Feb 1, 2011

Social Media at Work - A way to manage Talent?

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...Image via CrunchBaseThe folks at GD Goenka World Institute and the National HRD Network of India organized a Talent Acquisition, Engagement and Retention Conclave in Mumbai on 21st Jan 2011. The Corporate Resource Centre, GDGWI creating a resource handbook for the conclave participants and requested me to contribute a written interview for the same.

Here are the questions and my answers to them:

Q1. Like an email policy do you think it is important to formulate a social media
company policy as well?

Absolutely. Unlike email social communication on networks and communities are
transparent and open to all. People share their feelings, frustrations and joys with
their connections – and these can have implications for their employers. Progressive
organizations like Intel, IBM have put into place social media policies (see here for a
great list ) and Indian firms like Infosys are also starting to do the same

Q2.’ Facebook, twitter are a waste of time to Facebook, Twitter are critical to our
survival’, do you think there is a middle path?

Social networks are not an add-on. They have to have a base in the business of the firm. If the firm has customers online who are talking about the products and brands and sharing their experiences then it’s critical to join the conversation and engage with them. In B2B situations harnessing social networks and building specific communities can help firms build additional business. Firms like Zappos and Best Buy use twitter to respond to customer feedback and service them. While firms like Dell have used Twitter to sell more than 2 million dollars worth of products in one year.

So the short answer is the right path depends on the willingness of the business leadership to embrace this new model of customer engagement, co-creation and service.

Q3. What do you think about searching for information on ‘Google’ for the shortlisted candidates you wish to hire?

I personally think that professional data that a google search gives is OK. It can act as a filtering/reference check. However we have to be careful that we do not get into moral/ value judgement on what the internet shows about the candidates’ personal profile/ political/sexual outlook. It would also need to be seen as to what time was the data shown. If the candidate had posted something on a website 2-3 years ago it might not
be his view currently – so that would need to be looked at too.

Q4. Is your company using any social media platforms for talent acquisition and or

I am a freelancer and I use social media platforms like my blog , Twitter (Gautam Ghosh), Facebook (Gautam Ghosh) and a custom community HR Professionals' Network to build business and engage with prospective clients.

Q5. What is your advice to students about managing their online personas?

•Always remember that what you post can be traced and found.

•Check your privacy settings - and post accordingly

•If you blog, have a disclaimer that these are your views only

•Do not indulge in hate speech against any community, religious group or person.

•If blogging about movies/sports make another persona – and delink it from your real name. Unless you want to make a career in movie/sports writing.

•Do not use copyrighted images or plagiarize other’s works as your own. If you use other’s works under the creative commons license always attribute.

After giving this interview I came across two great posts - this one by David Weinberger states how we are the medium, as well as John Seely Brown and John Hagel's contrarian views on how to engage in social networking

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