The conversation continues on and offline regarding the ethics of researching job applicants (read digging for dirt) vs. the perceived lack of intelligence for putting anything other than positive self-spin on social networking sites like MySpace. I know how I instinctively feel about the debate – but I decided to get on to MySpace and check it out for myself (go on, visit me, make a page of your own and be my friend..BTW – thanks to Ilya from GetCareer for being brave 🙂 ). Why is this such a hot topic for recruiting? The audience of course! According to the B2Day blog today:
Hitwise announced that MySpace surpassed Yahoo Mail as the most visited site on the Internet. Although it seems odd to parse it that way. Yahoo Mail is part of Yahoo.com. It is the most visitied part of Yahoo. But perhaps if you add the rest of Yahoo, MySpace would not be No.1 quite yet (Hitwise, can you clarify that?).
One side recognizes that social networking could ruin or catapult your career depending on a variety of factors. But I want to explore how the companies might embrace MySpace or face the risk of job candidates that might flip the scenario and roast the companies that don’t and or worse…use them to judge applicants. Farfetched you say? Don’t doubt the influence of these types of communication channels on the next generation of job seekers. In a recent post exploring the ROI of blogging – Dennis Howlett writes:
I am 100% convinced that within the next 5 years the MySpace generation will bring their social networks to the workplace. They will want to know why corporations are not engaged in the kind of informal conversations that typify blogs. These new generation employees will hunger for knowledge. It is here I see the greatest potential ROI because learning adds value way beyond the things we learn.
Further – MySpace users could very easily turn the tables and use these very sites to wage negative campaigns against certain employers once they get wind that they are judging their job candidates by their MySpace pages.
Companies and their recruiters should be striving to be as relevant as possible to the next generation of job seekers and embrace these sites. Look at what Adidas did here with their MySpace page (which quickly gathered 55,000 + friends) and think of how this might be leveraged to build employer brand equity with segments of your applicant pool. Mike Davidson, the CEO of Newsvine, said recently on his blog:
As for additional streams of revenue and monetizing MySpace further, I’d drop the hope that companies will purchase pages that users will want to “friend” and concentrate on more on turning each and every kid into a walking product endorser. In fact, if I wasn’t running Newsvine right now, that’s the business I’d be in.
More ways on how to do this in the next segment.