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,


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