Web 2.0 Technologies for Recruitment and Retention of Management-Level Employees
Web 2.0 technologies have permeated every aspect of online communication and collaboration, from public social networks to enterprise-based Customer Relationship Management (CRM) applications includes Salesforce's Chatter. What unifies all of these applications and platforms are the series of Web 2.0 design goals originally defined by Tim O'Reilly and John Battelle (O'Reilly, 2006). These design goals and objectives include using the Web as a platform to communicate, collaboration and create opportunities for connectedness between groups, both personal and professional (Bernoff, Li, 2008). All applications and platforms designed with Web 2.0 design goals in mind give the network user control over their own data, autonomy of how their data is used, provide features and functions that allow for greater communication and collaboration. The highly successful social networks including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and the emerging class of CRM applications including Salesforce Chatter all make use of Web 2.0 design goals. What's particularly relevant about Web 2.0 both from design and application standpoint is the opportunities it provides for potential new employees at the managerial and professional level to learn about our company through communication channels they trust and value. The majority of today's working professionals rely more on social media channels to learn about new job opportunities and get an honest assessment of what potential new employers are really like (Mistry, 2009).
Why Web 2.0 Matters At Dunder Mifflin Paper Company
Empirical studies indicate that prospective managerial and professional candidates evaluate potential new employers using a 360-degree view of companies of interest. As a result, the most valuable prospective employees want to see beyond the Dunder Mifflin website and see what daily life is like in our headquarters and branch office locations. Web 2.0 technologies have brought an entirely new depth of transparency and authenticity to the recruiting process, making it possible for candidates to envision them being involved and contributing daily to company objectives while furthering their own careers (Mistry, 2009). Social networks that rely on Web 2.0 design objectives often attain higher levels of authenticity, transparency and trust over the long-term as well (Bernoff, Li, 2008). Web 2.0 has become synonymous with having an open honest, collaborative approach to sharing information online. The Web 2.0 design objectives originally defined by Tom O'Reilly, founder and CEO of publishing firm O'Reilly Media, are shown in Figure 1, Web 2.0 Design Objectives.
Figure 1: Web 2.0 Design Objectives
Source: (O'Reilly, 2006)
All social networks are designed to meet the objectives shown in Figure 1 and Tim O'Reilly, its creator has been retained by Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and many other social networks to assist in translating these objectives into product features and workflows (Bernoff, Li, 2008). An analysis of the most popular social media platforms that were built using Web 2.0 design objectives are shown in Appendix A, Description of Web Applications.
Using Web 2.0 Technologies To Recruit Management-Level Employees
The pervasive nature of Web 2.0 technologies has already completely changed the expectations of managerial and professional employees in terms of what they expect prospective employers to offer (Robinson, 2010). Today at a minimum prospective managerial and professional employees expect to see a well-orchestrated company on social media, where Facebook, Flickr, LinkedIn, Twitter, the corporate blog and in some cases even Pinterest, a social network based on sharing images, are all aligned to show them what the company cluster is like and what they can expect when applying and working for Dunder Mifflin. What all of these Web 2.0-based social media applications and networks must do is clearly communicate expectations, report back experiences of comparable professionals working here and above all, strive to be honest and clear on all claims about the company to gain trust.
Web 2.0-based social networks are highly effective in giving young professionals a sense of belonging and connectedness to the places of employment. A recent IBM study has shown that for young professionals in the 25 -- 35 age group, 80% report that having a sense of connectedness is critically important for their job satisfaction (Leader-Chivee, Hamilton, Cowan, 2008). The same study has shown that connectedness is and the sense of being part of the company and being considered a key contributor to its goals, is the single most important predictor of job performance (Leader-Chivee, Hamilton, Cowan, 2008). The use of social media across each phase of the employee lifecycle is the single greatest challenge for human resources (HR) professionals today, ensuring that the recruitment is done clearly, honestly and with clarity to ensure trust is created and grown over years of a valued employee working at an organization (Robinson, 2010). What is apparent from these studies is the need even prospective managerial and professional employees to have an immediate sense of belonging and seeing themselves as strong contributors ot the business is essential for Web 2.0 and social media strategies to work.
Two ideas for gaining more prospective managerial and professional candidates include the following:
1. Create a "Guided Career" application on the website that is also promoted through all social media channels, showing how each aspect of working at Dunder Mifflin will enhance and make the prospective employee even more marketable in the future. The prospective employee can use these tools as much as they like and even save their output as well. If they choose to submit their profile from the Guided Career site, a recruiter will immediately evaluate it and decide if there are any positions available for them. This brings the idea of gamification, or making the task of finding a great position more game-based. This could be very effective in getting prospective managerial and professional candidates to also spend more time on the social media sites and provide their information and interests as well.
2. Create A Dunder Mifflin social network just for managerial and professional candidates where they get assigned a mentor, such as Michael Scott, head of our Scranton, Pennsylvania office. This would be highly effective in ensuring every managerial and professional candidate gets immediate attention and also gets a very clear view of what professional life is like at Dunder Mifflin. This social network would also give them the opportunity to apply for as many positions as they choose to.
Positive & Negative Aspects of Web 2.0-based Social Networks and Applications
Web 2.0-based social networks have strengths and weaknesses, which are defined here. The strengths include being able to connect with young, upwardly-mobile professionals, providing a 360-degree view of the company to highly qualified candidates, and creating and sustaining a high level of credibility and trust with all stakeholders as social media is public and seen by everyone. All of these advantages make Web 2.0-based social networks essential for the success of Dunder Mifflin's recruitment efforts.
The downsides of relying on Web 2.0-based social networks is the risk of having an employee share too much information and embarrass the company or expose it to legal consequences. A second downside of relying on social media is the time it takes to orchestrate all social media channels together effectively (Bernoff, Li, 2008). A third drawback is that Web 2.0 technologies in general and social media specifically can promote or create an impression that a company will provide much greater benefits, support or be a continually happy place to work and not accurately show the realities of what daily work life is like. It is common for professional and managerial workers to often experience cognitive dissonance between what social networks led them to believe about a potential new employer and what reality turned out to be (Mistry, 2009). This is why social networks above all must be honest and truthful, showing what the company actually is like daily, not just projecting an image to get more candidates to apply.