"...the workplace has evolved – people expect more control; seek more perspective; crave more enrichment. And so we’ve evolved. We’ve broadened our lens to be more than just a marketplace for jobs. [...]
A better job is a better experience; an experience that leads to better possibilities, better opportunities, better relationships, better perspectives – all working together to improve life along the way. So, simply put, our mission is to inspire people to improve their lives."
[from The Monster Promise]
I buy that. For many of us work is an important part of our lives. Not so much as to sustain us and our families - that, too, of course - more broadly because many of us derive meaning and joy from accomplishing. And we accomplish through work.
Work is 2.0
The other day I remarked how the prevalence of online conversations centers around what we are working on. Sharing details about our projects, requesting help on research and even development have become par for the course. And an accelerated course at that, where everyone ends up learning as much as they are teaching. Learning how others approach problem solving, think through questions, and their preferences in communication style is included.
We are getting more things done with the assistance of others. What we output is also improving thanks to the feedback and rapid beta cycles we are immersed in. The results are better, and so is the satisfaction of being part of a team, even when it is a virtual one.
Will you remember those individuals who have a certain set of skills and approach them to become part of your team when the opportunity arises? You bet. We are working in teams online - building off each other's ideas, borrowing concepts and testing them in our context, going viral on marketing and word of mouth when we find a product and service that lights us up.
Is Job Search?
If we as peers can hear and see so much about each other online, why can't recruiters and companies? In checking the Web sites of Monster.com, CareerBuilder.com, and TheLadders.com, as examples of well-known and used career sites, I see no evidence of Web 2.0 efforts. The 2007 annual report of Monster.com referenced above, page 41 [hat tip to Marshall Sponder]:
"...We have been able to build on Monster's brand and create worldwide awareness by offering online recruiting solutions that we believe are redefining the way employers and job seekers connect."
"We also operate a network of websites within our Internet Advertising & Fees segment that connect companies to highly targeted audiences at critical stages in their life. Our goal is to offer compelling online services for the users through personalization, community features and enhanced content. We believe that there are significant opportunities to monetize this web traffic through lead generation, display advertising and other consumer related products. We believe that these properties are appealing to advertisers and other third parties as they deliver certain discrete demographics entirely online."
Yet, I find no community portal on the site. What the company labels community is part of their corporate social responsibility program. To be fair, Marc Cenedella does have a newsletter he sends out to everyone who becomes a member of TheLadders.com. I have found many useful articles there, too. My friend Jason Alba was even quoted there recently. Yet, it is still one way, from Marc to my mail box. The only time I wrote back to TheLadders.com providing feedback about my experience as a subscriber I received no response.
A Better Question Might Be
Does your business use a social media strategy to attract and select talent?
I asked this question recently on LinkedIn. Expanding upon it: We live in an environment where you need a team that can hit the ground running (this means hands-on attitude). And despite the impression that there are plenty of options for your business to cherry pick candidates in the current economic climate, talent acquisition and retention continues to be a challenge.
You can get to know how someone thinks, problem solves, and markets and sells their ideas through blogs and other social media. Are you taking advantage of those options? I asked the question because the hardest part of job search is that of screening. Shifting through piles of resumes to find the right candidate is a demanding chore. Mostly because thanks to career advisers, most resumes look exactly the same. Yet because your company culture is different, so is your job opening.
Fit comes together from thinking in ways that are appreciated and understood inside a particular culture. Fit is also part of a company's brand experience.
What is Your Answer?
"My ultimate insight is that talented individuals are no longer seeking out specific industries or even specific functions to work for. I am uncovering that more and more individuals are simply looking to join organisations that share their values, behaviours, vision and essence. This is because talented people know they can be successful in a variety of circumstances.
With this in mind I am helping organisations not so much market their business but simply providing platforms in social environments where those from baby boomers to generation Y can get a taste of their culture. Talent is smart, sophisticated and use trusted networks to make choices.
I am working with everything from wiki's, blogs, social networks, vodcats, mobile and a few new technology areas. People need an opportunity to engage with your employer brand in a variety of settings."
I chose his answer as "best of" because he provided insight into why it makes sense to use social media as part of the recruiting efforts.
Another very good response came from Bob Lenthart, who provided some insight about how looking for a feel of candidates helps tremendously. He also volunteered that all of their employees are active and the company puts no restrictions on who they start their base with: friends, family, former colleagues, etc. Through a conversation with another recruiter who replied to my question, I observed that recommendations from friends and colleagues may also backfire. There may be no fit in the current company culture.
Matching a personality to a company's culture matters a great deal to the long term success of candidate and company both. As personality comes across more easily from the digital marketing of a personal brand, it would make sense to employ some form of social media in your hiring practices.
Remember that however you recruit is very much part of how your company brand comes across in the marketplace. How individuals experience it may influence them in their buying decisions as customers. Do you use social media to recruit? If so, how? If not, why not?