Friday I attended the MN Recruiters Unconference at Best Buy HQ I arrived late due to previous engagements and only got to see the last 2 presenters. What a contrast! A great job by MN Recruiters bringing in differing opinions on Social media Use by Corporate America. Teresa Thompson from Fredrikson and Byron took a very legal point of view and showed us scary pics of workplace incidents like employees bathing in the dish sinks at fast food places and posting them online... I agree these need to be considered in the health and well being of us all. But in terms of using it for recruiting and making decisions based on info found in a social media profile, I say be afraid be very afraid. Social Media is a great connectivity tool! But we do have to know how to use it and who else uses and for what intentions. Consider you open a candidate page and see pics of them having a good time with friends drinking, laughing and you make a judgement that this person is a partier and maybe not the best employee. But what if things you don't know about are involved? Maybe it is a rare reunion of old friends or other special occasion that warrants the celebration? What would you do if you walked into Happy Hour in your favorite bar and saw co-workers enjoying a drink? Would you make the same judgement you made of the candidate online? Think about what you are seeking... for good or bad you will most likely find what you seek.
The next presenter was Doug Berg from Jobs2web and his use of Social Media at an Enterprise level is amazing! I saw a lot of potential issues solved as corporations move away from Job Boards and ATS systems which have left candidates wary of the black hole. People flock to Social Media for many reasons mostly information and opinion two components critical in decision making. I hope we all have seen the error of the "black hole method" and realize we need to engage high demand talent long before they apply with us and arrive on our bench. Jobs2Web tools and technology allow them to manage large scale recruiting communities so that recruiters can share and come and go from the system without interrupting the flow. Specific communities dedicated to key skillsets they are seeking can be created and allow a greater engagement at the prospect level. I must admit I sometimes shy from technology solutions because of my belief that recruiting is a people business. However here I see a solution that provides companies solid tools and a higher engagement level, candidates get an interactive community of information and opinions to assist them in career decisions (something more scary to most people than public speaking!) better by far than ATS, Boards and the "Black Hole" they create in my humble opinion.