It Does Make Sense to Invest in Web 2.0 Tools by Vanesa Rodriguez

Yes, I've been hearing this quite frequently lately, as David Talamelli mentioned in his previous entry "Facebook/Twitter Banned at Your Company...This May Impact Your Ability to Hire Great People" that 54% of Companies Ban Facebook and Twitter at Work, which seems to me a pretty high percentage. These companies need to consider that this affects the way they are perceived by candidates. This not only has an impact on their ability to attract candidates, but also on the way their employees interact with each other internally with each other and with their customers or clients. It may also impact on their HR model, and at the end of the day on their corporate image.

Fortunately for those (like me) who push for the use of 2.0 technology in our day-to-day activities, some good results are already coming out.

KPMG has just published its research, "employers of choice", which covers along more than 10 pages, the preferences that students in EMEA have when they are looking for their first job. We cannot forget that they are "2.0 natives", they are proficient users of internet, they were born on the "collaborative era", trained on technologies based on interaction and participation, and this is the way they are used to working.
This report highlights some interesting factors:
  1. Corporate websites and job boards are considered the most useful channels when obtaining information on companies, but;
  2. Social networks, professional sites and blogs, like facebook, twitter or linkedin are more realiable source of information. Besides, they are also used to check references once they've got an offer.
In some countries, as Norway and Germany, social networks are top sources when searching for information on companies. Vanesa Rodriguez is part of our EMEA Graduate Recruitment Team and can be contacted at

Hi Vanessa, That's a great post. I definitely think that corporates need to relax their policies to allow usage of web apps, especially in countries such as Australia, where the usage is still very limited. Although Facebook is quite popular, Linkedin is still in its infancy. Last I heard from a contact at Linkedin, they had approx 900K users in this country, of which only about 25% would be what you call active users! = approx 3-4% of the white collar workforce. In addition, I think a lot of corporates themselves are still struggling how to engage clients, consumers & potential employees through such mediums at the moment... Cheers Kunal

Posted by Kunal on October 27, 2009 at 12:12 AM CST #

I look at it the other way: A company that doesn't use web 2.0 has less competition for jobs. A company that does use web 2.0 is wading through an unstable mire where the rules haven't been established yet. Makes for some great stories, but good business? Not so much. On the technical side (which is where I reside), most companies simply don't have the expertise and experience to use these tools properly. The idea, say, for a DBA to be completely dependent on pretty pictures that are several levels of abstraction away from what is really happening is anathema to a lot of senior people. Of course, Oracle is a big corporation and wants and needs lots of 2.0 types. But small/medium companies? It's still often a mistake. And I must say, linkedin has some crappy interfaces. The root problem is that corporations needs and peoples personal lives are not congruent. Would you really want your college-daze indiscretions known to one and all?

Posted by Barfo Rama on October 27, 2009 at 03:04 AM CST #

Thanks for your comments, One thought of using Social Media/Networking sites from a business perspective is that conversations are happening in the social media space about your company regardless of whether you are there or not (for both large and small orgs). You can either not participate in those conversations and think everything is fine, or you can get online and talk to your customers/clients/candidates and help them with the things that they want from your company (whether that is company information, customer service, support, etc...) Social networking sites provide another communication tool which allows us to talk to each other similar in the way we use a phone or email or fax machine.

Posted by David Talamelli on October 27, 2009 at 03:26 AM CST #

Thanks both for your comments. Barfo, from a recruitment perspective the usage of 2.0 tools would be even more cost effective sources for small/medium companies Why? First because it is free. Not all the companies have enough resources to have an specialized team dedicated to 2.0 recruitment. Second, because you can reach a wider range of candidates. From my point of view, it is not a competition on the number of roles but on the quality of candidates you manage to enter into the process. In other words, you can identify them upfront and there's no need to wait for them to apply. On the personal part, I have all my different accounts configured, which means people will only see my "professional" profile as all the rest of information (including photos, tags, etc) are only available to my "real friends".

Posted by VanesaRodriguez on October 27, 2009 at 12:33 PM CST #

The notion that people's personal and professional lives are distinct and should be kept so, is so old that it just doesn't hold true in todays times... and the question is why should it? We spend most of our life at work (8-10 hours / day), and accept it or not, bring our personal lives to work each day. So, why can't we let our customers, or prospective employees take a little peek at our personal lives too? In my opinion, this just makes a corporation seem humane... In fact this is exactly what some of the more progressive organisations (large and small) are leveraging to successfully create a unique culture for themsleves! And more and more employees are being drawn towards such organisations... And the most efficient way to do so in today's times is by using the power of the internet or so called 2.0 web technologies... LI, FB and twitter each have their drawbacks and may not be perfect, but by far the best of the lot...

Posted by Kunal on October 28, 2009 at 03:27 AM CST #

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