Guest Post: Working Social
I’ve been the Sr. Social Media Recruiter for Social@Ogilvy going on three years and although it may not seem like a long time, it’s a lot longer than the lifespan of several people’s careers now a day. And I’m sure you’re extremely curious as to what my days consist of, after all before now the social media recruiter has been seen as a creature of mystery that avoids the daylight—but that’s not the case. If you prick me, I will bleed (after I tweet about it). If you stab me, I will need medical help (which I will receive after I update my Facebook status) and if you send me an unsolicited e-mail with your resume and ask me for career advice, the wicked voices inside want to respond with, “How should I know what you should do? How about you open up a nail salon in the San Fernando Valley?” And I’ll tell you why.
How it All Begins
I get into the office around 7:45 a.m. as I usually have around 8-10 jobs (at once) that I’m responsible for across North America and I try to maximize my time at work. After I make a little small talk with our receptionist, you’ll quickly find me on Facebook, creating a conversation around infographics, interviewing tips and new job posts. I then move on to Twitter, responding to questions on “how to break into social media” or give out details about my #Brand2Land workshop (a workshop I co-created to help job seekers find their personal brand to land the job they deserve). And when I finally make it off Twitter and Facebook, I’ll be on LinkedIn stirring things up with questions like, “What’s the #1 question that trips you up when interviewing?” And just when I think my social media tasks are complete, I get a response from someone answering my question or making a comment, so of course I’m compelled to reply—after all, social is about two-way communication, right?
How I Interview
When I look at the time, it’s already 9:30 am and that means it’s time for my first appointment. I schedule my telephone interviews early because research shows that people’s prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain responsible for good judgment and decision-making, is functioning at its optimal level in the morning. (By the end of the day, you’re so exhausted from using good judgment and making good decisions that your brain is fried, making you say something inappropriate or talk yourself out of a job) My calls are usually 30 minutes each, which means that by 12noon, I’ve already completed five interviews. And by then, I’ve received more comments, tweets, likes, and possible new invites to connect on LinkedIn. But before I respond to any of those things, I have to decide which people to send forward to hiring managers and that’s a tough decision. Depending on the role and the team I’m hiring for, I have to delicately weigh a few things: personality (are they a leader?), background (do they “know” social?), do they fit into our company culture (are they curious enough, will they groove here?) and is this the next step in their career?
I’ll do a summary or “write up” on the person I interviewed and send them along, waiting for feedback. Usually I get it within an hour or two, but sometimes, I have to hunt and chase it down like a caveman after his dinner. By this time, my tummy starts to growl and I see it’s 2pm. I run down to grab a salad (since I’m doing Shaun T’s #Insanity workout, I now eat like a ballerina). As I’m munching down on spinach leaves and one or two dried cranberries, I respond to my tweets, Facebook comments and accept LinkedIn connecting invites. Then it happens, slowly, but surely, I’ll get the feedback from the hiring manager in Los Angeles, then comes Chicago, and Atlanta usually follows with New York, well, let’s just say I have to wait a little longer for New York. They all want to move forward, they really liked the candidate and want to meet them in person or schedule a Skype video chat with them. I immediately give the candidate the good news and coordinate schedules. “Oh, you can only Skype after 5pm (CST)? Well, keep the time difference in mind because you’re applying for a job in Dearborn Michigan but you’re interview is with someone in the Atlanta office who oversees the account.” I somehow feel I’ve gone from recruiter to travel agent, minus the headpiece and bouffant hairdo. Once I’ve done this with all the candidates, it’s already 3:30 pm. I haven’t sourced for my other roles.
Sourcing Candidates on LinkedIn
As I start sourcing candidates on LinkedIn, I get a call from a recruiter in D.C. panicked about an issue with our applicant tracking system (ATS). Oh, did I forget to mention I also have the pleasure of being the co-admin on the global applicant tracking system which means any problems (globally) come straight to me—and usually I get around four calls a week about it. I talk the recruiter off the edge, it’s now 4pm and I’m behind in my workflow so I take my laptop to a quiet corner on the 3rd floor, jump on LinkedIn and source. This means doing some heavy-duty research on who’s currently a social media crisis manager, a social media strategist experienced with CPG or in the automotive field, oh, I almost forgot my search for a social media intelligence VP, so I added that one in at the end.
I have to read in between the lines because people’s profiles are not recruiter-friendly; instead, they lack a person’s experience, or their expertise, which means more work for me as I’m now playing detective. I look over to the side and click my iPhone alive as it flashes 5:45 p.m. at me. As I take a quick breath, knowing I won’t be done by 6:30 after all, my inbox has blown up: it’s two candidates changing their interview times, it’s three hiring managers changing their interview times, there’s one from the Social@Ogilvy community manager asking me for another blog post on social media and recruiting, a few random e-mails about the ATS system, and there it is…an unsolicited email from someone I don’t know asking me for advice on their social media career. They haven’t wished me a good day or even commented on my hair (which is the best way to make a good impression with me) but instead jump right in on how I “need” to review their resume and get back to them when I have figured out what role they’re a good fit for in the company.
As I scan the email for a polite vibe or even a friendly tone, I come up empty. The voice in my head thinks, “Tell this one to open up a Block Buster in Bermuda and give up their hopes of a career in social media.” The reason I can’t give blanket advice, I don’t know what they’re looking for. I don’t know what salary range they’re at. I’m open to call, but I can’t wave a magic recruiter wand and instantly send you personal career tips. That’s what my Career Tumblr site is for. Instead, I reply with this:
Thanks for reaching out. Please visit our career website and create a profile. Once you have, I suggest conducting a keyword search to see what roles you’re a match for. If you find that you’re a good fit for a specific role, please apply and if there’s a talent match, I will be in touch.
I hit send, and then check twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn and finally shut my computer down. I leave the building feeling accomplished knowing I had a great day. As I walk to catch the Brooklyn-bound Q train, I get a LinkedIn notification on my phone and I decide to ignore it, after all it’s already 7:15pm and I figure I’ll just respond tomorrow morning, when I get in at 7:45am.
Author Bio: Nando Rodriguez is Senior Social Media Recruiter for Social@Ogilvy, a division of Ogilvy Public Relations in New York. He's a firm believer in three things: social media opens doors, that you should always tell the truth (regardless of your history), and the power of good hair. He's a pop-culture fanatic, and specializes in connecting the social-savvy segment of the population with opportunities at massive scales. Connect with him on LinkedIn.