Few HR organisations have grasped the effect social networks have on the employer brand, Gartner said, and by 2011, organisations that do not manage their employer brands effectively will fail to attract key talent.
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Although a lot of companies exploit social computing in marketing, sales and customer support roles, Gartner said in its report on social software that HR lags behind.
The first step that organisations need to take is to understand what is being said about them on social networks and informally benchmark this against competitors and peers.
They need to be prepared for candidates to enter the recruitment process with a much deeper understanding of the organisation than would have been expected previously. The organisation must also look at new ways of improving its image online.
Research director Thomas Otter said, "Online bulletin boards have provided discussion forums about companies for years, but the explosion of social networks has moved these discussions from niche to mainstream, stripping away the veneer of the recruitment brochure."