by Bailey Werderich, ACU communications student
From 1948 to 2012 the unemployment rate has averaged about 5.8 percent. As of July 2012 the unemployment rate in the United States has increased to 8.3 percent. While the rate percentage has lowered even in just one year, we are still rather close to the all-time high, 10.8 percent unemployment, in 1982. And workers all across the country continue to find themselves discouraged when it comes to the labor market.
Both the unemployed and the companies seeking new employees are experiencing an effect of this unemployment rate. For the unemployed, it seems impossible to find a decent job. For the companies seeking new employees, it proves difficult to find someone with the qualifications required for their position.
Here is where social media comes into play!
Social networking has played a big role in society over the last ten years. The Millennials have grown up using social media to interact with friends, reconnect with old friends, share photos, etc. Businesses, too, are starting to see a big potential in social media from their perspective: to gain clients, get their brand seen, and now, to find future employees.
Facebook has jumped on the professional-network-train and has created a professional network called BranchOut. Everyone with a Facebook account has access to BranchOut, where you can find jobs and other professional connections. You can input your resume and advertise your skills, specialties, work history, education, etc. BranchOut is directly linked to Facebook which simplifies connecting with your friends and businesses that you’ve already taken an interest in.
In addition, there are social networking sites with the sole purpose of making professional connections, such as LinkedIn. LinkedIn provides companies with many different avenues to find talent, such as job postings, career pages, and premium accounts. However, these many options can be relatively pricey. A single job post is about $300 and only lasts 30 days. The premium accounts’ pricing is relative to which package you choose and paid on a monthly basis. And the career pages can be $10,000 or more.
So why should your company invest in using social media?
Hiring employees is easier if both parties speak the same language. Young college students seeking job opportunities are utilizing social media sites almost every day, and have been for about 10 years now. They are very familiar with how the sites work and are now ready to seek employment. What better way to grab their attention but on sites they spend most of their time on?
While all of these options can prove to be beneficial, not every company has $10,000 to spend in one place, like LinkedIn. The good news is that your candidates can find you! On every social networking site, members explore what else and who else is on that site and what they are doing. If you’re company has a page that is regularly maintained, people will find it.
For job seekers, LinkedIn offers premium accounts as well, that can better assist you in your job hunt. Account features and prices vary. Even with the free LinkedIn account you are being connected in multiple ways. As soon as you log in to your account, the whole right side panel is suggestions for new connections, new groups to join, new companies to follow, and jobs you might be interested in.
With social media the possible connections are endless; whether it is to friends and family, or to business professionals in your industry and beyond. The hope is that this new way of connecting to companies help improve the unemployment rate, only time will tell.
Unemployment statistics from Trading Economics