I was absolutely blown away by this article on Fast Company that talks about the social media skills gap. Here’s a quote from it:
Ninety percent of all jobs in the next year will require information and communication technology skills, according to research by Capgemini. Yet more than half the companies polled lacked social media skills. That’s despite a McKinsey report that projects social media adding up to $1.3 trillion to our economy. No wonder the gap is poised to create a war for talent that quietly rivals the battle playing out amid the startups of Silicon Valley.
The article then digs into why it’s not enough to just hire a millennial in order to solve your social media needs. That’s an important topic and the article is correct. Millennials have been massive users of social media, but the way they used social media personally is very different than how you use social media as a business. Maintaining your connections to friends on social media is very different than using social media to improve your business or the image of your company.
In fact, for many millennials, their social media presence can be as much of a hindrance as it is a help. Employers and recruiters are absolutely checking your social media profile before they decide whether to hire you or not. You can learn a lot about an individual by looking at their social media profile.
While most people like to focus on the negative impact of social media on your potential career, it can also be a tremendous positive. Even if you’re not applying for a social media position, professionals across every organization are often tasked with some sort of participation in social media. If your social media profile shows that you know how to navigate it in a professional way, then that’s definitely a plus for any hiring manager.
The demand for employees who know how to use and leverage social media is not going to stop. Certainly there will be more and more jobs for people to just do social media, but we’re also going to see organizations who want to hire you for your social media presence as well.
This isn’t a new concept. Since the beginning of business, people were hired for their network and connections. Now employers just have a way to literally see and evaluate your network of connections and how you interact with them by looking at your social media profile. What will organizations find about you when they do a search?