The Power of Pinterest

For years now employers big and small have turned to LinkedIn and Facebook to check out and even source prospective employees. 91% of employers already used some form of social media – LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter) in recruiting. Now employers have turned to Pinterest, the fastest-growing stand-alone social media site, reaching more than 10 million unique viewers per month in a relatively short time, according to web tracking and analysis sources.

Simply put, Pinterest is a site where users can create their own unique scrapbook-like boards and “pin” pictures and captions from other sources on the web and upload photos. The site is also highly viral, as users “re-pin” images they like from other users’ boards.

Prior to the Internet, ones interests listed at the bottom of a resume provided interview fodder and insights into a candidate’s passions and life outside of work. Pinterest can truly serve as a new age window into a candidate’s head, heart, and hobbies.

Here are five ways to use Pinterest to find your dream candidate:

1) Do the boards reflect sound professional judgment? Because public boards are viewable by anyone with Internet access, job-hunters boards filled with profanity, pornography, extreme political views and violence may tip you off to a candidate’s sense of propriety. Would you want important clients or donors seeing that content?

2) Although one can hardly generalize about social media behaviors, pinners who re-pin and like other people’s boards may be demonstrating a sense of community and teamwork.

3) Do the boards align with what a candidate tells you and what your position requires? For example, if you are in a field that requires creativity, are pins varied, creative, unique and aesthetically pleasing? Look for boards that show a genuine interest in your industry or category or interests that would make them a good “fit” with your company’s culture. One can even use the Search function to find candidates who are interested in your industry.

4) Unless you are hiring for a social media marketing position or run a scrapbooking business, be wary of candidates who seem to be spending hours on end pinning and re-pinning or filling hundreds of boards with wedding plans, puppies, crafts projects, muscle cars, and favorite liquor brands (unless, of course, that happens to relate to your business)! Of course, everyone is entitled to a personal life and outside interests. But like any social media, Pinterest can be highly addictive. Businesses usually need candidates who can function in the “real world” as well as online.

5) Be on the lookout for “smart boards” – boards that contain favorite reading, non-profit interests, data-filled infographics and other tidbits that reflect some level of intellectual curiosity.  Be sure to read captions and board descriptions too.  They can provide great insight into writing skills.

Just as Wikipedia has been used for years as a source of knowledge, Pinterest will soon become a highly-visual and credible way to conduct research and uncover the next great team member for your organization!