what social media recruiting could do for them. The conversation was quite open with the usual reservations about time, cost, expertise etc with varying solutions being offered as well as speculation and guesstimates on Return On Investment (The old R.O.I. chestnut.) I also raised this on the excellent radio show HR Happy Hour from @SteveBoese.
This was a special edition of the show from the HR Technology conference with about 15 guests and quite a few callers. The issue of personal v corporate branding provoked quite a lot of discussion and quite a few tweets.
The big issue I’m getting feedback on is the fear that the personal brand of staff, in particular recruiters both corporate and third party. The other big discussion across social media is the number of companies banning social media sites like facebook, twitter and others. Looking at these two key issues and the impact this may have on employees and potential new recruits.
The biggest resistance I’m getting is actually from marketing departments within companies who find it hard to understand how non-marketeers can represent the brand properly and not damage the company reputation. My response to this is to introduce clear guidelines and trust people to follow them. It is an issue of trust.
I remember showing a client twitter live through a projector. Her reaction was to look at all the non-business tweets in my stream and immediately gave the instruction that everyone was banned from twitter in the office! It was a day after a big football game and much of the stream was relating to this hence the reaction. Only LinkedIn seems to be accepted as business based, and I suspect that this is more related to the less interactive nature of Linkedin and the more obvious business benefits presented by a platform that outside of groups and questions is essentially a giant people directory.
What employers should consider is the message this gives out about their employees. They are yelling out “We don’t trust you to be grown ups in this new media. We don’t trust you not to waste your time all day on facebook talking to your friends and watching funny videos on facebook.” Aside from the possible impact on business on withdrawing social media as a networking tool, the message it gives out is a very negative one in terms of the trust placed on the employees.
Increasingly candidates are researching potential new employees or suppliers in social media. (I actually recommend it) and if there is very little available what does this say about the company? Equally, candidates are asking about social media use and strategy at the interview. What impact does this have on the potential employee, and will the message “we don’t trust you” make them employer of choice.
Would welcome your comments on this, shoot me down.
Bill Boorman is something of a recruitment veteran, having worked in the industry for 25 years. All this despite being told at his first job that he didn’t have a future in the business! At the age of 40, the industry has given him most of his experience, having worked in most market places. For the last 12 years he worked for one of the fastest growing companies in the U.K. – this culminating in his appointment as Director of Training.
Photo Credit, respres