Since the launch of Blogger in 1999, the ability to publish content on the Internet has become easier and easier. Savvy recruiting professionals have taken advantage of this dynamic shift to connect with prospective candidates to better meet their organization's recruiting needs. In many cases, these early adopters had to build a web presence on their own because senior leadership did not quite understand the value of these new tools. Now that there is growing recognition of the value of these tools, the question becomes, who owns the talent community created by these efforts?

In a much discussed policy change, Forrester Research recently decided that their analysts could no longer have personally-branded blogs, but must blog on Forrester's site about their research and related topics. Forrester position is that they are,

"an intellectual property company, and the opinions of our analysts are our product. Blogging is an extension of the other work we do - doing research, writing reports, working with clients, and giving speeches, for example."

Regardless of your company's industry, if you are in the business of recruiting talent for your organization, I believe that a similar argument can be made.

The introduction of Twitter in 2006, by the same team that created Blogger, has made it even easier for recruiters to build a talent community tweet by tweet. While some account bios are explicit in their corporate affiliation, others are not. And, some recruiters simply have Twitter accounts for their own personal use which are, of course, off limits.

Recruiters that have successfully built talent communities using Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and blogs are or soon will be increasingly desirable to competitors. Given Forrester's extensive and ongoing research into social media trends, I am certain they recognized the potential exposure of their internal talent building a strong individual brand and decided to proactively respond to protect their corporate interests.

As more senior executives and individual employees recognize the power of this trend shift, how do you think talent community ownership will be resolved? If the organization owns it, will employees be forced to transfer their current social recruiting efforts to company owned accounts? Or, will they be allowed to keep their accounts while employed but forced to turnover login/password information if employment ends? If the employee owns it, will companies begin to restrict company related activities? Or, will they take a wait and see approach until source of hire numbers through this channels are more substantive? Underlying all of these ownership questions will be the strategic decision of, "Should my company take the time to BUILD our own talent community or just BUY the one created on behalf of my competitor?"

-Omowale Casselle


About the Author: Omowale Casselle is the co-founder and CEO of mySenSay, a social recruiting community that connects college students and corporations.

Views: 60

Comment by Maureen Sharib on February 26, 2010 at 6:22am
All good questions - can anyone answer?
Comment by Omowale Casselle on March 1, 2010 at 7:08am
Thanks Maureen. I think we are at a very early stage in the building & ownership of talent communities. However, I'd love to hear what others are thinking about this topic.



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