I love following Jeremiah Owyang’s blog. He is very creative for starting a “People on the move in the social media industry” series of posts. In Jeremiah’s last post, I saw a really good note about someone getting a job by using Twitter and jumped on it. I haven’t heard too many stories of people getting a job through Twitter. I emailed Chris immediately and he sent me his story, which is well written. He also asked if I wanted commentary from his new boss and the woman who recruited him on Twitter. So below is a compilation of everything. Just about anyone can learn something from this. From my perspective, I would enjoy a world where you didn’t have to submit to job boards, where you could bypass hierarchies and speak directly to the applicant/recruiter.
Chris Kieff, Director of Marketing, Ripple6, Inc.
I’ve changed jobs from being an independent consultant to becoming the new Director of Marketing with Ripple6, www.Ripple6.com. One of the interesting things about this is that I found my job on Twitter. I’m doing an interview with John Lawlor today on his Blog Talk Radio show about how that happened. It’s at noon eastern today but you can download and listen anytime http://snipr.com/btr-smc-12.
I spent several months looking for work after losing my job in January 2008. I went the usual route of job sites and resumes, etc. And I started writing my blog, www.1GoodReason.com, which gained me some exposure. The blog is the thing that gained me the best attention and consideration. At the same time I worked hard on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Doing everything everyone advises you do to, I was twittering, friending and linking; answering questions etc.
I went on numerous interviews and found 4 different companies that all wanted to hire me for a new position as a “Social Media” person. And each of the 4 companies, when the rubber met the road ran into a hiring freeze. Now maybe this is the new age lie in the current economy but since they were hiring very visible people in the Social Media space it is pretty easy to tell that they are or are not hiring, and they haven’t yet.
So as the last job fell through, and that prospect decided to freeze their hiring and asked me to possibly consult with them, I sent a “Tweet” on twitter, something like this “New Job just fell through, but got a new client“. One of the 1000+ followers I had collected over the past 6 months responded to me with something like, “Hey we’re looking for a social media marketing guy, you interested?”
We started a conversation that lead to a job as the Director of Marketing. Here’s the kicker, I had applied to the job, by sending an email to a job posting they had made a few weeks before. So my resume didn’t make it through the screening process, but my Twitter had gotten through the noise and into the short list. 🙂
Katie Bessiere, Director Client Services & Strategy, Ripple6, Inc.
Note: Katie found Chris on Twitter after he tweeted. She was already one of his followers!
I’ve used twitter for advertising open job positions multiple times now, and have found some excellent candidates that way. The message reaches the right people through twitter primarily because it uses my own social network ties to spread the word. I may be broadcasting to a smaller set of people, but they are a more valuable and more relevant set. I was actively monitoring twitter for job candidates when Chris sent his tweet out since I myself had sent several out about open positions in that same time period.
Twitter is certainly not the only effective social media outlet for finding people by any means; I’ve had success with others as well (Facebook and Linkedin, for example). The central tenet of all of these is the same though: using your own network to spread a message. Research has shown that weak ties are the most valuable source of informational and instrumental social support, so it should surprise no one that the phenomenon would repeat itself online or that the candidates found in this manner would be equally if not more qualified for the job.
Rich Ullman, SVP, Marketing, Ripple6, Inc.
Note: Rich is Chris’s new boss!
At first I thought it was ironic to find Chris this way, but it was quite appropriate. For weeks, if not months, I had ruled out candidates with impressive backgrounds and experience because they had less than a dozen connections on LinkedIn. That wasn’t a measure of their talent, but of their ability to adapt, adopt, and understand the medium and what Ripple6 does.
By coming to us from the ground up, it was one clear sign (but not the only one) that he knew how social technologies work, empower and change people. For our niche of the industry, that’s imperative today. And for others, it’s not that far off.