There are 4,813,400 jobs advertised in the U.S. right now (as of Sept. 30th), yet 12.1 million people looking for work (source: U.S. Department of Labor).
Some very smart people are working on this problem, including two I chatted with recently: LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner and California Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom. (Thanks, Joanna Rees for your cocktail party.) I encourage you to read up on their perspectives on unemployment.
I've got an additional angle on this: Every one of those 4.8 million job ads running right now is a potential social network ready to go viral to the 12.1 million people looking for work!
Let me explain.
Job openings (even those old newspaper help wanted ads) have always had a community surrounding them consisting of three different parties:
The Hiring Team -- The hiring team (the manager, human resources and other team members).
The Job Candidates -- Typically, many hundreds (sometimes thousands) of people need to hear about a job in order for the employer to find the right candidate. The candidates found these job ads in newspapers (beginning in the 1600's) and more recently on job boards like Craigslist and Monster.com.
The "Connectors" -- These are well-networked people who connect candidates and employers (many do it for free (they are just good people) and then many others are paid for it (these are called recruiters).
The 4.8 million job ads -- many of which reside on Craigslist, Monster.com and other job boards -- are largely static, hard to find an unattractive to share. That is all about to change due to five breakthrough trends:
1. Social Recruiting -- Increasingly, every job will have at least two social media components: a "social bar" that allows anyone to share the job through sites like Facebook, Twitter; and LinkedIn and connectability: a link between the job seeker and the employer's hiring team (i.e., the ability to see the people who can connect the job seeker to the hiring team).
2. Visual Recruiting -- More and more innovative companies are hiring through the use of video and pictures.
Fast-growing Retargeter.com uses a video for each of its hires, such as this designer role in San Francisco in which candidates candidates get to see the hiring manager and other team members (including the CEO) discuss the role.
Jobs with videos and pictures are more likely to be shared across social network portals, including (in the case of videos) YouTube and its 490 million users.
3. Job Newsfeeds -- Generation Y and future professionals interact differently than the rest of us. They post short bursts of text through text messaging, instant messaging, Facebook status updates, and tweets. Facebook has made these famous as "newsfeeds" and Twitter calls them "streams."
Just like there is a comment/newsfeed area for every news story on HuffPo, football game on ESPN, and birthday of a friend of yours on Facebook, so too will there be a newsfeed around every job -- and every comment/update in the newsfeed will of course be shareable across social networks.
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