No interest in Pinterest?

Should the LIS profession, in particular recruiters and job seekers, be taking Pinterest seriously?

The growth of Pinterest

Between September 2011 and December 2011 traffic to Pinterest increased more than fourfold.  It's already driving more traffic than Google+, YouTube and LinkedIn combined, according to a Shareaholic study.

So what is Pinterest and how does it work?

Essentially Pinterest is a virtual pinboard or digital scrapbook.   You can create a number of online boards which reflect your interests or tastes.  This could be a collection of favourite travel destinations or must-read books.  A 'Pin' button is installed on your bookmark bar allowing you to 'pin' individual images to your boards.  When clicked, the images will link back to the site(s) on which they were originally published.        

There is a community feel on Pinterest.  Users can interact with your pins, post comments and 'repin' to their own boards, sharing with their 'followers'.  Members can link their Facebook and Twitter accounts, enabling additional SEO.

But is there more to Pinterest than collecting images for your dream vintage wedding, or cool, white Ibiza themed home?

Managing your online presence

As with all social networking, it is important to be conscious of the online presence you are sharing.  Not so long ago candidates and recruiters were wary of using Facebook as a social recruitment tool yet now it is an accepted method of promoting organisations as well as researching applicants.  Perhaps Pinterest can offer new ways to search for vacancies or to tap into a new pool of candidates, at virtually little or no cost.

Pinterest for job seekers

For savvy candidates, in an ever competitive market place, Pinterest offers a new way of getting noticed by potential employers.  Job-seekers can create a themed 'career board', and display items that relate to their own personal career experience. In addition to a copy of their CV, this may also include examples of their work, links to published articles, online presentations, appropriate training and other examples that promote their work experience. Candidates can make a visual impression on employers and improve their chances of being noticed - or even hired.

There are some amazing design led infographic CVs starting to emerge as well as some interesting infographic pins and boards relating to libraries and knowledge management.

Pinterest for employers

It is essential to choose the platform that suits your recruitment strategy. Pinterest can be utilised to strengthen a brand, as well as sell a company's culture and environment through the use of images and videos.  It's also great for SEO.

There is already functionality for innovative employers to set up 'Jobs' and ‘Recruitment Boards'.  Recruiters can pin pictures and information about their company and job openings using photos and graphics, including links or information contained within the image as well as the pin description.  For example a company looking to promote its core value of environmental sustainability may create additional boards focused on its green initiatives or healthy living. Looking for Team Players or Networkers then create boards with images of recent company events or meetings. A unique way to engage with Job Seekers outside of the traditional and often 'dry' Job Description and Person Spec.    

Employers can also gain a better insight into potential candidates, learning about their interests outside of the workplace.  Additionally, you can find other people with similar interests who are following these pins - a potentially wider talent pool to tap into.

A visual platform

Of course Pinterest is an image-centric platform and as such I expect the majority of new recruitment users will initially be creative, design and media market led. It will be interesting to see if other industries, including the knowledge and information management industry, can find ways to tap into its potential.    

Keri Gray has been recruiting to the information management industry for the past twelve years and is currently a Business Development Consultant for Sue Hill Recruitment.  She is a keen Blogger and newly addicted to Pinterest.

Image courtest of MRBECK via Flickr.