HR Managers should check out our Facebooks, our Twitters and our Blogs

There’s an article over on PR Squared that says every PR person/firm should be immersing themselves in Twitter and seeing how people are interacting on it. There’s also been article after article about the fact that we’d want to be careful with how we interact on Bebo, Facebook et al as HR people and bosses are watching what we do there. So?

Googling isn’t enough…
No longer are they just Googling us if we apply for jobs, they are Facebooking us too and maybe the really clever ones will look us up on Twitter. I can’t find a link to it now but there was a great example of a guy looking for an investment off a VC that insulted the VC as he was about to meet him or maybe it was after. The VC had subbed to the guys Twitter to see what he was like. He found out. There’s all these rules for HR departments about only being allowed to assess you based on your CV, references and their interviews with you. They can’t bring anything else into it. I’m sure though that while it is never written policy or official, they do probably Google you. Which really doesn’t bring back much apart from Axe Murderer type headlines.

Polar Bears Fight Climate Poverty
Photo owned by oxfam international (cc)

Through interacting with people on blogs and Facebook (to a lesser degree) and Twitter (to a much stronger degree) I’ve made some good friendships and learned a lot about people I’d consider to be my peers. Over a while you’ll see those people you know you can work with and know you could never work with. I really think a HR Department should be sitting their arses into that interaction space or else encouraging their staff to do so. Though I have a weird idea of what HR should be about compared to what they think they should be doing.

HR Departments are the humourless spinster types with rulers instead of the cool teacher that let you watch the Life of Brian during religion class. I really think that a company should give time off or “late” starts for their staff to attend networking events during the week. Let them get to know people, potential clients as well as potential staff. Then do the same for blogs and websites and industry discussion forums. Let them to get to know everyone in the industry not just the company. Attach the usual opinion not of the company of course.

The telecoms industry in Ireland is tiny and everyone knows each other and people move back and forth between companies a good deal. They all know of each other from interacting with each other during and after work. CVs seem to be a formality for some people that switch jobs. Wouldn’t that be a good thing? Wouldn’t it be better for you if you could choose who you worked with and HR also were able to identify the best candidates because they knew them a bit more than the show they put on during their interviews?

Mulley won’t get jobs because of this blog…
I figure I’ll get work from my blog (and I do) and my LinkedIn and as a result of my behaviour and misbehaviour on Twitter. I also won’t get work because of my antics (Green Party Communications Manager, Fine Gael Youth Campaign Manager for example) and that’s pretty much fine for me. I wouldn’t like to work with a group that have a cork up their arse because I use curse words and it’s nice there’s no awkwardness when I’m in there. I’d also like if my HR department managed to avoid hiring the headcase who gets upset that I laugh too much or the way I hang up my phone.

5 Responses to “HR Managers should check out our Facebooks, our Twitters and our Blogs”

  1. That’s me F**ked then

  2. Grandad says:

    They are welcome to look me up, anytime 😉

  3. Michael says:

    Checking facebook, myspace and linkedin is pretty standard.

    I also use, (if it’s for an Irish position) and do a quick google search.

    Lucky are the people with generic firstname surname combinations…

  4. Smoke says:

    Yup. I’ve checked Bebo and facebook for all the recent new grads I’ve interviewed. It’s a safe bet that they usually have a presence on Bebo – seems like 99% of the college students are up there. (And most don’t do themselves any favours online either) Anyway – this isn’t realy a HR thing. In my experience (mostly large multinational sector) the final say on hiring decisions is with the hiring manager and not with HR. And afaik there are no laws against using publicly available online stuff in considering a candidate as long as it’s not obviously discriminatory.. The laws are around what information the candidate doesn’t need to declare (age, ethnicity, religion) during the formal process. Stuff thats publicly available is …well fair game. Naturally though the hiring managers will keep schtum about what extra tidbits they do know….

  5. tipster says:

    I wonder if they’d go back as far as Usenet archives on Google. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, I used my real name on soc.motss