Category Archives: Social Networking

Manpower Inc. Identifies Four Mega Trends

Manpower Inc. is a strategic partner of the 40th World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, held in Davos, Switzerland this week. At the Forum, key Manpower Inc. executives are participating in discussions around a slate of topics ranging from global commonalities to gender parity to the future of employment to social networking.

In conjunction with the Forum, Manpower Inc. released information identifying four Mega Trends which are transforming and accelerating the world of work. They are:

  • The Talent Mismatch is deepening as the working age population declines and the nature of work changes. These significant shifts in talent supply are transforming the global labor market.
  • Individual Choice will be exercised by those with the skills that are most in demand, requiring companies to think differently about how jobs are defined and how they will attract and retain scarce talent.
  • Rising Customer Sophistication requires businesses to work in a new way, driven by innovation and delivering greater value and efficiency.
  • Technological Revolutions have the power to change where, when and how we work, enabling organizations to be more agile and innovative – if they know how to leverage it.

“In recent weeks, the status and significance of the rapidly expanding temporary workforce has been widely discussed – and woefully misunderstood,” said Jeff Joerres, Manpower Inc. Chairman and CEO. “Companies will increasingly look to temporary workers to gain the flexibility and agility required to appropriately and strategically adjust to consumer demand.  At the same time, individuals are increasingly exercising more choice when it comes to pursuing employment that meets their expectations and taps their motivations.”

“Business leaders around the world will need to ask themselves what the trends mean for their organizations and what they will do to respond to them, according to Manpower research.  Organizations need to carefully consider their people practices, a critical element to navigating the changing world of work.”

“As the economy rebounds, companies will need to prepare for a new normal, carefully adjusting their business strategy and evaluating their workforce,” said Joerres. “In the past, access to capital gave companies their edge; soon talent will become the competitive differentiator and companies will compete for talent as rigorously as individuals now compete for jobs. ”

“Given these trends, the temporary workforce will lead the way as the world recovers and companies are forced to do more with less and meet consumers’ ever-rising expectations,” Joerres added. “To attract and retain these ‘workforce accelerators’ who offer highly specialized skills, smart companies will strive to create a workplace culture that is healthy, flexible and satisfying.”

To see an executive summary, click here…

Good stuff!  Take note America – things are changing before our very eyes.

Exec’s Pick Facetime over Facebook for Employees

facetime

In a recent survey Executives were asked, “How comfortable would you feel about being ‘friended’ by the following individuals on Facebook?” Their responses:

  • 19 percent said they were very comfortable being friended by their boss; 13 percent for co-workers, 12 percent for people they manage; 7 percent for clients; and 6 percent for vendors.
  • 28 percent said they were somewhat comfortable being friended by their boss; 38 percent for co-workers, 32 percent for people they manage; 34 percent for clients; and 23 percent for vendors.
  • 15 percent said they were not very comfortable being friended by their boss; 13 percent for co-workers, 15 percent for people they manage; 17 percent for clients; and 24 percent for vendors.
  • 32 percent said they were not comfortable being friended by their boss; 28 percent for co-workers, 33 percent for people they manage; 33 percent for clients; and 38 percent for vendors.
  • 6 percent said they weren’t sure about being friended by their boss; 8 percent for co-workers, 8 percent for people they manage; 9 percent for clients; and 9 percent for vendors.

“The line between personal and professional has grown increasingly blurred as more people use social networking Web sites for business purposes,” said Robert Hosking, executive director of OfficeTeam. “Although not everyone is comfortable using sites like Facebook to connect with professional contacts, it’s wise to be prepared for these types of requests.”

Hosking advises employees on Facebook to be sure they are in compliance with their employer’s social networking policy. They should then familiarize themselves with privacy settings and create different friend lists to control how — and with whom — information is shared.

“Individuals should classify their professional contacts into a ‘work’ list and limit what personal details this group can view,” said Hosking.

Following are some common Facebook situations professionals may encounter and how to handle them:

  • You’re tagged in an embarrassing photo. Untag yourself and change your privacy settings so photos are viewable only by your close friends.
  • You’re friended by someone you don’t want to connect with. It might be best to accept friend requests from colleagues to avoid slighting them, but add them to a work list and adjust your privacy settings so you can effectively separate your job from your personal life.
  • You’re considering friending your boss. It may seem like a natural extension of amiable office small talk, but think twice before proactively friending your boss. It could become awkward for both of you.
  • You want to join various groups. You should join groups that interest you. But if you have colleagues in your network and don’t want them to see the groups you join, remember to adjust your application settings.
  • You would like to be a fan of certain pages. Becoming a fan of pages on Facebook is visible to anyone who can view your profile, so you should avoid becoming a fan of any page you are uncomfortable sharing with co-workers or business contacts in your network.
  • You love quizzes. Stop and think for a moment before taking online quizzes and posting the results to your Facebook page, unless you want professional contacts to know which “Gilligan’s Island” character you most resemble.

Companies and Micro-Blogging are Taking Off

Twitter may be great for keeping up with friends (and those you can only dream about having as a contact in your address book), though its lack of security makes it a bit risky for communicating on the professional level. But because more people are relying on the microblogging model for real-time communication, web entrepreneurs are creating premium, private microblogging services for the workplace that are safe from predatory hackers:

07-29-09-yammer

Yammer: Probably more effective (and less tedious) than going through a torturously long status report at weekly staff meeting, Yammer is a “productivity tool” that facilitates a continuous dialogue, within a company or organization, about what everyone is working on. One central feed lets employees pose questions and share information, all without flooding everyone’s inboxes. Each user get a profile, meaning Yammer also serves as a private version of Facebook, minus the incriminating photos and status updates you don’t want your co-workers to see. Access to a network is limited to participants with a company email address, with all content kept private. For added security measures, companies can shell out a nominal fee for administration privileges: This ensures that everything posted remains confidential should you decide to quit Yammering away.

07-29-09-socialtext

Socialtext: While the concept of internal microblogging is still relatively new, the competition between services is heating up. But if the reviews are any indication, Socialtext may be in the lead. In addition to its free, 50-user microblogging platform, Socialtext also recently launched a paid service for companies that allows more users and can be used behind firewalls. For $1 per user per month, subscribers to the service receive a server appliance; the appliance’s hardware runs the microblogging software locally, meaning it can be connected to each company’s own backup system should something go wrong. The external device can also automatically pull in all employee information to instantly create accounts for the entire company – that way, no one can feign tech ignorance as an excuse to avoid being a team player.

The Largest Twitter Application Directory on the Web

twitter bird

Everyone is always looking for great Twitter apps to make their life a little bit easier and to help their business run a little bit smoother. With that in mind I decided to go out and find the largest most complete and easy to navigate directory of Twitter apps that I could find. I am happy to say that I was very successful – not only do these apps help me in maintaining Manpower’s Twitter feed, they help me save time. I know what your thinking; since when does social networking save anyone time? Well – with the right apps you are a click away from having more time to devote to other social networking time wasting activities. Mafia Wars anyone???

Click here to be immediately transported to the directory.

Click here to follow Manpower on Twitter.

More Employers Check Social Networking Sites

social-networking

Forty-five percent of employers use social networking sites to research job candidates, up from 22% when asked last year, according to a survey released today by CareerBuilder.com.

Of employers who use social networking sites to find candidates or do background checks, 29% use Facebook, 26% use LinkedIn, 21% use MySpace, 11% search blogs and 7% use Twitter.

The top industries for employers that use social networking sites to screen candidates are information technology (63%) and professional and business services (53%), according to the survey.

Content that caused employers to not hire candidates included posting of provocative or inappropriate photographs, content about a candidate drinking or taking drugs, bad-mouthing of a previous employer, poor communication skills and making discriminatory comments.

However, some content encouraged employers to hire a candidate. This included profiles that provided a good feel for the candidate’s personality and fit, supported professional qualifications, showed the candidate was creative and showed solid communication skills.

The survey included 2,667 hiring managers and human resource professionals in the U.S.

Click here to view the complete study.

Should Twitter be a Part of Your Business Strategy?

twitter red background

What are you doing? It seems like everyone, especially in the media, is answering that question in 140 characters or less with a “tweet” and letting their “followers” know what they are up to each hour of the day. But is Twitter something that is in its infancy, something that is just a media darling or has it already experienced its fifteen minutes of fame?

These are some of the results of a new LinkedIn Research Network/Harris Poll of 1,015 advertisers from agencies or corporations who are involved in the advertising decision making process surveyed online between June 22 and 30, 2009 and 2,025 U.S. adults surveyed online between June 24 and 26, 2009.

Opinion of Twitter

Just under half of advertisers (45%) say that Twitter is something is in its infancy and its use will grow exponentially over the next few years, while one in five (21%) believe Twitter will not move into the mainstream and is something mostly young people and the media will use. Just under one in five advertisers (17%) believe Twitter is already over and it’s time to find the next best thing while 17% of advertisers say they don’t know enough about Twitter to have an opinion on it. Among consumers it is a different story altogether, as over two-thirds (69%) say they do not know enough about Twitter to have an opinion about it. Just over one in ten say it is just at its infancy (12%), 12% also say it is just something that young people and the media will use and 8% of consumers say it is already over and it’s time to find the next best thing. As might be expected, there is also an age divide on opinions of Twitter. Younger advertisers are more likely to have an opinion on Twitter than their older counterparts (only 11% of 18-39 year olds do not know enough about Twitter to have an opinion compared to 20% of advertisers 40-49 years old and 21% of advertisers 50 and older). Among consumers, the same applies and only half (55%) of adults, 18-34 years old say they don’t know enough to have an opinion, compared to 80% of those 55 and older.

Effectiveness of Twitter

Among those who have an opinion regarding Twitter, feelings about the effectiveness of it for promoting products and ideas are lukewarm among both consumers and advertisers. Among advertisers, just 8% say Twitter is very effective for promoting products and ideas while half (50%) say it is somewhat effective. One-third (34%) of advertisers say it is not that effective and 8% believe it is not at all effective for promoting products and ideas. Among consumers, 8% also say it is very effective for promoting ideas and products and 42% believe it is just somewhat effective. Three in ten (31%) consumers say Twitter is not that effective and 19% feel it is not at all effective for promoting products and ideas.

So What?

Although those of us who watch cable newscasts can’t help but notice their proclivity to invite us to follow the show or host on Twitter, it does not seem as though Twitter has made it mainstream yet, let alone to its edge. While advertisers and marketers expect Twitter to grow, its effectiveness as a marketing tool will most likely hinge on consumer education: consumers need to learn more about what it is, why they should pay attention to it, and why they should “tweet.” It is the advertisers and marketers who should play the lead role in promoting consumer education if they truly want to move Twitter beyond infancy and into its “tween years.”

Click here to read the full report in a PDF format.

Beware of the Social Networking Charlatans (Guru’s)

charlatan

Lately it seems I can’t go anywhere without running into a gaggle of social media consultants bloviating about the wonders of social network marketing. Sure, you’ve seen ’em, too. Slick shake-and-bake “experts” promising to help you leverage the power of Twitter and Facebook to raise your profile and, inexplicably, boost your profits. But scratch the surface on most of these claims and they instantly crumble. Meanwhile, it seems the only people making any money in social media are the consultants themselves.

For anywhere between a few hundred and a few thousand bucks, you can hire a social media consultant to come to your office and put on a training seminar for your staff. They’ll spend an hour or two pontificating about the power of social media to raise awareness of your brand and the magical benefits of building closer relationships with your customers in 140 characters or less. They’ll probably even offer you a few “insider tips” based on their “deep expertise” in the field. The only problem? It’s a load of bull.

Unless you define success by the sort of loosey-goosey standards that might make your horoscope appear to actually predict the future, the real measure of any business undertaking is that it increases your profits. But in the vast majority of use cases, neither Twitter nor Facebook stands any significant chance of doing that for business users. And if you’re a small business that depends on, say, actually selling real products and services to actual paying customers, wistfully tweeting about your daily specials is almost certainly a waste of resources.

But time spent typing 140-character updates about your company is nowhere near as frivolous as time and money spent listening to a self-styled guru blather about how to do it.

Everyone’s an Expert

Combine a rapidly growing trend of social media adoption with an economy that has forced hundreds of thousands of workers to reinvent themselves as entrepreneurs, and you’ve got the perfect recipe for consultant overload. Since nobody seems to know what the hell’s going on with Twitter anyway, nearly anyone can pass themselves off as an expert on the subject. So suddenly all those poseurs who might otherwise have bilked the hapless with offers of life coaching services or Feng Shui consulting have jumped on the social networking bandwagon. You can hardly swing a stick on the sidewalk nowadays without smacking one of these guys in the head.

In fact, shortly after I began typing this, I received a message from a fairly typical consultant offering to give me some expert insights in relation to another article I’d recently written. A quick look at this person’s Web site revealed a career in a totally unrelated field followed by a sudden turn to social media consulting on the basis of being an “avid” social networker. Among this supposed expert’s credentials: an admitted lack of technical savvy and a claim to be able to make businesses more productive through social networking.

Click here to continue reading.