Tag Archives: social media

Twitter in the classroom to assist not distract?

Happy Monday everybody!

I’m actually preparing to fly to Melbourne this afternoon for a group HR planning day tomorrow. I’m pretty excited because I have managed to snag 30 mins on the agenda to talk about opportunities for HR in Social Media.

It is a rapidly growing area- and one that can’t be ignored.

Once I’ve finalised the presentation I’m happy to share it so stay tuned.

In the meantime though, I came across this video this morning and thought it may be worth sharing.

I studied my Masters by distance and whilst I really enjoyed it- I just wonder how much better it could have been had they embraced some social media tools. Have a look and see what you think.


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Filed under Social Media/Technology

What are you ALLOWED to view at work? The grey area of social media in the workplace

Last week when I was chairing the Australian Employment and Workplace Relations Summit, the very last panel featured Pete Williams from Deloitte Digital and so the conversation skewed towards social media and what companies allow employees to access.

I mentioned that in my workplace, I have access to everything. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Youtube- the lot- and I know it may sound silly, but I honestly don’t think I could work somewhere that didn’t allow me access to these sites. One of my friends can’t even look at this blog. Why am I so passionate about it? Because it helps me do my job.

Twitter- is awesome. It has allowed me to meet so many fantastic people (in HR and other industries) located in Sydney, greater Australia and across the world. Some of these people I’ve met in person, others just online- and others have become really good friends.

If I have a question about something, it’s a great pool of resources to draw upon. Invaluable to my work and mental sanity as the rest of my team is located in Melbourne. I also get access to so many fantastic articles and blog entries this way.


Facebook– I don’t use facebook as much for work, but in saying that I don’t spend very long on there each day. I have it as an app on my iPhone so I do the check-ins on facebook when I’m bored.

LinkedIn– another fantastic way to meet people that share the same interests as you, and share articles, information and personal experiences.

Youtube– an excellent resource for training, learning and creating entertaining presentations. We all know its important mix up the media you use (in order to escape death by PowerPoint), and it gets people engaged and sometimes excited about what they are seeing. Video has the power to invoke an emotional response- which is great for HR.

And as Laurel Papworth (Australia’s foremost social media expert) said recently in HR Monthly, “Anyone who would waste a huge amount of time on Facebook at work would only switch to email, internet surfing or playing solitaire online. Timewasters waste time. Don’t blame the tool!”

So what is your stance on this, or what does your organisation allow you to access at work? I know I’m Gen Y, and that is my perspective because it how I work- but I’m keen to hear a range of other perspectives.

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Filed under Social Media/Technology

Thanks to Desired Hair, and Michael Specht for sponsoring HR Club Sydney

In the whirlwind that was last week, I didn’t get a chance to thank my sponsors for the first HR Club Sydney Event and I wanted to give them the recognition they deserved and get the details right.

First and foremost, I would like to thank Alex and Laura of Desired Hair (the hair extension specialists) for generously sponsoring the three lucky door prizes for the night.

Desired Hair provides high quality 100% human hair extensions at wholesale prices direct to the public. They also sell accessories (such as the hair straightener we gave the lovely Peta on the night) and you can even book a Hair Extension Party. Please visit www.desiredhair.com.au for all the details.

Desired Hair

Secondly I would like to thank Michael Specht for his donation of the “Australian Corporate Careers Website Report” and the “21st Century Guide to Recruiting” as an exclusive free offer to HR Club Sydney members.

Michael is currently running his own consulting business, Inspecht, specialising in HR technology and the application of Web 2.0 tools and techniques for companies of all sizes, called “Enterprise 2.0“. Michael has a unique views on how social media can be used by organisations to enhance the employer brand and attract the best people to work for your organisation.

He is a regular speaker on HR technology for the Australian Human Resource Institute and has been involved in their HRIS Special Interest Group. In addition to writing this blog he actively participates in the conversation around Web 2.0, social software and the impact on organisations and management practices.

If you are interested in hearing Michael speak, you can catch him at the ATC (Australasian Talent Conference) Conference on Social Media in Melbourne, December 3rd this year.

ATC Social Media

Here is a blurb about the conference:

In 2009, you are invited to join some of Australia’s most forward-thinking leaders and experts in the social media and recruitment at the ATC’s new sister event to be held in Melbourne.
The day will include first-hand insights from internationally recognised speakers, as well as hearing from real company case studies and participating in interactive workshops designed to encourage participation. The series of interactive sessions are designed to leverage the combined wisdom of the Australian recruitment industry, allowing you to learn from the experiences of industry peers.
The speakers will address issues such as, how to measure the ROI of social media; how to integrate social media into your recruitment strategy, digital branding, talent pooling and the impact of social media on graduate recruitment.
But this is no ordinary conference. What’s different about this event is that it is a hybrid between a traditional conference and an ‘Unconference’, meaning part of the agenda will be developed by the attendees. The Unconference sessions will allow you, the attendees, to influence the event program, ensuring the issues you want to hear about are discussed and the event can provide solutions for a range of workplace challenges.

Find out more about ATC on Social Media or email me hrclubsyd@gmail.com for your free copy of the “Australian Corporate Careers Website Report” and the “21st Century Guide to Recruiting” by Michael Specht.

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Filed under Events, Recruitment, Social Media/Technology

Do you Google potential employees?

With the rise of sites like facebook, MySpace and twitter people are essentially creating a permanent digital footprint for themselves which is able to be viewed by almost anyone. In adjusting your privacy settings, you can protect some of your content but realistically it’s not that hard to view photos, videos and conversations between people, and there is no eraser on the internet.

What does this have to do with HR?

Many organisations are currently using the internet to find out more about their potential employees. Some companies are ‘googling’ their names, or trying to access their facebook or MySpace accounts.


If we think about anti-discrimination legislation in NSW for example, you cannot unfairly because of your sex, race, age, marital status; or if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, homosexual, disabled, transgender or a carer. You also can’t be discriminated against because of the company you keep including relatives, friends or work colleagues.

If employers are able to freely search for you on the web, they can find out about your personal relationships such as marital status (or in some cases if you are homosexual or transgender), they could look up where you live and your house via google maps, they could find out if you are pregnant via status updates on facebook or twitter and they can absolutely make judgements about the types of people you associate with. All of this fall under categories which employers can not discriminate against.

However, an article came out today (HT @trib) from Smart Company where Harmers Workplace Lawyers state that employers must be aware of legal obligations under the Privacy Act, and employee rights under the new Fair Work legislation, because “Whenever an employer or recruiter collects personal background information on a candidate, that action triggers a raft of legal obligations under the Privacy Act. Those obligations include that an employer must inform the candidate that they have gathered personal information as well as explain the purpose for which the information was gathered and to whom it may be disclosed.”

While we in HR want to know as much about a person before we hire them, we have to make a careful distinction between what information we need to make a judgement about their on-the-job performance. I’ve known quite a few people who had to pull down blogs and protect their updates on twitter because it was suggested to them when going for a promotion or new job.

Personally, I think my social media record indicates who I am and although I wouldn’t really place anything on there that I believe would impact upon my job prospects- at the same time I wouldn’t want to work somewhere that wouldn’t hire because I like to have fun on the weekends. In saying that, I guess employers could look you up without you even knowing.

What are your thoughts?

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Filed under Diversity/Bullying and Harassment, Recruitment

Social Media and HR

Social Media is being talked about a lot lately. We’ve seen news break first on twitter, employees are fired for things on facebook and politicians like Obama and Kevin Rudd use it as part of campaign strategies or as a means to connect with the public.

It’s also becoming a way for organisations to build relationships with people, join the conversation, build brand awareness and recruit/attract staff.

So what is Social Media?

“Social media are primarily Internet- and mobile-based tools for sharing and discussing information among human beings. The term most often refers to activities that integrate technology, telecommunications and social interaction, and the construction of words, pictures, videos and audio. This interaction, and the manner in which information is presented, depends on the varied perspectives and “building” of shared meaning among communities, as people share their stories and experiences. Businesses also refer to social media as user-generated content (UGC) or consumer-generated media (CGM).” (Wikipedia)

So we’re talking about blogs, twitter, facebook, and social bookmarking sites like Digg or Delicious.

Social networking websites are online communities of people who share interests and activities, and who are interested in exploring the interests and activities of others. They typically provide a variety of ways for users to interact through chat, messaging, email, video, file-sharing, blogging, discussion groups, and images.
I’ll be presenting at my organization soon on where we can go with social media from a HR perspective, so I’ll share that with you when I can. However, I think that social media has huge potential for your personal development. I’ve learned so much off other people, some of whom I’ve met in person and others that I’ve just communication with online.

Social Media

In the meantime, if you are interested I recommend you have a read of Michael Specht’s blog and his list of 52 Social Media ideas for HR and Recruitment.

If you are interested in connecting, HR Club Sydney has a facebook fan page and we’re also on twitter and LinkedIn.

Do you use Social Media and if ‘yes’, what do you use it for? If ‘no’, what has stopped you?

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The Secret Business of Social Networking. Lee Hopkins at the AHRI National Convention

Lee Hopkins- Director of Buzz
Check out his blog

Lee Hopkins

“Lee Hopkins is a management psychologist with over 20 years experience of helping businesses communicate better for better business results. An internationally sought-after speaker, Lee combines his passion for employee and online business communication with his dynamic presentation skills to create ‘once seen, never forgotten’ live experiences.”

Scepticism still surrounds the use of social networking sites at work for many organisations. Can this new technology be tapped to achieve business outcomes and what are the potential positive and negative implications for organisations?

I’m fairly engrossed in the Social media scene already (I’m a member of the Social Media Club Sydney) so Lee’s presentation was introductory for me, but judging from the amount of questions and engagement he had from the HR professionals in the room- this is an area that needs to be explored much further.

Lee argues that social networking is now much bigger than email- its one of the largest ways that we get information. However it’s important to follow the Social media ethos; which is about trust, transparency and accountability. Gone are the days when companies could not admit mistakes- social media has actually encouraged companies to come forward and concede errors in the interest of being transparent and accountable.

See an example here

He then illustrated the power of social media by playing us a clip of an AOL customer trying to cancel his account. The customer had to wait on hold for more than 15 minutes, and then asks to cancel the account. It’s a frustrating call to listen to as the customer repeatedly says “cancel the account” and “I don’t know to make this any clearer”. The AOL rep refuses to budge and even asks to speak with the customer’s father even though the customer is 30 years old.

The customer then put the call on his blog, and it went viral. Due to its popularity, the customer was interviewed by many television and radio stations including CNBC. To date, it has had more than 250, 000 views on YouTube.

Lee also spoke a bit about Second Life- which to be honest I’m not a huge fan of.

According to their website: “Second Life is a free online virtual world imagined and created by its Residents. From the moment you enter Second Life, you’ll discover a fast-growing digital world filled with people, entertainment, experiences and opportunity.”

Many organisations have already jumped onto Second Life including Xerox and IBM. They use it hold ‘virtual’ meetings, conferences, training sessions and they even simulate business situations and build product prototypes.

You might want to read more on this by checking out the IBM case study.

Overall the key message was that Social Media isn’t something companies should rush into. It’s important to conduct a risk analysis, develop clear policies, and ensure that your employees are trained.

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Filed under AHRI National Convention, Social Media/Technology

Social Recruitment gaining grounds- post on DestinationTalent

The social media world is buzzing at the moment and HR people are listening and starting to get involved; particularly for recruitment purposes. Have you dipped your toe in or still sitting back to see how others go when they dive in?

If you are hanging back you may want to have a read of this article featured on Destination Talent which suggests that the practice of using social media or networks to recruit staff, is gaining grounds.

My own experience is that advertising using print media at the moment is largely unsuccesful- so this may be the way of the future.

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Filed under Recruitment