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Industry Outlook: Human Resources
DASH: Being in a staffing business, it is a core function of our survival—being able to identify candidates for our clients through unique user groups and unique networking groups is a key function to our productivity.
LEE: People almost use social media like a diary—whatever I’m thinking I’m going to put out there. If I don’t like my boss and I don’t like the way I’m being treated, it’s part of what is going to go on social media. Does the company have a right to control some of that? Most of us would say we do because we’re the company. But it’s their personal Facebook page.
It’s caused some challenges for some of my clients that are very public companies. They don’t want negative stuff out there even about a boss that may be an isolated incident. There’s no clear line, yet, as to what you can or can’t control.
FENWICK: More and more we’re seeing that people, especially those just out of college, are going to look at your Facebook page. And if it’s lame, they’re going to say, “These guys are lame.” It’s not just what you put on your Facebook page, it’s how engaged your employees are on your page. It makes a big difference. Embracing that gives you an edge, at least for the next little while.
COTTERELL: On the flip side of that, we’ve seen where it’s damaged individuals in recruiting—where we haven’t hired individuals because of what we see on their LinkedIn, which is connected to their Facebook page, which they have connected to a blog. They’re talking about all sorts of stuff on their blog that shows me they’re not someone we want to hire.
We consult with companies that have the same issues. They’re seeing things out there. And at that point, it’s a liability. Do we want that type of person in our company, from a cultural perspective? Do you want that person out there potentially as a sales executive representing your firm? If we can find it, that means our potential clients can find it.
We do some work with some of the universities, where we’re going in and talking to seniors about how to prepare for job interviews. In a couple slides of that presentation, we’re saying, “You better be careful, because I can Google your name and your Twitter account pulls up. So I can see what you’ve Tweeted over the last X period of time. And if you’re talking about things on there that give me pause, then I won’t hire you. You’ve got to be aware of that.”
DASH: We’ve also used it as a cross-referencing tool. The majority of staffing we do is in high-tech. Unfortunately, there are a lot of individuals who will doctor their resumes and include a lot more experience than they actually have. We found numerous cases where somebody from overseas may have come over here after graduating from college, and all of a sudden they have seven years of experience on their resume. Just by cross-referencing their Facebook page, you see the graduation dates from the university are five years apart—and we can identify that this is a doctored resume.
HERRING: Social media has an upside and a downside. But for me, the upside is far greater than the downside. I’ve had to do a lot of coaching with managers to say, “You need to thicken your skin just a little bit because it is a new world out there, and use it as a tool to help you improve. This is valuable information that you don’t get other than maybe once a year.”
When I teach my HR classes and even counsel with some employees, I say, “I think you’ve got the right to go on that, but whether you can and whether you do is a different question.” Now, use some social intelligence, some emotional intelligence. The people you are writing about on social media are reading it. The people are going to see this. And whether they actually take action because of that or it just plants something in their mind that later on it impacts future decisions with you, understand that.
ROUX: We actually took it a step further. We purchased a cloud-based social collaboration tool so that we could do that both internally and push it out to our clients. So we’ve built this additional process, this additional tool, so that we can engage our clients alongside our employees. It helps us with all kinds of things like workflow management, commentary back and forth between clients and internal people on projects. It doesn’t matter where they sit or if it’s 2 in the morning. It’s something that we’re actually developing even further.
Has anyone had trouble with the FLSA hours worked issue? Because you’re allowing employees to have access to e-mail at home and so forth, do those have to be compensated hours?