Marketing Academics Pt.8

Marketing Academics Pt.8

Human Resources Pros of Social Networking Sites

  • Ability to stay in touch with former employees on social networking sites. Consulting firm Deloitte strives to maintain ties with ex-workers and has had a formal alumni-relation program for years. It bolstered those efforts earlier this year, tapping business networking services provider SelectMinds to launch an online alumni network (King, Rachael).
  • The Holy grail of recruiting is finding so-called passive candidates, people who are happy and productive working for other companies. LinkedIn, with its 6.7 million members, is a virtual Rolodex of these types; “we’ve started asking our hiring managers to sign up on LinkedIn and help us to introduce their contacts” (King, Rachael). Some techniques to find these prized workers are blogs, social networking sites, discussion groups, and book reviews (Steen, Margaret). One of the many unique value propositions of social networking sites is the ability to be as close to all-things-for-all-people as a marketing medium can be. Facebook contains all of the elements that were noted by Steen.
  • Another noted benefit of LinkedIn is not only in finding new employees for a firm or even rehiring past employees but also broadening the reference check scan to people within a prospect’s network (Cooper, Andrea).
  • As a participant in a job fair, Sodexho was a guest on the social networking website; “we’re always looking for ways to reach out to talent,” an executive was quoted in the article. Going online also saves companies travel cost and time. Recruiters do not need to set up and staff a booth at a career fair. Companies pay social networking sites a fee to create a virtual building in an online job fair. Recruiters and applicants had to create avatars. They communicated through instant messaging and, though they had pseudonyms for their avatars, recruiters knew applicants’ real names and had their résumés (Berta, Dina).
  • The ability to combine the referring power of a social network with the focus of a recruiter’s perspective may be the sole benefit of such a network. Today, and other online recruiters that once snatched the recruitment business from newspapers are now under attack from a wave of social networking entrepreneurs. Since 2005, has managed to attract 475 corporate clients, including 20 Fortune 100 companies. The biggest selling point of recruiting through social networking sites is employee referrals; “in a Booz Allen Hamilton survey last year of 73 leading employers, 88 percent said the best job applicants come through referrals – yet fewer than one in five candidates was referred” (Borzo, Jeanette).
  • If searching for background information on a soon to be hired candidate, an employer may show due diligence buy running checks should the situation turn sour (Zeidner, Rita).
  • In a hypothetical example, a pharmaceutical case was offered. In preventing the hiring of animal rights activists while information about a candidate’s attitude might not come up in an interview, or be revealed in a traditional background check, it might be disclosed in a social networking site (Zeidner, Rita).

Human Resources Cons

From a prospect’s point of view, much of the information that a friend can see can also be seen by an employer. The following warnings were listed in an article in HR Technology magazine called How Deep Can You Probe?: (Zeidner, Rita):

  • On MySpace, an applicant talked at length about his interest in violent films and boasted about his romantic exploits. The recruited decided to keep her search open and ultimately offered the job to someone else.
  • Eager to keep their own companies’ names out of the headlines, many employers … run a candidates name through a search engine like Google or Yahoo! [and now Facebook and Myspace] before making an offer. About one of five of those HR professionals who conduct such searches said they have disqualified a candidate because of what they discovered.
  • The biggest question might be whether it is ethical, responsible, or even legal for employers to be trolling social networking sites. Currently, in the US, the Fair Credit Reporting Act and state-related consumer laws require employers to notify job applicants and obtain their consent before conducting a background check. The new grey area is, does this check include Facebook snooping? Considering that many personal pages include racial, religious, sexual orientation, and age related information, constitutional and Canadian Charter rights are definitely an issue to consider.

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