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Chester Job Applications Facebook

Is it ‘tinpot’ to advertise jobs on Facebook?

Chester Job Applications Facebook

Is it ‘tinpot’ to advertise jobs on Facebook?

Back in September, I wrote about an unusual online ripple that had been created amid Chester FC’s search for a new manager. Such is the way at Chester that just seven months on, the club is looking for a new man in the dugout once again.

Perhaps not surprisingly, this news has lead previous antagonist Matt Higgins to come out of the woodwork once more with some bold and extravagant tweets.

This blog isn’t about him though, it’s about another attribute of recruitment that appears to cause some controversy – how vacant positions are advertised in 2018.

When the club was on the lookout for a new manager in September, the position was advertised on the club website, a move that was seen as unusual enough to lead to a feature article on BBC Football. This surprised me; it seems that football clubs and their directors have such a maverick culture of headhunting managers, the idea of advertising a job and inviting applications in the traditional way is viewed as something of an oddity.

This time round, the club has advertised the vacant head coach/manager position in the same way, and this has been fed through to Facebook and Twitter. The Facebook post has been shared more than 40 times and has over 260 comments.

Chester Screenshot

A lot of those comments are scorning the move. People are jokingly sharing the advert among their mates, and boasting of their exploits taking Vauxhall Motors to the Champions League on simulation game Football Manager. Additionally, several Chester supporters seem unhappy that the club is advertising for a manager in this way, with such comments as:

“So unprofessional to put this out on Facebook.”

“And you think Facebook is the best place to advertise?”

“Advertising on Facebook? Oh dear, loosing [sic] any confidence I had now.”

“Cue all the football manager players seeing this and applying again. Do the board never learn?”

“Why have you done this again? Do you realise how tinpot this looks?”

But how ‘tinpot’ is it to advertise a job on social media? First of all, we should recognise that the club hasn’t advertised the job on Facebook as such, it has advertised it on the club’s official site and this has been fed through to Facebook. Potential applicants have to click through to the official site to see the job requirements and how to apply.

If it is ‘tinpot’ to advertise jobs on Facebook, there are some surprisingly large ‘tinpot’ companies around, including Google with its own Facebook page specifically about working for the company.

Facebook is, after all, a free way to reach out to huge numbers of people, so why not use it? Any business’ ideal situation is to be able to reach as many people as possible while spending as little as they can, so what better way to do this than with social media?

I find it a bit confusing and sad that a football club advertising a job in this perfectly sensible way is met with such ridicule. There seems to be a feeling that even at English football’s fifth level (soon to be sixth, in fact, following Chester’s relegation), clubs should be aggressively out there grabbing the best candidates by the scruff of their necks, and that any credible candidate will already know the managerial position at Chester is currently vacant.

That may be the case, but too often in football, fans are left in the dark and movements in and out of their club are shrouded in secrecy. A supporter-owned club like Chester should be doing things differently. By broadcasting the job in this way, Chester are clearly showing that they’re not just going to give the job to somebody’s mate – they’re making it an open, transparent process and publicising what criteria and goals they are setting for the new boss. And by using Facebook, they’re just taking free advantage of what, for all its faults, remains the go-to social media site for the majority of people.

John Murray
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