At the end of the conference I was asked by popular blogger Joel Cheesman for a video comment for his blog – passing up on an opportunity to say how marvelous our conference was, and how well my staff had worked and thanks to all the speakers and exhibitors for their support.
I opted for a note of caution regarding social networks. It has since been billed as “Sounding off” as a sub title to the clip available on the web, and perhaps it was.
The point I was making regarding social networks was twofold. Firstly, I am on Facebook and object to being able to see too much information about my staff. Not because I care what they have got up to at the weekend (as long as it’s legal - good luck to them). Being able to see what time they post comment or photos for an employer provides information on how hard they are working. I am a relaxed employer, but if I noticed a number of posts in work hours it’s my job to mention and point out that it’s not the best use of work hours. So my first point is that I object to being able to see such information, as an employee should think of it as an invasion of their privacy. Facebook and such sites give the potential for too much information to be given away: something users may regret in the future. Fraudsters could piece together snippets of information and use them to clone a person’s details. I have already heard of a person that has been a victim of this and I would urge anyone putting in depth personal details on a social site to think before providing more details than the basic profile.
The buzz in the online recruitment industry is the use of social networks to recruit. There are millions of people using these sites, and if you wave a job in front of them you will have solved the problem of efficient cost effective recruiting of active and passive candidates. Recruiters are always looking to the next way to attract the attention of jobseekers; last year it was blogs, this year it is social networks.
My second point regarding social networks is that they are there because people want to communicate with each other and I question if they want anything else during that process. We are developing our internet usage as individuals, and it seems we are creatures of habit: returning to the same sites we like or find useful. I wait with interest for the feedback, but I will be surprised if social networks can deliver candidates as well as, or better, than the existing methods.
I am now busy working on the Onrec conference in China on the 8th November 2007 in Hong Kong and word is that China is having as much trouble keeping up with executive recruitment as anyone else. Apparently, executives are asking for pensions and healthcare as part of their salary packages and wages are on the increase. Staff retention rates are as low as 18 months in some sectors. This is fuelled by a culture that requires an employee to save face and as a result rather than speak to their employer and ask for a pay increase culture requires they move jobs and get the pay increase from the new boss. China is billed rightly and an emerging economic power house but its growth is dependant on cheap labor and if the trends that exist in the executive recruitment market replicate in the unskilled market, its growth may well be curtailed by rising employment costs. Never a dull moment keeping up with the online recruitment industry!
BIO: David Hurst – DH Publishing Ltd
David Hurst founded DH Publishing Ltd in 1999, to provide Human Resource Directors and recruiters with information on the online recruitment market.
The company now creates forums of discussion, by sharing information online, in print and in person with conferences around the world, bringing experts and practitioners together to discuss and exchange information.
The website, www.onrec.com, began with a database of job boards in the UK, with news being posted on a monthly basis. Today, the site has news posted daily, and contains databases of both suppliers and job boards in 57 countries.