The Social Networking Phenomenon & Talent Acquisition

One of the 7 Critical Questions Surfaced by CSuite incumbents relates to how to leverage Social Networking.   Seth Stein of Discussion Partners has authored a terrific summary of today’s realities.

Social networking is hardly a new concept in the realm of talent acquisition. However, the explosion of technology-enabled social network sites (SNS) has changed the playing field forever.

Profound change can be realized almost instantaneously. Witness a recent occurrence where massive “Twittering” in the aftermath of a disputed national election in Iran has exposed a repressive regime and the lengths it will go to quell its people’s thirst for liberty.

The explosion of SNS since 1997 is staggering. This graphical depiction (1) is revealing.


Something that grew out of a want for folks to be connected to friends and natural associations has become part of everyone’s daily regime: log in, log on, and connect with one’s networks.

Executives must necessarily recognize that SNS are a major tool in their talent acquisition tool box. This is particularly true with the entry of Generation Y into the job market. Discussion Partner Collaborative recently published a demographic analysis on the changing workforce. DPC illustrates (2) that Generation Y now composes about a third of the talent pool almost evenly divided amongst Generation X and Baby Boomers. This new generation of talent, coming to age in the last 10 years, has been raised in and upon the SNS structure.

It is an executive imperative therefore to manage the human capital aspect of the corporate business model. The sustenance and growth of every organization begins with its people. It is an organization’s continual quest to augment, supplement, replace and refresh the pool of talent.

In the area of human capital the social networking phenomenon is a disruptive technology. To be ignorant of it is to doom one’s business to mediocrity- to sound its death knell in the global marketplace. What was once a nascent forum principally launched as a late 20th century vehicle to become “connected”, has become an early 21st century instrument for identifying, pursuing and acquiring talent.


Sources: 1. boyd, d. m., & Ellison, N. B. (2007). Social network sites: Definition, history, and scholarship. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 13(1), article 11.  2. Entry Workforce Generation Shift, Discussion Partners Collaborative,


The 7 Crisis Driven C-Suite Questions

As we are seeing some daylight in respect to the economic crisis my Discussion Partner  colleagues and I have identified the top questions we are hearing from our C-Suite Questions.

  1. What am I missing?
  2. Do I have the right people to get me through this crisis?
  3. After the crisis, what type of managerial skills should my executives possess?
  4. What do I do to plan for the shifting demographics?
  5. How do I exploit the Social Network phenomenon to improve Employee Engagement?
  6. What will the future HR model look like?
  7. Do I have the right skills to be a CEO? During the next several weeks we will communicate our findings via this blog on the above questions.

Question 1-What am I missing?

The CEO community has been heads down for the last 18 months on coping with the economic crisis. In our Executive Advisory work we are finding our CEO clients becoming less focused on restructuring, stock price, and governance pressures. Our discussion has now shifted to address issues of growth and globalization. The common theme among all of the CEO’s whom we have been working with is that the economic crisis has changed the business fundamentals. This has led to our response when addressing the question “what am I missing” by replying “it is hard to say…..we are all navigating as yet unchartered waters” The growth and global issues are interrelated for self evident reasons. To level set expectations in an environment that is at best unclear the determination of strategic intent is focused on the following questions:

  • Do we focus our acquisition efforts outside our host country
  • How do we manage a truly global workforce
  • Given the parochialism of Americans… do we promote a sense of enterprise community
  • What is a reasonable ROI in the context of forecasted turbulent stock market conditions
  • Will the ultimate measurement of intangibles be a benefit to our enterprise

These 5 filters are leading he CEO’s to be highly reflective as they ponder their next steps. An additional finding from our client work is that the consideration of the above will promote improvisation and creativity in human capital strategy