Whether blogging about their area of expertise or tweeting about business best practice, more CIOs are choosing to express their views through collaborative technology. Mark Samuels reports.
More senior IT leaders are beginning to dabble in social media and are finding new ways to help the business. So, where will social CIOs go next? Do IT leaders use social media to attract potential employees and do they use collaborative tools to keep new workers engaged?
Do CIOs use social media to attract potential employees?
Kcom Group started to use social media for recruitment in 2010, establishing a Twitter account for potential openings. Dean Branton, director of customer operations and group CIO at the telecoms specialist, said the organisation's LinkedIn recruitment pages launched earlier this year and are focused on building a network of contacts.
"We have a full recruiter seat on LinkedIn, which allows us to proactively search for candidates, whose information can be imported into a PDF for hiring managers to review," Branton said. The group's Kcom recruitment page also provides links to relevant web sites and testimonials from current employees.
"The additional benefit of having a LinkedIn recruitment profile is that it supports getting the brand out to the employment market, and it can target passive candidates," Branton said. "As well as running adverts for our vacancies, we will also proactively search for LinkedIn members who may be interested in our roles based on their profiles."
JJ Van Oosten is an experienced IT leader, and former board member and CIO at Tesco.com, who believes LinkedIn and Facebook are very useful tools for recruiting potential staff. He pays particular attention to LinkedIn, drawing on his experience at large firms which suggests employees across all ranks of the business are connected through LinkedIn.
"The inhouse recruitment team does need to understand and create an excellent LinkedIn presence," he said, referring to the need for human resources to take a structured approach to sourcing via social media. "The best talent is global, mobile and well connected. LinkedIn should play an essential part of building a good brand as an employer."
Van Oosten said he has less personal experience of Facebook being used in a recruitment context. However, he can think of ways the tool could help. "If I had to recruit some developers, or other new talent in marketing, I could imagine organising some cool, interactive and rich events," he said, before also suggesting that social networking can provide a strong hook for acquiring new talent.
"Getting the best and most suitable talent from universities can also be achieved through Facebook." And with estimates suggesting that as many as 48 per cent of young people now get their news through Facebook, organisations need to find a way to engage with a tech-savvy generation of online individuals.
Jim Slack, the business leader of IT operations and development at Co-operative Financial Services (CFS) said it is essential to use social media. "The new generation of connected workers expects you to use social media," he said. "New candidates cannot just be found through social media - they are actively asking us about our approach to social technology."
How do CIOs use collaborative tools to keep new workers engaged?
A move towards collaboration means organisations such as CFS must engage with workers via social media. Finance institutions have traditionally taken a tough line on collaborative tools. CFS is no different in that respect to other firms in the sector, and Slack said...
Mark Samuels is a business journalist and editor at IT leadership organisation CIO Connect. He has written for various organisations, including the Economist Intelligence Unit, Guardian Government Computing and Times Higher Education.