Outplacement Opportunities in Online Identity Management

January 25, 2010
The "war for talent" has certainly tipped its scales in recent years, to the chagrin of jobseekers. Candidates must now make themselves more impressive both in ability and display, while embracing the technological paradigm shifts that permeate their job search process. That said, the in today's tight market are those that not only meet jobseeker demands, but shape those demands so that they keep up with technological trends. In particular, the growing role of social media in recruitment presents an opportunity for jobseekers to promote themselves online – an opportunity that outplacement providers should take heed of.

Over recent years, recruiters have increasingly evaluated and second-guessed candidates based on their "online footprints". According to a Q4 2008 CareerBuilder.com survey of over 31,000 employers, (compared with 11% in 2006), with an additional 9% indicating that they planned to do so. According to Dr. John Sullivan, a renowned HR leader, savvy employers today not only use social media to pre-screen candidates, but also to identify innovators.

Most candidates seem hesitant to embrace social media in their search –preferring to relegate social networking to the realm of the personal and not professional. The Pew 2009 Research Center survey estimates that 35% of adult internet users (aged 18-65) have at least one. Out of these social network users, however, only 6% have LinkedIn accounts, compared with 50% who have89% of adults on social networks use their accounts to keep up with friends, while only 28% use them to promote themselves professionally and make business contacts. Likewise, a study by Harvey Nash, a global professional recruitment consultancy, revealed that while 92% of online 18-24 year-olds are registered on a social networking site, only 12% actually use these sites to find job leads.

The discrepancy between employers’ use of social media sites for recruitment and candidates’ use of them for job search pinpoints a key opportunity for firms to provide cutting edge outplacement services geared toward online identity management. The new focus of such services is not simply to fulfill the stated needs of clients, but to educate clients and encourage them to grasp the latest success-breeding trends. Today, the degree and quality of online presence is paramount for standing out among fellow candidates. An Outplacement emphasis on online identity management can help clients craft their online presence to optimize on the following:

Visibility

As popular social media sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter can propel candidates to the top of Google Search listings, having multiple profiles helps candidates maximize the breadth of their online presence to employers. As social networking is still primarily an activity for young adults – the Pew report indicates that 75% of wired 18-24 year olds and 57% of 25-34 year olds have at least one social networking profile – maximizing online visibility can also give older adult candidates an image of youth and innovation.

Quality

Once candidates establish sufficient presence, they benefit greatly from online reputation maintenance, which ensures that only their most desirable professional content is searchable online. After crafting their resumes to perfection, they must display the essentials in each profile and keep visible information consistent across all of them. This means frequent resume updating and the need for a centralized mechanism to do so.

Customizability

Many candidates find themselves jointly applying for a coveted permanent position and a temporary placement for which they are overqualified. These candidates need to be able to tailor their professional information to different employer audiences. It is not enough to simply be visible; they must successfully maintain separate layers of visibility. In this way, they are able to define the “optimal profile” for each job opportunity on a case-by-case basis.

If employees in transition must innovate in response to Web 2.0’s social media paradigm, then outplacement providers should follow suit. Every increase in job seekers’ competitive edge translates into increased competitive edge in the outplacement market. Those providers who grasp the opportunity to catalyze a job search networking paradigm in the near future – are positioned to come out ahead.

EmploymentTalk™ is the leading online career transition solution provided by Insala. Since 2000, this comprehensive technology solution has been used by outplacement and career management firms all over the world to augment their service delivery, increase administrative effciency, and enhance their clients’ career transition experience.

How can EmploymentTalk™ help?

Do you have an Online Identity Management strategy for your clients? EmploymentTalk™ can help.
  • Bio Pages - Allow your clients to build a professional Online Bio Page

  • Google Optimized - Client Bio Pages can be found on Google

  • Privacy Controls - Clients can restrict their bio information to different networks

  • LinkedIn - Integration with LinkedIn, making virtual networking faster and easier

  • Advice - Everything you need to know on creating, building and managing your clients brand online

Visit www.employmenttalk.com to learn more.

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