Last week at the Guildford Link-up event (hosted by Only Marketing Jobs) we heard a very thought provoking talk by Thomas Power (@thomaspower) on the world of social media and how our activity on social media sites can influence the way in which we are perceived; as people, as subject matter experts (the list goes on and on) but also (in an area that I hadn’t considered) how we are viewed/valued as current and potential employees.
During his talk Thomas spoke about a wide number of social media sites but focused in particular on Google + and Klout (a tool that measures a persons influence by mining data from activity on social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin). As well as measuring activity is monitors engagement with others and assigns and influence score.
As an active user of most forms of social media (I’m happy to try almost anything once); I must admit that I have been a fairly late adopter of Google +, and even later in registering for a Klout account. When I first joined Klout I was quite shocked that I seemed to have (what seemed to me) quite a high Klout score (I think I started at 43).
During his talk Thomas mentioned that having an account on all of the key social media sites is becoming more and more important as it allows people to get a rounded view of who you are (both on and offline). I was a little concerned to learn that a few companies (who shall remain nameless) in San Francisco will actively exclude job seekers who have a Klout score of under 50.
Well, on the surface this seemed to me to be a little hasty and perhaps even a little short-sighted (especially in the current climate) particularly as a large proportion of job roles do not necessarily require candidates to have an active presence on social media let alone require that a candidate be considered to influential or a subject matter expert.
I couldn’t help but wonder if there is potential for employers to miss out on some really great candidates when using social media influence as an initial filter for applicants.
I wanted to get a feel for how others felt about this, so during the meet-up I tweeted the following question:
“Should a score on Klout define your value as a potential employee?”
I was a little surprised (albeit pleasantly) that it appeared that my tweet had a bit of a domino effect and much debate and discussion followed.
Within only a few minutes I had received a number of re-tweets (of my initial question) and lots of responses (in many cases from people who didn’t directly follow me on Twitter). Thankfully it seemed that my initial reaction (one of quite considerable concern) was quickly reduced and nearly everyone who replied or re-tweeted gave me new insights or offered different perspectives that I hadn’t previously considered.
I have actually ended up with a few new followers as a result of that one tweet…..go figure!
I also learned that it is apparently very easy to fool or manipulate your score on tools like Klout; (check out this great blog post for more details). It appears that any significant activity (or in-activity) even over a very short period of time can have quite a drastic impact on your Klout score – it is really much more about engaging and interacting with people than it is about whether or not your content directly influences them.
The really funny irony of this situation is….
yes, you’ve guessed it….
my Klout score actually went UP!
For more information on this Guildford Link-up event; check out the post event write-up