Does Social Media Increase the Risk of Staff Being Poached?


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YOUR best employees are most at risk of being poached by competitors under the new rules of the modernising economy.

That’s because changes in the workplace, growth of technology and the rise of social media now allow employers to cultivate relationships with prospective employees – even while they’re on your payroll.

Social media used to poach workers – Sydney Morning Herald May 7, 2012

Is there a risk of staff being poached? Of course there is.

But I think there’s another side to the argument put forward by SMH writer Chris Zappone (and one that gets scant attention in the article) – smart organisations are focusing on a dynamic balance between old-school leadership and culture development and the active use of new mediums such as social media channels like LinkedIn.

Ultimately, social media isn’t the enemy – it’s a part of the solution – the challenge therefore is what a CEO or business leader can do to ensure they are taking a holistic approach to the growth of their workforce.

As a business leader and a member of The Executive Connection (or Vistage as it’s know in the globally), this is the attitude that my peers are taking – it’s not a risk issue but a business issue that is as much risk as opportunity. In many ways, this different attitude is why TEC member companies have outperformed the economy during difficult times – see the data below.

If a CEO or business leader is worried about the impact of social media on staff retention, they should focus on three key areas (this is a simple outline).

  1. Leadership development – what investment are you making in your own professional development as a leader? If you’re not developing your own leadership skills and style how can you expect to grow a modern dynamic workplace?
  2. Your Internal Culture – developing a positive workplace culture is (in my opinion) the most important factor in determining whether you retain or even attract the right talent. Social media won’t create a positive culture, but it can impact on it’s development – as an example, I’m seeing more and more TEC member companies embracing social tools like Yammer and Chatter so as to redefine internal communication models – breaking down the old model where knowledge ownership was viewed as job security.
  3. Use the Tools at Your Disposal – A good leader ensures succession planning is an ongoing attitude across the business rather than something big corporates do. As was identified in the article, LinkedIn now provides capability for companies to have a more effective passive talent connection program – being connected or in the minds of future employees so that changes to personnel don’t create havoc or short term pain. The other benefit that will be realised is the opportunity to reduce new hire risk – the purported “we’ve got to have this guy” who then turns into a dud hire…

As we move towards a workforce that is more fluid and less “job for life”, the need for business leaders to rethink known models is more important than ever – but it’s not just about the impact of social media – this is not necessarily something the “bright young things” are best able to manage.

The smart leader or CEO will be taking a very different view of this risk – seeing it as a game-changing opportunity.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Mark Parker
Mark Parker is the founder of Smart Selling, and the specialist business unit – Smart Social Media. The core aim of both businesses is to help companies become better sales organisations by utilising the ideas, tools, and practices of Sales 2. and social media.


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