It’s Friday night. You are home alone, surfing the internet and trying to find that perfect match you know must be out there. No, you’re not looking for a date, instead you’re combing through hundreds of job listings trying to find the one that will launch you into the career of your dreams. The job search process is often stressful and confusing, and advice on the subject can be contradictory and antiquated. However, there are many ways that technology is working to ease this process and improve your chances of landing your ideal gig, making the online dating metaphor a rather apt way of describing how both employers and prospective employees stand to benefit from its assistance.
At the heart of the relationship between employer and employee is the simple act of exchange, where an employee’s skills, experience and expertise are equated to a value expressed by money. However, finding the right fit is never as easy as solving a basic math equation. Rather, it is a more complex formula that abides by a certain set of rules just like any other form of human social interaction – friendship, mentorship, and yes, even dating. At the root, employers and employees are trying to find their ideal match, and the key to this is establishing a dialogue based on mutual respect and understanding in order to ensure that at the end of the day everyone is getting what they want.
So what does this mean? Simply put the best approach is to be yourself. Employers are not only looking for someone to fill a certain role, but also someone who will be a good fit within their company culture. But outside of firsthand exposure, how is anyone ever going to really know? Thankfully, social media platforms such as Facebook and Google+ have stepped in to fill this void, allowing both parties to get to know one another’s online personalities first.
By correctly tailoring their digital presence, an employer can attract candidates who understand the way a company communicates and can perhaps even begin to see themselves as a member of staff. At the same time, employees with thoughtfully constructed online identities can present themselves as attractive candidates to would-be employers, increasing their chances for a face-to-face interview. Like dating, it is about identifying with someone on a personal level, something that can’t always be clearly communicated in a resume or company ‘About’ page.
One such matchmaking service is Bright, which has released a new Friends With Opportunities feature that uses Facebook to connect job seekers to openings at companies where their friends already work. Built on the premise that most hiring takes place as an extension of social connections, Friends With Opportunities transforms Facebook – a platform not originally designed with the job market in mind – into a tool to better connect employers to like-minded employees. Over 98,000 people searching for work use this feature to focus more clearly on companies that fit their personality.
While this is just one example of this concept put into practice, it represents a clear trend towards social media playing a much larger role in the hiring process. Looking forward, the job marketplace will continue to evolve beyond online classifieds and text-based resumes. Rather, the process will incorporate a wide variety of personal data, shaped and analyzed by algorithms to help find the perfect match between employer and employee.
Stay tuned for the next Future of Work sneak peak as we will be revealing highlights from the full report throughout the month. Catch all the trends, futuristic concepts and expert interviews that you’ve missed here or buy the entire report. Join the conversation and share your visions and ideas for the future of work with the #FoW on twitter.