HR must exploit social networking

HR organisations must exploit social networking to engage...

HR organisations must exploit social networking to engage the best candidates, according to analysts at Gartner.

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.

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."

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"Exploit" has such negative connotations, I almost flipped the page. And I'd have though "Person of Interest" would have forced HR into a renaming ceremony.  But, no, I get it, this HR has found another tool to wedge its way into the conversation, a bit late and even slower on the uptake. Perhaps that's another flag for the illusion of privacy.
Engaging the right candidates is essential for a company to bring in new talent. I don’t see it so much as a way for HR to wedge its way into the conversation, as it is for them to reach candidates for an open position that they would normally not be able to reach. Look at how it has paid off for CERN.
Yeah, "exploit" sounds funny. It's a two-way street. IT Professionals must build their brand but recruiters' and companies' brand matters as well. As with Uber, both drivers and passengers get rated, and it's out of their direct control, companies do get rated and online reputation matters.