Social Networking Revolution: New Technologies and Services Chuck Allen HR-XML Consortium, Inc. Romuald Restout Talent Technology Corp.
What is Social Networking? Who are the players? What does the market look like?
Social Networks @ Work
How Social Networks Are Used in the Workplace
Who’s doing what
Why the buzz?
Places or platforms? A look at two sites:
Is Everything Rosy?
What is Online Social Networking?
In both professional and personal life, people form groups based on affinities and expertise. We gravitate to others with whom we share interests.
Deceptively simple, online social networks contain great power. They change the online space from one of static web pages and stale marketing messages to a live, vibrant network of connected individuals who share their abilities, expertise and interests.
Online social networks take many forms, and are created for many reasons. Two broad characteristics are:
Profiles – Each member in a network has an online profile that serves as the individual’s identity in the network.
Connections – Online social networks typically enable individuals to make connections with others in the network.
What are Social Networking Sites?
Facilitate the discovery/creation of "ties" among of members who share interests, traits, activities, friends, professions, schools, or other connections.
Provide chat, messaging, video, photo sharing, blogging, news feeds and updates, etc. to allow users to interact.
Provide tools for members to use in discovering associations with other members that are useful and relevant to an individual member.
Some sites are business-oriented, some socially oriented, some with overlap…
Personal vs. Corporate
Personal Social Networks
Aimed at building a community of individuals sharing a common interest (pets, music, business, cooking, …)
Public web site
Corporate Social Networks
Aimed at supporting a business initiative or process
Access controlled and managed by the company
Personal Social Networking Websites
Easily 100+ social network sites. Top US sites by Hitwise:
MySpace. 200 million members. Sixth most popular English-language website
Facebook. 40 million members. Once student-only, now any age.
Bebo. 57 million members.
Classmates. 40 million members.
Overlaps/differences with pure “social media” sites (e.g., Youtube, Windows “Livespaces”).
Personal Networks for Business
Leading Professional Sites:
LinkedIn (North America)
Xing (Europe + Canada)
Viadeo (Europe + China through recent acquisition)
Orkut (now part of Google – India + North America)
Hi5 (Latin America)
Trends: Reach Myspace.com Facebook.com The rest… LinkedIn, Xing, Bebo
Corporate Social Networks
Microsoft MySite (Part of Sharepoint)
Social Networks @ Work How Social Networks Are Used in the Workplace
Social Network Types
Initial use of online social networking
Recruiters navigate networks of known individuals (e.g. current members of the organization) in order to find potential applicants
Various social networking sites have different demographics and geographic reach – just like traditional networks.
All have different rules/etiquette just like real life networks.
Use of Personal Social Networks
Alumni Networks for rehires
Trends LinkedIn Xing
64% of recruiters use professional sites such as LinkedIn to conduct background checks.
66% said they would not hire the person for the job if they found risqué photographs and/or other provocative comments relating to alcohol consumption, drug use and/or sexual exploits*
A recruiter’s use of data from a social networking site generally would not be a “consumer report” subject to U.S. Fair Credit Report Act – but some screening uses/services could be FCRA covered. Check w/ your attorney.
Useful to review EEO policies and programs with an eye to guarding against discrimination and disparate impact claims.
* Source: ERE Media's study of recruitment professionals in 2006
Use of Personal Networks
Integration with CRM applications
Oracle and VisiblePath
#1 Priority for most companies as it relates to social networks
Connect to the employee “who knows”
Remote and global teams
Communities of practice
Corporate Social Networks
Dedicated networks for women and minorities
Increased retention and promotions for women and minorities
Dedicated networks for new hires
Dedicated and clearly identified resources for new hires
Use of retirees for cultural and knowledge continuity
Increases New Hire satisfaction
Speeds time to productivity
Social Networks @ Work Who’s doing what?
Recruiting & Business Development
Microsoft and Starbucks recruiters all use LinkedIn to source candidates
Goldman Sachs and Deloitte are using Alumni networks to push for their brand, rehire former employees, and identify contacts at potential partners and customers.
Hinting at the potential of social networking at work, thousands of employees of Shell Oil, Procter & Gamble, and General Electric have Facebook accounts. A Facebook network of Citigroup employees--only those with Citigroup e-mail accounts can join--has 1,870 users.
McDonald's began using social networking after an internal study showed that employees were often looking for colleagues with expertise. McDonald's employees and some partners will soon be able to create their own profiles on the company's Awareness social media platform, from which they can blog and participate in communities
Northrop Grumman has created what it calls "communities of practice," groups focused on a topic or technology, from the guts of systems engineering to a community of new hires. These communities contain documents associated with the community and a listing of group members with their professional profiles.
Wachovia, the nation's fourth largest bank is rolling out a social networking service for 110,000 employees over the next several months, giving workers a sophisticated knowledge-management platform
From Hiring to Retirement
Aerotek Staffing Agency, uses Facebook's messaging system to keep in touch with new hires because it's "less formal" than work e-mail.
Procter & Gamble employees use Facebook to keep interns in touch and share information with co-workers attending company events.
Dow Chemical building social networks to stay connected with retirees.
Why the buzz? And why now?
Formal vs. Informal Courtesy of the Network Roundtable (www.networkroundtable.org)
Underlying Mechanisms of Social Networks are better understood
6-degree separation theory
Malcom Gladwell’s “Tipping Point”
Social Network Metrics
Closeness, Cohesion, Centralization, …
Roles Courtesy of the Network Roundtable (www.networkroundtable.org)
Technology has been the final enabler for the current social networks frenzy
Places or Platforms: A Look at Facebook and LinkedIn
Mark Zuckerberg, developed the social networking site while at Harvard.
Initially restricted to Harvard, then rolled out to universities across the United States, Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, etc…
Sept. 2006 - open to anyone with an email address.
May 2007 - launched the Facebook Platform, a framework for developers to create applications that interact with core Facebook features.
Recent growth of 100,000 users a day. Most over age 25.
Facebook: Privacy Model
Now open to anyone, FB retains parts of original privacy model. An email for the school, e.g., TJefferson@ virginia.edu was the admission ticket to join a school network. Some groups/networks still require an email with the right domain.
“ Add friends” sends friend request for approval.
Can create and join “groups” – most open. Some professional (e.g., SAP HR), but lots of junk (12+ separate groups for people who “hate crocs”).
Users controls whether they want to make their profile, pictures, videos, applications available to only friends, selected friends, or everyone. No granularity yet in controlling resume-type profile information.
FB apps: Photos, groups, posted items…
Developers use a public API (and the Facebook Development App, which is an app any user can add to their FB profile).
Users install widgets on their page simply by selecting, clicking.
User installation of an app usually involves something of a trade:
Users share some data with the application and usually share the application with “friends.”
In return, users get functionality and a new way to interact with friends or connect to services.
Facebook Job/Career Apps
New, exciting, full of potential! However…
Few business apps. Few users (“Booze Mail” widget has more users than all business-related widgets combined).
Career / Job search isn’t even broken out as a Facebook application category.
They don’t do much. Most not well integrated (yet?). Base Facebook profiles do not yet capture skills or detail that might be useful for recruiting applications.
The UK's official graduate careers website Find a Better Job Jobster Career Network Jobs | Indeed
Profitable since March 2006.
Free and premium fee-based services.
Avg. fee-based subscriber pays $200-300 per year. As low as $60. As high as $2,000.
Fee-based job postings similar to a job board, but sent to your network.
No public API yet, but LinkedIn announced they would be rolling out one over the next 6 months. How open?
Compared to FB, LinkedIn currently has closed, for-fee services, but ones that are well-integrated, reliable, and business-oriented.
Users can see a 1 st connection’s list of contacts and the public profiles of those contacts (if they permit).
Each user controls what they disclose from their profile – basics, current position, full history, etc.
“ Invitation to connect” to add contacts you know. Intermediated “introduction requests” to those you don’t. Premium “inMail” service allows direct contact with 2 nd and 3 rd tier connections.
Questions/Answers feature to ask network for advice.
Enhanced “groups” feature allows creation of networking groups – requests are reviewed (no “hate crocs” groups.
Just business. No photo, video sharing, or “pokes”.
Not Everything Is Rosy Current Issues
Social networks can sap employee productivity or, worse, be a source of governance violations or breaches of company protocol.
Forrester Research recently found that 14% of companies have disciplined employees and 5% fired them for offenses related to social networking.
As a result half of companies, according to Financial News, restrict access to Facebook.
The city of Toronto blocked access to social networking sites four months ago. "There's potential for staff to spend an inordinate amount of time on sites like this," explains a spokesman for the city.
"Is it necessary for work?"
Only One Part of the Process
Social Networks basically give you access to someone
In recruiting, generating a name is a piece of cake, but the real question is, how do you convert that name into a candidate?”
Do not think that social networks are a surefire way to access a deep pool of formerly unreachable passive candidates and automatically recruit them.
The technology needs to be supported by trained recruiters with the ability to attract and close talent.
Generally employers are free to make unfair, stupid, arbitrary, and wrongheaded hiring and termination decisions, even based on false information, as long as in doing so they do not violate some specific law.
One category of specific laws that could be violated by an adverse employment decision based on information on a social networking site is federal and state discrimination law.
Source: George Lenard
Employment Laws and Background Screening
Fair Credit Reporting Act imposes disclosure, consent, and appeal processes on “consumer reports.”
A hiring manager’s use of online business networking sites would not be a consumer report covered by FCRA.
However, search and retrieval of social networking data could be covered by FCRA under certain circumstances.
For example, use of social networking data in a screening conducted by a third-party background-check service would likely be FCRA covered.
Risk of disparate impact. If recruiters/managers are using social networking extensively, it is may be wise to review EEO programs (training, data analysis and monitoring, etc.).