CHENNAI: Your interactions on Facebook, your skills on Twitter and the information on you out in the digital domain is becoming as important as your degree certificate when it comes to landing that job you always wanted. According to National Association of Software Service Companies (NASSCOM) officials, as the skill sets looked for by IT companies in their recruits branch out into such intangibles as influencing skills and emotional intelligence, social media is beginning to play a vital role in IT recruitment.
Speaking at the annual HR summit held by NASSCOM here, the apex body’s officials said that the ‘war for talent’ is seeing a marked shift toward the digital. Accompanying the shift is a crucial trend being witnessed in the role that social media has begun to play in hiring — especially because the shift in skill sets being looked for has meant that a lot of companies are set to hire laterally.
“This might not be true for freshers, but for most 3 year+ experience hires, social media is a very important tool and avenue for company recruitment,” said Sangeeta Gupta, Senior Vice President, NASSCOM. Because while the level of engagement on social media is high and the avenue is attractive because it is cost effective to companies, social media is also being used to find the right kind of people for the job. One of the uses listed for social media in the Annual HR survey that NASSCOM released on Thursday is one that should motivate any applicant to spruce up their profiles — background checks.
“Social media itself is having a profound impact on HR and how it is managed,” said R Chandrasekhar, president, NASSCOM. “Social Media in particular is being used for recruitment, background checks, alumni connect and so forth,” he added. And it is true, while social media recruitment in itself is not being tracked, the survey released by NASSCOM states that more than 44 per cent of its respondents say that their recruiting comes from social media and online job portals. “The first thing we do for every referral or prospective mid-level hire is to check them out on Facebook, Twitter etc. and the profiles do play a role in how we take it forward,” said Ashutosh Sen, a HR professional in a Chennai based IT company.
A main factor in why social media and your profiles on it are becoming so important in hiring is that as IT companies change the way they look at hires — a shift from “quantity to quality” as Chandrasekar puts it, the skills in demand also change. According to Chandrasekhar, entrepreneurship ability, emotional intelligence, influencer skills and your ability with social media itself are becoming some of the ‘hot’ skills. “It’s no longer about just having a degree certificate,” he said. Your profile on Facebook and the way you interact with people on it can give recruiters an initial insight into whether you have those skills or not. “Influencer ability for example, on how well you influence people, can be seen on how you do on these platforms,” said Gupta.
However, social media is merely a first stop that more and more recruiters are taking and by no means the only one under consideration. “These skills being looked for can change according to role and company. Soft skills become relevant the higher up the chain you go. However, these social media profiles are used as a kind of first stop referral for companies to check out their candidates and then, the information they gather is authenticated during the interview process,” said HR firm Randstad’s CEO Moorthy Uppaluri.