Although social media is changing the recruitment process, the curriculum vitae is evolving rather than dying out.

Go back a few years and the occasional use of colored type was about as racy and outlandish as a CV got. Now we have any number of interactive permutations from links to achievements and projects worked on, through to full promotional web clips posted on YouTube.

Social media has taken self-promotion to the next level. In addition to Facebook and Twitter, there’s the dedicated professional networking site LinkedIn, which now has 150 million members globally, and more than 4 million in Australia. An increase of 1 million members in just 12 months explains just how prevalent the use of LinkedIn is becoming among professional talent pools. Social media makes professional credentials available to would-be employers, who in turn are using the media to promote their organisations and post opportunities.

This is more than just being creative with the technology at hand. The ‘about you’ fields for social media are paving the way for a ‘universal CV’, which provides an easily comparable electronic format to screen candidates. LinkedIn’s ‘measuring stick’ gives jobseekers a rating on how they come across. Any number of blogs and apps are available to help people develop their ‘personal brands’.

Yet, how genuinely revolutionary is this form of matching and recruitment? Even though credentials are being conveyed in slightly different ways, qualifications, experience and the ability to fit in as demonstrated by personal interests are still the key measures of whether a candidate will be interviewed. As we examine in chapter 4, how a candidate and you as an employer come across at interview are still the critical determinants for selection and can never be digitised.

What is perhaps more of a departure is the way social media allows employers to search for recruits that may not be actively seeking a new job, but whose profile matches their requirements and then contact them for a possible interview. It’s now increasingly common for employers to go further by creating a role that’s built around the profile and goals of what they see as a valuable addition to the team. This may have been possible through word-of-mouth and personal connections before, but now there are millions to choose from in this so-called ‘passive recruitment’ process.

Most HR professionals are looking at how to engage in an evolving recruitment process if they’ve not already. However, this is only one channel of many. Millions of able potential recruits are yet to tweet or post their profiles on social media. You will still have to look at how to reach out to them as part of a multi-channel recruitment strategy.