Well, that tears it. People are writing about “Social HR” now, as if it’s a thing. The problem is, people are attaching that term to dead-ends like “gamification” of the job process, the “death of the resume” and using Klout scores and other such nonsense to weed out candidates.
The article at Forbes linked above lays out five supposed trends for “Social HR” in 2013. I don’t like doing rebuttal posts, but sometimes easy is easy (disclosure: Monster.com is a client, and they are much, much smarter than me about both careers and recruiting thinking – but here I go anyway):
- Gamification: I get the idea of badges or other signifiers of accomplishments, skills or other merits. However, my career is not a game. One must be careful not to trivialize the hopes and dreams of a job seeker, whether they be in need of work or gainfully employed but listening for other opportunities. Work is the roof over our heads, the food to feed our families, our lives. Not a game. Again, be careful not to trivialize it in the name of fun.
- Death of the Resume: This one is a little easier. There are plenty of alternatives to the traditional resume. However they augment the traditional resume – they don’t replace it. Try to apply for a job without having to show someone a resume at least at some stage. It can happen, but if you think it will be prevalent in 2013 you have your head firmly up your Silicon Valley. Just like the death of print, the sentiment is logical but the reality is years away – and never total.
- Klout Scores as a Job Requisite: This is the big cruel joke of the Internet. Klout scores are fun, but mean little beyond the ability to make noise online. Yes, some recruiters have used Klout as a yard stick, though it is hard to see where that has been a good thing. I play around with Klout, I’ll admit. I also like to bowl – that’s actually more fun – but I won’t be putting my 219 game on my resume, even though it probably means as much (and maybe more).
- Personal Branding: I have this blog, am active on Twitter, Facebook and other places, so I guess you could say I play at “Personal Brand.” I say that using an online presence as an advantage and requiring it as a recruiter are two very different things, The former is a proactive career help. The latter, a shortcut to some qualified candidates but certainly no indicator of the only qualified candidates out there. Reward public smarts but don’t treat them as false gods.
- Recruiters Using Social to Find Passive Job Seekers: This I agree with completely. To be honest, it’s more an extension of the last point about personal branding, highlighting the real advantages. It’s best used as a way to get found, rather than proof of superior credentials.
I’ll admit that I have an automatic reaction to made-up phrases like “Social HR.” Overall, there is too much bending over to make up things to fit the script of new buzzwords. There are elements of careerists’ use of social media that makes sense for recruiters and employers to take greater advantage of them than they have.