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The Online Talent War Julho 1, 2008

Artigo de opinião de John Sviokla em Harvard Business Publishing.


Are you taking no more than a squirt gun to the talent wars? Most people find jobs through social connections. In 1974, Harvard sociologist Mark Granovetter published his landmark study that showed four out of five people find jobs through personal connections. Yet, in our recent Diamond Digital IQ survey, only one in three senior executives think information technology will impact their human resource management function over the next three years! This means they will lose out on the most powerful, fastest growing, and most influential channel to be find talent.

Take the case of LinkedIn, the upstart social networking site whose aspiration is to become the world’s dominant professional network. It had 19 million members as of February. It took LinkedIn about a year and a half to achieve its first million members, and only 29 days to get its 19th million. For $7,000 per seat per year, you can look at its entire network.

The company is already profitable through three sources of revenue. The first is its InMail product, which allows you a prescribed number of email to people you don’t know in the network who have agreed to accept emails from people they don’t yet know. LinkedIn charges for access to the other people in the network – think of Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon but charging for the second through sixth degree. The second source of money is the service mentioned above in which HR directors can see the full network, and there is some advertising, too.

Many firms have found great success using Craigslist, which has over 450 cities covered around the globe, and over two million new job postings each month. The other social media like Facebook, MySpace and a host of others also energize how people connect and share information on everything – including jobs. Social media are only going to grow as technology gets ever more pervasive – with half the world’s people having mobile phones within five years. It will not stop – but only increase in importance.

When the implications of IT and social media are so apparent, why is your HR department and your management team missing this trend? Because the people who run companies, the 40-somethings to 50-somethings, are not usually in these social networking sites. They don’t know how the world of job hunting has changed.


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