What Are You Trying to Hide? - by John Sumser - HRExaminer

Social technology introduces transparency into places that used to be very well hidden.

If You Have a Problem, It May Not Be Social Media

Yesterday, I was a part of a panel on the state of social recruiting. Along with Steve Boese, Jeremy Langhans and Bob Hohman, I got to explore some things with an audience of about 300 SHRM members. The panel itself was vigorous with real debate and differing points of view.

What was really nice was that each of the panel members were learning as the panel progressed. Disagreements ended with “I see your point.” or “I never looked at it that way.” Each of us came away from the discussion better informed with a broader view.

And it was great theater. The audience feedback was extremely positive. Most folks stayed for the whole thing in spite of the fact that it was the last event of the day. Sparks flew, people laughed, problems got explored, new ideas proliferated, and everyone had a good time.

The way you get a panel to work like this is through extensive preparation and teammates who are experts in their areas. We worked through the material in a loose way, had dinner together and generally warmed up the relationships so that we’d be at our best when we got on stage. It was a pleasure to work with pros who focused on the work while not taking themselves too seriously

Not everyone does it that way.

That’s a long intro to the thing that was hammered home for me during the panel. According to Glassdoor, “67% of employees say that they found their new job different than the expectations set in the interview.” This is the most visible fact in a series of notions we explored that suggest that recruiters and their companies are not particularly trustworthy.

If you haven’t noticed, the vast majority of employers don’t even bother to try to be the Best Place to Work. (And, you often have to squint and look in just the right way to believe that the “Best Places to Work” actually are.) Many employers have workforce problems that can’t stand the light of day.

Social media will make life hard for them.

Social technology introduces transparency into places that used to be very well hidden. What is found in those closets isn’t always appealing. To echo a column from earlier this week, many employers are afraid of looking bad. That’s why they want to control social media.

The real problem, though, is that they do look bad. Not because social media inflicts damage, but because it introduces sunlight. The culprit isn’t social media, it’s bad employment practices.

If you are working in a place with a rigid social media approach, ask “What are they trying to hide?”


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