We've written plenty on First Reference Talks about the significant effects—both negative and positive—that online social networking can have on workplaces. Whether its Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, news or entertainment blogs or what-have-you, employees are using social media, and increasingly they're doing it on your time. Employers should be aware of the potential value they can derive from social media, as well as the potential risks.
Social media are new, and their value is not entirely clear, especially to businesses that are doing just fine as they are, thank you very much. Heck, it's even possible that blogs, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other Web 2.0 and social networking services will turn out to be passing fads, in which case, maybe companies that ignore them will have the last laugh on the matter. I don't know about that, but I will say this: the generation that grew up on the Internet and began to enter the labour market over the last decade is unlikely to want to shift to a way of doing things that doesn't involve the Internet and its associated applications and gadgets. And their childrenwell, who can say how connected they'll be. It would take an extremely authoritarian approach to return to the workplace of our parents, and likely an approach that looks backward rather than ahead. But enough of prediction, let's talk about some interesting stuff!
Here's a question about an issue that is becoming increasingly relevant:
By using social networking sites—such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn—to search for and recruit employees, are employers discriminating against groups that are less likely to use those services?