Monday, 19 April 2021 11:55 GMT

UAE- Inactive on social media? It now comes at the risk of unemployment

(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) An online rant about extremist ideologies or simply posting images of a wild weekend night out on social media might make you feel good. But sharing too much of it online could raise a flag if a potential employer is looking at your profile. And sharing too less could also mean that you are being overlooked for a job.

Human resource departments in leading UAE-based and international companies with offices in the UAE are leveraging social media to tap into prospective recruits. 'Social recruiting' uses social media platforms such as LinkedIn and Twitter to advertise jobs, find talent, and communicate with potential candidates about company culture.

However, job seekers in the UAE say that even though LinkedIn is a great place to look for jobs, people also need to proactively follow-up with applications to 'close the deal' or 'land the job'.

'Catch them young and watch them grow'

In an earlier interview with Khaleej Times, Pavan Bhatia, senior vice-president, human resources and chief human resources officer, PepsiCo Amena revealed that over 85-95 per cent of PepsiCo.'s global recruitment has been taking place over social media. The company is ranked on the LinkedIn Top Companies list with 1.6 million followers on LinkedIn and 244k likes on Facebook.

The food and drinks company also has a separate job posting page on Facebook called 'PepsiCo JOBS', with 127k likes, providing information and analysis on company culture. Bhatia said, "We are constantly leveraging social media for prospective employees. In fact, we have a pipeline mechanism, especially for younger profiles, where we keep an eye out for prospective employees and watch their career progress. Once we have a position suitable for said candidate, we hire them."

He added, "Young people are doing a spectacular job of being clued in today. There are more global citizens." Apart from global companies, regional companies such as GEMS Education are not too far behind on social recruitment. GEMS Education is the largest employer of British and Indian teachers outside of these countries and the company has a total staff strength of over 18,000 employees.

A spokesperson for the company said, "We post all our vacancies on our company website. LinkedIn is an important tool for many of our corporate managerial/leadership positions."

"Furthermore, for teacher recruitment, we advertise in special education publications and websites, which account for over 60 percent of our teacher applications. Additionally, search engine optimisation is a useful tool," added the spokesperson.

Transparent process

Meanwhile a spokesperson at LinkedIn confirmed that the job section of the professional network has grown exponentially over the last couple of years. Ali Matar, Head of LinkedIn Talent Solutions, Emerging Markets, Middle East and North Africa. He revealed that the most number of opportunities in the region are in the telecommunications, airlines and oil and gas sectors. He added, "Since the data is driven and verified by other members in the network, it is hard for people to fabricate information in their profiles, or company pages making the recruitment process transparent." Endorsements and recommendation in LinkedIn play a major role in validating a company or profile.

For companies such as Cannon Middle East, social media helps them target both interested and uninterested prospective employees. Veronica Juul-Nyholm, Human Resources Director of Canon Middle East said, "Approaching them directly via in emails or headhunting them in an attempt to sway high potential candidates with strong social profiles to join Canon is much more cost and time effective than traditional recruitment methods."

She added, "Noting that recruitment agencies will have a target number for candidates to push forward for a particular position with their screening steps on top of our interviewing and screening process it becomes extremely tedious for all parties involved this excludes the element of cost."

E-mails are passive; follow with phone call: Jobseekers DUBAI - In a highly competitive and challenging job market, it has become increasingly difficult for job seekers to land their dream job. However, a really stand-out social media profile can definitely cut you above the competition.

Take 26-year-old Anete Thomas for example. A content writer with a leading private transportation network, Anete landed his job over LinkedIn. He says that this is the second time LinkedIn has helped, and advised people to be kind and gentle while looking for jobs, as sometimes people tend to be pushy and have huge expectations.

"Job seekers need to use keywords while searching for the role that you're looking for. Be persistent in following up with your point of contact. From my experience, being in touch through phone had a better response rate than through email. Emails are passive, so people don't bother to reply.

Meanwhile, Jijo Varghese Mathew, a Mechanical Engineer and job seeker with two years' experience in Kuwait said that his speciality of work has very little job posting on social sites. "I'm in Dubai on a visit visa, and I intend to update my education and come back again. The issue with LinkedIn is that if you don't have good connections, it is harder to network, or find jobs."

Ali Matar stated that job seekers need to use LinkedIn as a platform to connect, engage, and learn from like-minded individuals. "Irrespective of whether you're looking for a job or not, you should be mindful about how you conduct yourself on LinkedIn," he said.


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