CORNER BROOK When he first took on the job of recruiting provincial government employees, Derick Layte was told advertising on YouTube was the best way for him to take advantage of finding people through social media networking.
After the manager of recruitment services with the Public Service Commission authorized four advertisements for positions via YouTube, he realized the commission would need its own YouTube channel to be effective.
Soon thereafter, Facebook became the more popular social media network. Since then, Twitter has become all the rage, but neither Facebook nor Twitter has proven conducive to the commission’s recruitment efforts.
After analyzing what social network would work best for its purposes, the Public Service Commission has decided to launch an outreach and advertising campaign using the professional social media networking website Linkedin.com.
Launched in 2002, Linkedin has flown under the radar as hordes of people flocked to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to get their fix of social media networking. Unlike the other mediums, Linkedin is a dedicated venue for people to post their professional profiles, including resumes and career ambitions, and for companies to post what they are all about.
It is also a medium whereby people can discuss career opportunities and experiences with others who have Linkedin profiles.
“We see that as the future of social media recruitment involvement for us for at least the next 12 to 24 months,” Layte said in an interview with The Western Star.
Linkedin is better than Facebook or Twitter, added Layte, because it focuses solely on the person’s professional profile and does not delve into that potential candidate’s personal information.
While some employers may creep Facebook or Twitter to find out more about the real character of the person they are considering hiring, Layte said doing that is not what the Public Service Commission is all about.
“Because we look for transparency in our process and hire based on merit, respect and fairness, we wouldn’t be doing that,” Layte said of scoping out other social media profiles. “You can’t quantify what someone is doing on a personal basis. We can’t add that into our competition process and measure it. Our best route is to stay away from that. We consider it personal information that we don’t need to get into.”
The beauty of Linkedin for Layte is that, not only can potential candidates approach an employer, but the recruiter can just as easily approach someone to see if they are interested in a new career. That is a crucial point for Layte since his job focuses on recruiting people for government jobs that tend to be difficult to fill.
There are some jobs available, said Layte, that government has not been able to fill for as long as three years.
“If I know of anybody who can fill a position or would be qualified to compete in a process whereby we’re going to hire someone ... I will pick up the phone and call them if I found them on Linkedin,” said Layte. “I see Linkedin as no different than a job fair. Everyone is putting themselves out there and giving me their resume.”
The province has yet to hire anybody directly from a Linkedin profile, but Debbie Robbins, the Public Service Commission’s advertising and marketing coordinator, thinks that will change soon with the commission’s plans for outreach and advertisement using Linkedin.
“We have had lots of success with our traditional print ads and our website gets lots of traffic, but this is a popular job portal for folks looking for positions,” said Robbins.
“Conversations like those that happen at career fairs are happening everyday on Linkedin and are giving you that opportunity to meet, interact and network with potential employers or candidates.”