Tony Rosato sent me this pretty funny Dilbert cartoon the other day. I am sure many of you will also get a laugh from it, as well as relate:
A while back I wrote up a blog on this very subject. I called it “I’m taking a virtual lunch.” In a nutshell, it’s been proven time and again that productivity isn’t necessarily increased by a company policy forbidding access to social media, or for that matter decreased by the lack of one. (Most of us can log on anytime, anywhere, including the workplace, from a smart phone anyway!)
Are there social media addicts and time wasters whittling away the day on Facebook in America’s offices? No doubt. However, I would suggest that their managers manage that problem like they would any other issue vs. a blanket policy that screams “We don’t trust you!”
I also hear from many out there in HR this argument – allowing employee access to social media and/or encouraging them to act as social media ambassadors for our organization is just opening up a can of worms. The fear of Facebook and Twitter – and to a lesser extent LinkedIn – is also holding many organizations back from engaging and only encourages such policies.
Here are some stats courtesy of Social Media Examiner’s 2010 Social Media Marketing Industry Report on social media users:
- 33% visit social media sites to engage in product research before making a purchasing decision
- 47% say social media sites influence their decision to purchase specific company services and brands
- 26% changed their minds about purchasing a product after reading about it on a social media site
All of these stats effectively translate to recruiting (and retaining) strong candidates to work for your organization. Candidates – at least the smart ones, the ones you hope wind up in the interview chair – are going to research your organization. Whether that research occurs before they submit a resume, accept an invitation to interview or after an offer has been made, isn’t limited to the company line on the corporate website.
They’re certainly checking out social media to see if your company is representing and if people (current and former employees) are talking. Considering your current employees, who may be wondering if the grass is greener someplace else, the same could be true for them when it comes to investigating what your competitors are up to.
While I do not think that every single hiring organization or recruiter needs to be an aggressive social media player at the moment, there’s a very good chance that people are talking about your organization. And getting back to that Dilbert cartoon – with policies like these, what are you truly saying back?