams sorting through stacks of paper resumes and formal cover letters to find the right candidate. They embraced the power of online connections as LinkedIn rose to prominence and even figured out how to use third-party job sites like GlassDoor to help them draw in promising candidates. On the back end, many recruiters use advanced cloud software to sort through incoming resumes to find the candidates that best match their job descriptions. But all of these methods still rely on the traditional text-based resume or profile as the core of any application.

Videos on social media provide the ability for candidates to demonstrate soft skills that may not be immediately apparent in written documents, such as verbal communication and presentation skills. They are also a way for recruiters to learn more about the personality of the candidate to determine how they’d fit into the culture of the company. While this may be appealing for many, are we ready for the consequences?

We’re not ready for the close-up

While innovation in recruiting is a big part of the future of work, the hype around TikTok and video resumes may actually take us backward. Despite offering a new way for candidates to market themselves for opportunities, it also carries potential pitfalls that candidates, recruiters and business leaders need to be aware of.

The very element that gives video resumes their potential also presents the biggest problems. Video inescapably highlights the person behind the skills and achievements. As recruiters form their first opinions about a candidate, they will be confronted with information they do not usually see until much later in the process, including whether they belong to protected classes because of their race, disability or gender.

Diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) concerns have had a major surge in attention over the last couple of years amid heightened awareness and scrutiny around how employers are — or are not — prioritizing diversity in the workplace.

But evaluating candidates through video could erase any progress made by introducing more opportunities for unconscious, or even conscious, bias. This could create a dangerous situation for businesses if they do not act carefully because it could open them up to consequences such as damage to their reputation or even something as severe as discrimination lawsuits.

A company with a poor track record for diversity may have the fact that they reviewed videos from candidates used against them in court. Recruiters reviewing the videos may not even be aware of how the race or gender of candidates are impacting their decisions. For that reason, many of the businesses I have seen implement an option for video in their recruiting flow do not allow their recruiters to watch the video until late in the recruiting process.

But even if businesses address the most pressing issues of DE&I by managing bias against those protected classes, by accepting videos there are still issues of diversity in less protected classes such as neurodiversity and socioeconomic status. A candidate with exemplary skills and a strong track record may not present themselves well through a video, coming across as awkward to the recruiter watching the video. Even if that impression is irrelevant to the job, it could still influence the recruiter’s stance on hiring.

Furthermore, candidates from affluent backgrounds may have access to better equipment and software to record and edit a compelling video resume. Other candidates may not, resulting in videos that may not look as polished or professional in the eyes of the recruiter. This creates yet another barrier to the opportunities they can access.

As we sit at an important crossroads in how we handle DE&I in the workplace, it is important for employers and recruiters to find ways to reduce bias in the processes they use to find and hire employees. While innovation is key to moving our industry forward, we have to ensure top priorities are not being compromised.

Not left on the cutting room floor

Despite all of these concerns, social media platforms — especially those based on video — have created new opportunities for users to expand their personal brands and connect with potential job opportunities. There is potential to use these new systems to benefit both job seekers and employers.

The first step is to ensure that there is always a place for a traditional text-based resume or profile in the recruiting process. Even if recruiters can get all the information they need about a candidate’s capabilities from video, some people will just naturally feel more comfortable staying off camera. Hiring processes need to be about letting people put their best foot forward, whether that is in writing or on video. And that includes accepting that the best foot to put forward may not be your own.

Instead, candidates and businesses should consider using videos as a place for past co-workers or managers to endorse the candidate. An outside endorsement can do a lot more good for an application than simply stating your own strengths because it shows that someone else believes in your capabilities, too.

Video resumes are hot right now because they are easier to make and share than ever and because businesses are in desperate need of strong talent. But before we get caught up in the novelty of this new way of sharing our credentials, we need to make sure that we are setting ourselves up for success.

The goal of any new recruiting technology should be to make it easier for candidates to find opportunities where they can shine without creating new barriers. There are some serious kinks to work out before video resumes can achieve that, and it is important for employers to consider the repercussions before they damage the success of their DE&I efforts.

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3 ways to recruit engineers who fly under LinkedIn’s radar

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Sergiu Matei is the founder of Index, a platform that helps teams find and hire world-class remote software developers and be globally compliant from the get-go.

We’ve recently been bombarded with news of job surpluses, including predictions that the number of software developer roles will increase 22% by 2030. With the need for nearly a quarter more developers, recruiters are having to scale their search and look under the stones that have previously been left unturned.

It’s easy to assume in the digital age that job candidates are waiting at the end of a mouse click, but the online hiring space isn’t as encompassing as we think. Less than 10% of people on LinkedIn don’t have an education that surpasses high school, despite 87% of developers having taught themselves a new coding language, framework or tool without formal education.

People who live in emerging markets use LinkedIn less frequently, even though these locations harbor some of the world’s most promising tech talent.

Some developers choose not to have a LinkedIn account because it feels like another social media channel to maintain. This aversion makes sense considering engineers focus more on hard skills rather than their online personae.

This week, LinkedIn announced it would start offering its services in Hindi, which will allow the service to reach 600 million people globally. People who live in emerging markets use the platform less frequently, even though these locations harbor some of the world’s most promising tech talent.

Companies can’t let how they’ve hired in the past influence their approach today — doing so means missing not just the quantity of developers, but the quality and diversity of them. The remote revolution didn’t just broaden where we can recruit, it’s expanded who we can bring on board. With that in mind, these are the best ways to tap into the hidden developer gems.

Open up your content, chats and code

No recruiter should think of hiring a developer as the same process as selling a product or service. As Adam DuVander explains in “Developer Marketing Does Not Exist,” resonating with developers requires more education and less promotion than the majority of companies currently provide.

The content you publish can organically pique people’s interest, as long as it has a strategic purpose and doesn’t overly mention your brand or services; for example, blog posts about upskilling, industry trends and exclusive data insights. You could also host events like webinars, round tables, quizzes and hackathons that are less for recruitment purposes and more to showcase the team and culture. Don’t be afraid to be lighthearted with your content, either. Memes, GIFs and videos are a great way to demonstrate that you don’t take yourself too seriously. And once you remove the promotional positioning, developers in the shadows will start to come forward.

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People Buy People On LinkedIn Not Companies: Here’s Why

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On LinkedIn, people buy into other people, not companies. LinkedIn is all about you, the leader. When people make decisions, it is based on who you are, how they feel about you and other emotional, sometimes intangible feelings. This is true for social media and in real life.

Gut reactions, good vibe, rapport — people build up a trust with you, or not as the case may be. That’s why authenticity is key. People will find out if you’re fake. And since people on LinkedIn buy into other people, that’s why the best course to get more business is to market your company through your personal page on LinkedIn.

I’ve written before about what I call “the Richard Branson effect,” which can easily be replaced with the Elon Musk effect, the Bill Gates effect or any other public figure in business. These types of company leaders have more engagement and followers on LinkedIn than their respective companies. One hundred times more people follow the leader and founder of Virgin Atlantic, Richard Branson, than the company itself.

People buy people. People follow people, not companies. Even when leaders like Michael Dell have fewer followers than their company page, they actually have more engagement levels for their posts.

As another example, if you look at the Microsoft company page on LinkedIn (and bearing in mind that they own LinkedIn), the company has 14 million followers, but sometimes its posts get literally zero comments. They tend to be boring company updates about diversity, the environment, Azure, the Surface products. Who cares?

So, you have to wonder, if Microsoft often gets such little engagement on LinkedIn, then how do small companies have a chance? You have to keep in mind that when the CEO of Microsoft, Satya Nadella, posts, he routinely gets hundreds of thousands of engagements. People buy into Satya, and when he talks about Microsoft, people listen.

They see more authenticity in Satya. It feels more personal. You can’t take the company to the pub, cafe or restaurant but you can take the CEO or Founder.

It’s often the best place to do business in a bar. This is where the real action happens and where the real “you” comes out. You have a drink, you relax, you build a rapport and you share. You then start trusting one another and that’s how business is done. You can’t take a company out for a drink.

I closed my physical office in Singapore, and I have all my meetings at the W Hotel’s WooBar. I invite people to come and meet me there as it’s a break for them away from their home or physical office in the business district.

Their decision of whether to outsource to my company is often based on how well they get along with me. It can of course go both ways. The ones who enjoy my sometimes polarizing personal brand often become my clients. The whole process is based on social selling, not hard selling.

Build a relationship socially with potential clients. Share the good, bad and ugly about yourself on LinkedIn. You then gain permission in other people’s view to share your company through your personal page on LinkedIn. People will come to trust you and buy your service because of you.

Ultimately, selling is about people, trust, rapport and relationships, and you can’t do that through a company website or a company page on LinkedIn; you can only do it through you and your personal page and brand.

So, my advice is don’t waste time on your LinkedIn company page, and instead focus on your LinkedIn personal page to see results. The examples of successful business personalities speak for themselves.


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8 Tools that are a Must for LinkedIn Automation – Times News Express

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8-tools-that-are-a-must-for-linkedin-automation-–-times-news-express

When it comes to social media platforms, LinkedIn might come across as Facebook’s older, more responsible, and infinitely more boring sibling. When it comes to functionality, however, it is an invaluable resource to professionals all across the globe. As of 2021, LinkedIn has more than 774 million registered members from more than 200 countries, and savvy HR and marketing-minded professionals would be wise not to overlook the vast array of resources it offers.

From networking to brand building, to publishing, LinkedIn can provide a multitude of services.  However, all of these options and the wealth of data can potentially hamper efficiency and productivity.

Here are the seven must-have Linkedin automation tools that will help get the results you want in less time.

Lead generating software that responds at the click of a button is good. Software that runs in the background while you accomplish tasks elsewhere is even better. For example, Castanet can manage single or multiple LinkedIn profiles and continuously run to automatically generate appointment requests, connection invitations, and skill endorsements.

Searches can be precisely filtered by LinkedIn profile characteristics in order to seek out quality clients who are more likely to have an interest in your company and the products or services you offer. When you have a connection with your clients, it means better leads and less wasted time on undesirable prospects.

​​Dux-Soup is a sales tool focused on automated lead generation. Based upon the parameters you set, it automatically contacts sales prospects selected on LinkedIn. It can also send direct messages, endorse skills, send personalized connection requests. A handy feature is its ability to schedule multiple, delayed, personalized messages.

Crystal is an excellent source of information for both sales and HR professionals. It is able to mine data from LinkedIn profiles to predict communication styles and personality types and therefore give you a better idea of how best to approach customers, coworkers, and prospective employees.

Using the DISC personality method, Crystal also offers various training courses to show you how to implement your acquired data into the most effective processes for team building, hiring, and sales generation.

LeadFeeder uses web tracking technology to identify what companies visit your website and are potentially interested in your services. It is beneficial for gauging the effectiveness of your marketing efforts, as it also tracks how visitors find your website and the path they take. It can even offer data on the specific portions of your website being viewed.

One strange downside of LinkedIn is the overabundance of users and potential sales opportunities. LeadFuze uses powerful filters to narrow down prospects, generate lead lists, and acquire verified personal email addresses to initiate contact.

On the HR side, LeadFuze can run filters to search for potential candidates across LinkedIn who are not actively searching for a job. The LeadFuze search allows hiring managers to find contact information for quality individuals who would be unlikely to apply for posted job offerings independently.

LinkedIn Sales Navigator is added via a simple Chrome extension. It allows you to view LinkedIn profile data if you are emailing someone with a corresponding Gmail account. The LinkedIn Sales Navigator account gives you additional information about them as you’re engaging in direct contact, making it easier to tailor your communication to the specific individual you’re dealing with.

When trying to gather as much information about a potential client as possible, it can sometimes be an arduous process to search throughout the various social media platforms for the same individual or company. Discoverly streamlines that process by gathering all the information from the most commonly used social media sources and compiling each person or company’s social media presence all in one place.

No more logging into five different places to get a comprehensive view of a prospective client’s web presence. Instead, Discoverly lets you toggle between all the platforms in one location for quick searching abilities.

Conclusion

Whether you’re using LinkedIn to build your brand, generate sales leads, or expand your hiring search, the actual platform can contain so much data that streamlining is necessary.  These after-market tools and plugins can help you navigate LinkedIn and make the most out of all the resources at your disposal.

Image Credit: pixabay; pexels; thank you!

The post 8 Tools that are a Must for LinkedIn Automation appeared first on Calendar.

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