New college graduates have learned that a boozy Facebook profile is not an employment recommendation, but how many senior HR executives make use of Social Media tools to find just the right candidates for the most important positions they have to fill?

There are three main reasons why the HR and Staffing industries have to date not been as avid in their Web 2.0 tools’ use as, for example, Sales or Marketing are:

1. HR and Technology are not natural partners; HR is about people, not about things.
2. Having spent a great deal of money on Web 1.0 tools that now often sit on a shelf in a closet without ever having been used, companies are not eager to spent more money on new tools they are not certain they need.
3. HR departments’ top people are typically in their fifties, without the technology curiosity required for the exploitation of Web 2.0 tools. (In the Staffing industry, where recruiters are generally two decades younger than their colleagues in the corporate corner offices, a much earlier and widespread adoption is noted.)

Bernard Vanderlande, a Director at Stanton Chase Executive Search in Atlanta, who specializes in identifying the global executive, believes there is another reason why HR executives at large public companies are reluctant to adopt Web 2.0 tools. “HR is an industry that values confidentiality”, he explains, “and there is still a fairly widespread perception that the Internet is ‘anything goes’, without regard for privacy.”

“The benefit (of using social media),” he goes on, “is not just that this can help find the candidate with the perfect skills set and experience, but also that it helps the company (that has a position to fill) portray itself as being comfortable in this arena. This is very important in the global marketplace.”

Also speaking of HR’s lag in the use of Social Media, Barbara Giamanco, CEO of Talent Builders, Inc., who is a sought-after speaker in the Social Media and Sales sphere, observes that: “HR is typically caught up in control and secrecy. They don’t see the opportunities. They worry about legal issues and employees saying the wrong things.” “But,” she continues, “this is not a fad; the train has left the station and HR will have to sprint to get on board.”

A benefit of the use of Social Media tools Giamanco identifies, is in talent retention. HR management has to listen to others, she believes; let ideas come bubbling up from the bottom – from employees and customers – and shed its belief that good ideas are only generated in executive suites. She cites Best Buy as a company that “gets it”.

In the early adopter hierarchy, she places HR at the bottom, with Corporate Communication at the top, followed by Marketing, Sales, and Training.

A third benefit of the use of Social Media to the HR suite, and corporate management in general, is the deployment of internal blogs, with employees being encouraged to use them. In addition to being useful for project collaboration, such blogs are also experienced as huge morale builders, an enormous benefit in today’s uncertain economic climate.

Author's Bio: 

Lya Sorano, CEO of The Oliver/Sorano Group, Inc., is a writer and Internet strategist, who works with clients in a variety of industries in support of their marketing and PR projects. She may be contacted at 770-455-8088 or