The online recruitment market has enjoyed a growth curve linked to the rise of the social web, as this is the perfect place to make connections and mingle with potential colleagues. One of the reasons why the huge social giants (like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter) have become such a roaring success is that they have opened up the doors to the inner workings of their website to independent developers so that they can program their own unique and handy features for users. Like so many other emerging hot trends, recruitment networks have really capitalised on this, providing some ingenious services to connect workers with jobs.
Most companies with a social presence now routinely tweet any vacancies they have, and a growing number of job seekers are heading to TwitJobSearch to find them. The website scours around 50 million tweets a day looking for vacancies that are being advertised. By drilling down to location and key word people can search for relevant jobs, with new posts popping up in real time. If you’re looking for staff, it’s worth listing your vacancies here, but you can also check for any freelance or contract work that may be available if that’s the kind of business you’re in.
Location search has been a game changer for many sectors, and recruitment is no exception. Smartphone apps let people look for work wherever they are standing – ideal for casual workers looking for part-time or temporary employment. WorkAround.me has a free iPhone app for job seekers to download and look for any work registered around them. If you own a shop or cafe and need some last-minute cover for a sick employee or a runaway promotion, you can jump onto the site and add your vacancy to the database, setting a start and finish date and an hourly rate, as well as details about the role. With no registration or payment required, the service will add your job to its mobile app, so that anyone searching close by can find you. It’s not as massively populated as somewhere like Twitter, but it’s still a fairly new platform and there is already a good crowd building. You may just strike it lucky if you advertise here; it won’t cost you anything, after all.
There are endless niche networks if you’re needs are more specific, like Gild, which attempts to “gamify” finding an advanced technical job. “Gamification” is a rather pretentious buzz-word that’s been adopted to mean making a task more fun. Developers gamify a process by presenting its elements as a challenge – in the case of Gild, they’ve made showing off your experience into a competitive game with a series of quizzes and programming challenges where only the most skilled candidates will score highly. This would be an excellent place to find a web developer who genuinely knows how to code, for example, as he will have had to prove it in order to rank well on the site.
If you’re hiring a lot of new people you should probably think about drafting in some virtual help to keep track of the applications. Simplicant lets you keep track of all interesting candidates’ CVs in one place, linking to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to make networking with potential employees really easy. You can also connect with your existing contacts, seeking references and referrals as well as getting help with spreading the news about your jobs. If the service works for you, after 15 days, you’ll have to pay a monthly subscription starting at $40 to manage two open positions. Use jobs boards to scout for freelance and contract opportunities. If you see a job being advertised in your line of work, don’t be afraid to approach the company and suggest that they consider hiring you on a contract basis – you don’t have anything to lose, and if you convince them you will be first in line for the work.
This is an extract from Kate Russell’s new book, “Working the Cloud: The Ultimate guide to making the internet work for you and your business”. The book is available from Amazon both as paperback and Kindle Edition. Ms Russell is a freelance technology reporter, better known for her Webscape segment on BBC’s technology show, Click.