Is Facebook really our friend?

I’ll admit to being one of the billion people on Facebook, however unlike many I don’t want to be found. Why am I on Facebook, a previous girlfriend invited me so how could I say no? I did however take the precaution of misspelling my name to ensure I was not easily found. I have however been found by four other friends, it appears most of friends can’t spell my name anyway so my strategy was not quite as effective as I had hoped.

Facebook has posed a challenge for me, I don’t think my customers or potential customers are there. If they are there then they’re like me trying to make a sale, tip of the day – never try to sell to someone who is trying to sell to you. Also unlike many fellow Human Resource practitioners I don’t believe in rummaging through the personal details of potential hires. While I would put this thought aside if I was involved in hiring an executive who would be taking on a significant public facing role, for the rank and file I just don’t see that I need to know what they did on Friday night, their relationship status or the number of friends they have. I’m an HR person, I’m direct, if I want to know something I’ll ask or trust my own observation.

LinkedIn on the other is fair play, if I’m looking at an application for a role I’m recruiting for, I’ll search for them on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a professional space, so it has the information that I as a HR guy wants to know. There are however some limitations, as a LION (LinkedIn Open Networker) I know for example that the endorsements functions is merely marketing spin, I have endorsements from people I have never worked with, never met, from countries I have never visited. Testimonials on the other hand are I believe are an okay source of information – however just as referees contacted during the selection process, I wont be making my decision solely on a testimonial.

So, Facebook is undoubtedly big business, but I still can’t get around the feeling that my customers aren’t there. I’ll certainly keep watching the space, but for the time being I’ll leave the spelling of my name the way it is.

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