Social Media is eating my brain…and I love it

Social Media is eating my brain…and I love it

I recently created a Google profile page for Hewitt Associates ( as a way to align our corporate website with our social branding/media strategy links. Now we have a single platform with feeds to our Twitter links, Facebook Fan Site, Career Module, Global Location Map, YouTube videos, Linkedin Community Groups, Crowd Sourcing initiatives, Webcast/Podcast links and the answer to the universe. Of course we are not giving out the answer to the universe that easily. This must be earned through trust, loyalty and commitment. Translated, you must be a fan. Did anyone catch the shameless plug from the opening paragraph? I think I hid that quite well.

That is what we call a subtle yet slightly shameless plug. A completely shameless plug would be to ask you to follow Hewitt Career Opportunities on Twitter @hewittcareers or get text updates by texting Hewcareers to 77950 or join the Hewitt Fan Site on Facebook or get information on Hewitt’s Diversity programs by texting HewDiversity to 77950. That is just plain shameless and lacks professionalism and tact. Ultimately, just as effective.

If that thrust into the black hole of Web 2.0 didn’t send your head spinning, well this is just the beginning.

Interesting enough the term “Web 2.0” was coined ten years ago in a 1999 article entitled “Fragmented Future” by Darcy DiNucci where she stated:

“The Web we know now, which loads into a browser window in essentially static screenfuls, is only an embryo of the Web to come. The first glimmerings of Web 2.0 are beginning to appear, and we are just starting to see how that embryo that might develop the Web, will be understood not as screenfuls of text and graphics but as a transport mechanism, the ether through which interactivity happens. It will appear on your computer screen, on your TV set, your car dashboard, your cell phone, hand-held game machines and maybe even your microwave”

Perhaps a modern Notradamus or pre-modern Hal 2000.

To quote Carol Anne Freeling (Heather O’Rourke) in Poltergeist, “They’re Here” and they are not going away.

Social Media is a part of corporate infrastructure. Some have realized that and taken action accordingly, some are hesitant to take the plunge, while others believe it is a passing fad that will soon fall on its face. Is it innovative or just a more efficient way of communications and business operations? That is a burning question that we deal with on a daily basis.

If you are proud of something why not shout it out to the world. Now, we can take that phrase in a literal sense. I am proud of where I work, who I work with and how my part plays into the success of this organization. Why shouldn’t we share this and take advantage of the tools and technology at our disposal. Web 2.0 is fun, sexy, creative, engaging, addictive and a way to be a gamer in the non-gaming world.

Global expansion is not a new view on business operations. Jack Welsh, former CEO of General Electric coined the term “boundryless”. He believed that a successful professional is a global professional. General Electric developed a three year global Human Resource rotational program that allows a graduate associate to participate in a program that includes rotations through two or three business units and one global rotation. This program was developed almost twenty years ago. As products and services become more global in development, production, sales, and implementation, the web has become an invaluable tool for implementation, innovative change and evolution.

I have a journal. For those Gen-Y and Gen-Z and Gen-Waiting for 2012 to come and swallow the earth readers, that is an old school blog. It is a pen and paper version of thoughts and ideas encompassed with a personality and bit of flare. For many years, this has been my personal salvation. My escape from reality to a very personal side of my being. That being said, I have a blog as well ( I am proud to say I have two dedicated readers that live vicariously through my well chosen anecdotes. Being willing to change does not mean you must give up your entire sense of value.

We are on the brink where there is a fine line between being great and being unemployed. Be visible, be unique, be creative, be bold, continuously improve, stay informed, continue evolving, train and re-train, get published, get noticed, stand above the rest, be a part of a community, make strong network connections, develop a new idea, embrace change, redefine yourself or develop a personal brand.

Raise of hands….Who has not heard someone say or personally used one of these catch phrases to define their current professional status? Believe it or not, they all ring true. We as professionals are a part of an unprecedented time in the midst of an expanding population boom. Numbers are growing incrementally yet opportunities are shrinking. The avenues of communication are growing and the voices coming from all directions but the ability to stand out is becoming slimmer. Do we cope? Do we dive? Do we maintain the status quo?

There is no right or wrong answer. The business world and its integration into the social framework will continue to evolve. Traditional relationships will remain a vital part of our being but the growing number of virtual contacts and interface will grow. Mobile media and technology are allowing us to interface in real time twenty four hours a day and make critical decisions and implementations faster than Speed Racer ever could have imagined.
Times will continue to change. There will be growing pains and there will be wonder.

I am embracing wonder. This week at the National Black MBA Conference in New Orleans, Hewitt will be introducing its Diversity SMS application and conducting a conference wide giveaway utilizing only the mobile technology. Last month, Twitter was used to promote career opportunities, key news feeds and align with Talent Acquisition professionals instantaneously, A Benefits and Health & Welfare Community site sponsored by Hewitt in four months has become the second largest Employee Benefits Interactive Community Site on Linkedin. A new Facebook fan site is being launched with expectations to grow the community globally and become an integral tool for clients, associates, vendors, alumni and candidates. January saw the launch of an Alumni Network Site that has grown to 3800 former associates offering news, featured alumni, career opportunities, and shared successes. A series of podcast and webcast interviews with industry leaders has been introduced. Virtual web interviews are being piloted as we speak for remote candidates. Associate speakers are being streamlined live through the internet for all associates and colleagues to view. These are just a tip of some of the initiatives that are leading us forward with the assistance of Social Media.

I believe in the future. I believe we have only tapped into a small portion of the potential these tools have to offer. To say I am excited about the possibilities would be a gross understatement.

I have often been asked by fellow colleagues that are in a career transition, “What can I do now?” Often I find myself telling them “Stay Focused and Get Noticed”. We all have talents and skills that make us stand apart. Utilize those talents and the web tools and create a personal brand that will help you stand out.

I was asked today why I use the title “Talent Acquisition” and not recruiter or sourcer? We don’t hire individuals or just meet headcount numbers. We are acquiring, training and harnessing a specific and unique set of skills to help build on the strength and success of our organization. The key to any company success is the talent. That talent must have the right skills, correct fit into the culture; have a desire to grow and a feeling of empowerment. We play a role in all in all stages.

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