Talent recruiting: meritocracy in the social media Era
In the era of Big Data and analysis of large amounts of unstructured data, social networks become an incredible reservoir for the retrieval of information, opening up countless business opportunities for companies. We are used to analysing the phenomenon from the perspective of business and go-to-market models and how these generate new channels of communication and collaboration between companies and their target market (sometimes resulting in business opportunities in similar or parallel markets); but there is a further area in which the methods and technologies for the analysis of Big Data are producing ‘disruptive’ consequences: I am talking about talent recruitment and career management within the company.
In more structured and large organisations, specific software for career management has been used for a long time, but what we want to bring your attention to is the increasing impact that social media are taking in these disciplines and in the early stages of career paths, i.e. those relating to the recruitment of candidates with a view to employment or integration in the company. If on one hand it is now common practice for head hunters and recruitment companies to use LinkedIN, blogs and virtual communities to recruit candidates (according to the latest studies conducted by the Adp Research Institute, 44% of companies that deal with staff research/recruitment consider social networks effective for finding new talents), data analysis on the web and social channels is increasingly common in companies, seeking more effective ‘talent management’ (I can assure you, for some recent recruitment activities, I have ‘peeked’ at social network pages of the candidates, naturally only the public ones).
Beware though, let’s avoid the controversy about the privacy issue and the fact that, in private life, everyone should be free to do what they please: what we are talking about, does not mean invading the privacy of users, to compare their professional and private lives. Quite the contrary! We are talking about the opportunity to find out more about the people with whom we work and collaborate, maybe discovering that a colleague is an expert in a particular area and that his ‘private interest’ may be useful and beneficial for a corporate. It is clear that from this perspective the opportunities that lie ahead on the horizon appear endless, both for companies and for individuals, who are possible candidates for ‘unexpected career developments’. It is equally clear that, without the proper technological support, these practices risk failing and being ineffective: technology, in fact, does not only allow us to analyse large volumes of data quickly, but to also have an ‘objective’ photograph of possible candidates. Could technology therefore be the key to managing meritocratic professional development paths?