It was really by chance I met Jennifer Spencer, President of The Spencer Group. We happen to get in the same long buffet line at the same time. Both being naturally gregarious people we exchanged the natural pleasantries of “So what is it that you do?” I was immediately intrigued when she told me she was a recruiter focused on advertising and marketing positions. For the past 11 years she has owned her own firm and has staffed hundreds of positions. She was one of the featured panelists at the KC Freelance Exchange luncheon I was attending. After hearing Jennifer’s insights on networking and social media I knew she was someone I wanted to sit down with one on one and pick her brain.
So I took one of her pieces of advice from the luncheon panel and sent her a connection request through LinkedIn. She kindly a replied and agreed to coffee and an interview for our readers here at Savvy B2B.
Me: Are jobs related to social media all the rage?
Jennifer: Most large agencies are creating positions such as Director of Emerging Technologies and those roles definitely require fluency in social media applications but a solid background in traditional marketing is still needed.
Me: Do you see a shift in desired skills as Twitter, Facebook, etc become more business oriented?
Jennifer: There are definitely twenty-something’s coming out of school with degrees in areas like emerging technologies and interactive technologies that weren’t even offered a few years ago. That gives them some advantages but they still lack the experience of actually delivering results in the real world.
Me: When you work with candidates, is a strong online personality and a large social media presence seen as a positive or negative by employers?
Jennifer: The key to successful social networking is to create a persona or personality on line that people find interesting. Make your posts personal but also relevant and informative. Something like “It is a beautiful day here in KC and I am researching candidates for a creative director position”. I got a tweet yesterday from a candidate who had been referred to me by someone I had never met but she was following me on Twitter.
Me: But don’t you think some people’s Facebook pages could be perceived in negative light by a future employer?
Jennifer: With the next generation blending of social and professional is going to happen. Now that Facebook allows company pages with their latest release they are targeting the current LinkedIn crowd.
Me: It just seems unusual to me because I came from the era where you didn’t reveal much about your personal life at the interview or before you had an offer. Now by googling my name a future employer can easily know my marital status and number of children I have. For me LinkedIn has just made more sense because it is more business connection focused.
Jennifer: LinkedIn is definitely a no brainer for freelancers. It is such a great way to get specific names of contacts at various companies. I use it all the time but I think Facebook is going to be that for the next generation coming out of school.
Me: Is there a downside to the social media craze, maybe not being social media savvy because I don’t think anyone would think that being knowledgeable is a bad thing?
Jennifer: I definitely think there is the potential for information overload and that large amount of information can stunt original thought. You want to make sure you still apply critical thinking when reading a lot of persuasive opinions.
You also have to set time limits, literally, or you will never get your work done! It just sucks you in.
Jennifer had so much more information to share that I couldn’t possibly get it all in this single blog post without relabeling it a book. So she has thankfully agreed to be a guest blogger for us here on Savvy B2B. We are looking forward to her voice and perspective. You can never have too many Savvy Sisters.