Looking at the use of social networking for recruitment, the CIPD's Recruitment and Retention Survey has found that over half of CIPD members responding to the survey believe that social networking sites are useful for engaging potential job seekers (56%) and welcome its ability to shed light on how they are perceived in the marketplace (52%).
These opportunities are described quite well by the CIPD:
"Through the richness of multimedia and connectivity, web 2.0 technology provides an opportunity to bring the employer brand to life and create experiences online that allow potential employees to experience what it is like to work within the organisation. Using technology like Facebook or Second Life, an employer brand can have a global impact."
However, only about 20% of organisations are using web 2.0 technologies to attract and recruit employees (favoured sites include Linkedin (62% of those using web 2.0), Facebook (58%) and MySpace (11%)) with another 8% planning to start using the technology in the next year.
The fact that a majority of CIPD members are concerned that damaging comments might be posted on their organisation (62%) points towards one reason for this disconnect - HR hasn't figured out the amount of information which is already published online (for example, on Vault).
Another inhibitor is likely to be the CIPD's guidance not to use the technology to its full:
"Encouragingly, the majority of organisations that do use social networking (85%) do not use it as a tool to vet candidates during the recruitment process.
Organisations should be careful when using these technologies to vet candidates. In the quest to find the right person for a job, social networking sites could be at best irrelevant and at worst misleading. Good practice requires that every candidate is treated equally, which means all candidates would have to have similar profiles before information is used, and this poses challenges as not everyone has a social networking profile."
This is complete tosh surely?
I might not bother looking at Facebook if I was recruiting for a manufacturing job. But If I was recruiting for customer service or any knowledge based role, the way a person presents themselves will be a key part of my selection criteria. Their personal brand, and the way they might contribute to my corporate brand is going to be very important. And I'd be failing in my responsibility not to use available information on how the person presents themselves.
What do you think?
PS Also see my comments on the CIPD's discussion paper, HR's use of Web 2.0.