The Voyeur, the Hermit and the Social Sales Star: How to Use Social to Recruit Winners

SeanBurke
Sean Burke Chief Revenue Officer, KiteDesk

Posted on April 29th 2014

The Voyeur, the Hermit and the Social Sales Star: How to Use Social to Recruit Winners

ImageImagine a scenario in which two sales reps are competing for the same job opportunity. The first candidate has years of sales experience but lacks any social graph. She was “too busy” to deal with social networking or cultivate a following. The second candidate, although less experienced, has built a large, engaged following on Twitter and Google+. He regularly puts out content that is valued by his customers and is considered to be a thought leader in his industry. Which candidate do you think the company will want to hire?

For me, the answer is obvious. The candidate who has taken the time to build a community is better equipped to tap into his network’s collective intelligence and influence prospective buyers online.

In no space is that more relevant than in sales recruitment, where talent acquisition is now a zero sum game. Hiring managers use social as one of the first steps in the process – at KiteDesk, it’s in many ways first and last, as it’s the key to our recruitment process.

The dilemma is, to those in the job market, how are future bosses and sales executives using social to ascertain whom to hire? That’s the million dollar question to internet citizens looking to score a dream gig, and recruiters looking to accurately use social to find stellar employees.

How Sales Hiring Managers are Dissecting Social Profiles

Merging the elements of personal and professional lives in the social stratosphere is no easy task. Many workforce participants struggle over whether or not to include things like party pictures, wedding photos, and other off-duty casual shots, worried they might contrast with the desired professional image.

I have always felt such things don’t negatively impact a prospect’s chances at being hired, and that managers should embrace all facets of an individual’s personality. What I suggest top sales hiring managers look for includes the following:

  • Length of tenure

  • Number of overall contacts and connections

  • Value of contacts for potential contracts and networks

  • Recommendations from colleagues

Experience and knowledge of the position is obviously also key, but so is a clear representation of balanced interests. In other words, profiles that are one-dimensional are far less appealing than those that show a well-rounded person.

Life, in Pictures

Photos are often the biggest conundrum. One of the biggest mistakes people make is not having photos at all. Make sure to place recent and accurate photos of yourself on your profile, but avoid some of the common pitfalls.

No group shots and no high school poses either; these are deal breakers. With every photo viewed of a prospective employee, I suggest managers ask a single question: “Would I do business with this person?” It’s a yes if the picture depicts a happy and casual scene. It’s a no if there’s lewd behavior, recklessness, and various other unsavory traits on display.

Other Top Profile Tips

I also like to emphasize the importance of staying current with social data. Please don’t put your high school on there for a mid-level job and above. If you’re still touting older accomplishments, managers can often assume you haven’t achieved much in recent years.

In the social sphere, it’s also common knowledge that most of us don’t achieve greatness by going it alone. Be mindful of the number of I’s versus We’s in your accomplishments. In other words, resist the need to be narcissistic in your expressions, and give credit where credit is due. I also like to caution that managers be weary of hiring a very me-focused social profiler.

By all means, don’t forget to be interesting! Express in detail what you want in a career; wishy-washy candidates are rarely appealing. At KiteDesk, we dismiss profiles that are inconsistent with what we are looking for. If you don’t dare to reveal what you’re looking for, you’ll be passed up completely.

How Managers Can Identify Social Sales Stars

Curious what hiring managers should really pay attention to on social profiles? Here are some top attributes:

  • 500+ connections

  • Active and current posts across various networks

  • Similar connections (to the company / industry the applicant is applying for)

  • Obvious willingness to engage, and ability to get others to engage

Here’s another key tip: don’t forget to follow and engage with the social presence of all companies you apply with. It’s this kind of initiative that separates the mediocre recruits from the full-on must-haves.

The Most Prominent Gaps in Social Profiles

I see a lot of rookie mistakes in the social presence of many of our applicants. Here are the most common gaps that you should avoid:

  • No professional, polished photos

  • Profiles that are too me, me, me centric

  • Profiles that don’t tell a story – too flat or generic

  • A lack of client recommendations

  • Interests that don’t match the position or industry the recruit has applied for

  • Profiles that are either too aggressive about employment, or too passive

As a manager, how have you learned to use the social space to segment the hires from the no-hires? And as a prospective employee, what are your core questions about how to create balance in your social presence?

SeanBurke

Sean Burke

Chief Revenue Officer, KiteDesk

Sean is a seasoned sales and marketing executive who’s quickly gaining recognition as a social sales pioneer. His belief that companies should be able to measure and cultivate the reach, efficacy and impact of all social connections has caught the attention of Forbes as well as dozens of Fortune 1000 sales organizations. Sean is also a serial entrepreneur and founding member of 9 technology companies.

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