Tag Archives: Social network

What will you do differently?

What will you do differently in 2011?

For me it’s easy.  I have a poor attention span.  I am too easily distracted.

At any one time I have a countless browsers open, each one with the promise of further engagement, conversation, opportunity.  You can never be lonely as a Recruiter.  The only asset you have at your disposal is your network and I work relentlessly to engage with, communicate with, stay in touch with and grow mine.

Even then I don’t succeed as much as I would hope or wish.  Every connection has a story to tell, something to say that should be listened to intently, is a link to someone, is a door that could open to who knows where.  Who knows when they might need me, or when I might need them?

Phone, mobile, Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Skype, this blog, they are all tools for me to reach out to the wider world and I need them.  Indeed I love using them.

So what’s the problem.  Well none of the above, they are all business critical tools.  My problem is email and in particular the multitude of devices I use to check them.  PC, Laptop, IPAD, Iphone (other brands are available!).  I am not alone.

Every ping of the inbox and vibration of the hand-held brings the promise of future riches.  I check (sorry that should read checked) my email first thing in the morning, last thing at night (even in the middle of the night).  I feel a desperate need to respond to every enquiry, question, suggestion.  For me engaging in the conversation is what it is all about.  I can’t resist.

I start each day with real focus and great intentions.  Then those little pings start and my day takes on a whole new path.  Not any more.  I have made a change.  I check my email first thing, at lunch and last thing.  I prioritize those that are critical and leave those that are not.

I need to be proactive and reactive in my day.  The trouble for me was that I was getting to be too reactive and not proactive enough.  Those things that I want to do, that I am passionate about, that I must do, require of me to focus on the proactive.  So that’s my change.  It’s hardly revolutionary but already it’s working.  I feel better and I am getting things done.  I am no longer slave to the latest email.   I have razor focus, I am sharp.  I am achieving.

How long will this last?  Believe me I am committed to seeing this through.  I am a whole 3 hours in to my working day and so far this is working brilliantly!

So what will you be doing differently this year?

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The privacy debate outcome…….

Of all the blog posts I have written to date, the issue of social media as a recruitment tool and in particular how this impacts on privacy was by far the most emotionally charged.  I sort opinion on a wide range of platforms, from Twitter and Facebook to discussion forums on LinkedIn as well as the poll on the blog.  The results of the poll were conclusive, with 76% of you voting the German Government is wrong to restrict the use of social media in hiring.

From the discussion forums the comments were wide-ranging.  Some argued for the rights of employers on the basis that if an employer is to make that investment in you then they should have every right to know as much as they can about you before making that (expensive) decision.  There was an over – riding sense that references are worthless.  The world is now so litigious and very few are prepared to offer any decent insight or opinion with respect to an employees performance, behaviour and attitude in the workplace.  Social media has given employers the opportunity to open the window and peer in to a prospective hires world and employers would appear to be appreciative of that opportunity.

Many on the employees side argue that the gap between professional and private is becoming ever more blurred.  There is in some cases resentment from employees that employers should even consider “snooping” on what takes place away from the workplace.  However the over – riding consensus was that we have a choice.  We can choose what to publish, we can choose what remains private and what is for public consumption.  We can choose who we connect with, who we engage with and who we have as friends.

It would appear the majority resent or are at least suspicious of any form of government intervention, mediation or regulation.   Employers and employees should have the right to choose.  Treat us like grown ups.  Some will behave like grown ups, some won’t, but that is their choice.  Social media is by the people, for the people.  Freedom of choice is good for all.

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Filed under Hiring, Social Media

Social media and recruitment – the privacy debate

Regular visitors to this blog will know my views with respect to web privacy.  We have a choice not to post, not to upload, not to share.  Accepting that may take much of the “social” away from media, we have a choice nonetheless.

I appreciate we cannot hold the same degree of control over what our friends, family, colleagues or even enemies may wish to post or publish about us online.  Once on the web, it’s always on the web.  Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, was recently reported to have said that generation y’ers will have to change their identities several times in their working lives to erase the trail of photo’s of drunken college pranks that may come back to haunt them and hurt their career aspirations in later years.  That’s a scary thought.

Social media works because we are all voyeurs and show offs.  We are all curious, we all need to communicate and we all need to be loved.  Social media allows us to feel loved and to tell anyone who is willing to listen (or look!).  We are not going to stop posting, uploading, sharing.  So where does privacy step in?  Where is the line?  How long before governments (who in most cases would appear to be terrified at the power of social media) step in to the debate around privacy?

Step forward Germany.  As part of the draft of a law governing workplace privacy, the German government has proposed placing restrictions on employers who want to use Facebook profiles when recruiting.

The proposal would allow for searches to be conducted on the web for publicly accessible information about prospective employees and to view their pages on open networking sites like LinkedIn or Xing. However the bill will draw the line at purely social networking sites like Facebook.

I am undecided as to how I feel about this.  I have a choice, I have privacy settings on my Facebook profile, I can choose who I want as my friends and choose what I want the world to see and what I don’t.  Is this another example of big brother government bullying middle brother (the employer) so that little brother (the employee) is protected?  No bad thing.

I am starting to feel like I can’t be trusted.  Shouldn’t I expect to be accountable and responsible for the choices I make?  Should I continue to be punished or penalised for them 20 years after they have happened?  Doesn’t everyone make mistakes?

Do I need the government to protect me in this way?  Can’t I decide for myself?  Is this the first step of part of a wider process of sanitising the web?  Too many questions for one posting, many of which as I reflect remain unanswered.

Social Media has become a powerful “checking out” tool for recruiters.  I suspect governments are using it in exactly the same way (oops, careful, conspiracy theories in a blog posting, whatever next!).  So what do you all think?  Are the German Government right or wrong?  Let me know your thoughts, I would love to know what everyone is thinking……….

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Filed under Recruitment, Social Media