Social networks: Pressing employees to share their links

This BW Online story details how companies are using employees' links in social networks to hunt for job candidates. ... Carmen Hudson, manager of enterprise staffing at Starbucks, [ ] says she swears by LinkedIn.
Stephen Baker

This BW Online story details how companies are using employees' links in social networks to hunt for job candidates.

... Carmen Hudson, manager of enterprise staffing at Starbucks, [ ] says she swears by LinkedIn. "It's one of the best things for finding mid-level executives," she says.

The Holy Grail in recruiting is finding so-called passive candidates, people who are happy and productive working for other companies. LinkedIn, with its 6.7 million members, is a virtual Rolodex of these types. Hudson says she has hired three or four people this year as a result of connections through LinkedIn. "We've started asking our hiring managers to sign up on LinkedIn and help introduce us to their contacts," she says. "People have concerns about privacy, but once we explain how we use it and how careful we would be with their contacts, they're usually willing to do it."

I think I'd refrain. I don't think my contacts would appreciate my plunking them into a corporate database. But this raises a question: Will workers who hold back on sharing contacts risk missing the next promotion? After all, those who share are contributing to the knowledge and human capital of the enterprise, while those who resist are protecting their own interests. In a word, being selfish. I fear we're going to be under increasing pressure to pool more and more of our data, and those who say no will be stigmatized. Bad attitudes, bad team players--or maybe people with something to hide.

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