Web 2.0 Networks and HR

This is an increasingly featured topic on this site.  Innovation networks and collaboration networks are of great interest to the business community because it ties together how work and product actually gets done.  Sure we have our formal organizational hierarchies, and we have process flow charts that rout our activities to each other, but the world knows that this is not how business actually gets done.

Ever notice that Linked In is loaded with Recruiters??  That’s not the point of this post, but I think we can all agree that the recruiting function of HR has long since discovered communities as an avenue for adding talent to organizations.   But recruiting is only one small part of the HR function.  What about talent management and organizational design?  ((Community Group Therapy.  February 28, 2007.  “Exploring communities and corporate HR…”  Retrived from http://communitygrouptherapy.com on March 18, 2007.))

Innovation and collaboration networks will be increasingly seen in the business over the next decade, but it’s rarely thought of for HR (except perhaps here on systematicHR or on Talentism).  If we’re only talking about using a social network and community for recruiting, how could we apply this to talent management?

  • Learning:  this is probably the easiest to envision.  Innovation and collaboration networks will be providing the platforms that HR can “piggyback” on.  As those networks roll out, we’ll see clear paths that we can use to improve the opportunities to learn through a network, create great mentorship programs, and find our senior talent that really influences the rest of the employee population.
  • Performance management:  could you really see everyone tagging you (good, bad, collaborator, mentor, effective, productive, fell asleep in meeting)?  The first issue is one of transparency.  People have to be willing to tag and have that tag be traceable back to them.  Second, people might have a major bias to rating you based on their personal like or dislike of you.  At the end of the day, can we figure out how to build a community and use web 2.0 in an innovative way to create better performance management?
  • Succession planning:  On linked in today, you have people writing positive reviews of your work (hopefully).  When we’re identifying succession candidates, wouldn’t real world experiences that each of us have built over time with our employment networks be the most critical to deciding if we’ll be effective leaders in the future?  These measure not only our experience and successes, but our potential.  Instead, we have rigidly structured succession planning processes that identify successors based on their current roles in the organization and the evaluation of one or several contributors to the succession plan.  Not a complete picture by any means.  I could totally envision how ongoing, constantly open networks (feeding into a secured system) would be a major enhancement to the current system.

Web 2.0 is here.  It’s coming soon to an HR vendor near you over the next few years.  The form it will be in is unknown to me, but putting more power in the hands of the community to convey information and knowledge can only be a good thing.

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19 thoughts on “Web 2.0 Networks and HR”

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  2. I think you need to be careful in what you wish for. If LinkedIn was only networking recruiters, it would lose a lot of value for those same people. Anyone who has an incompetent boss would dread the idea of that boss tagging their LinkedIn profile unfairly and thus permanently damaging their reputation. One step further and lawyers are being hired.

    Transparency is a beautiful thing but only if people are honest.

  3. Indeed. It is happening already though. I’ve been riffing for sometime on enterprise 2.0 theme. In many organisations it is happening without HR’s knowledge or involvement. PIty.

    I recently learnt of a colleagues promotion on linked in before I got the internal announcement.

    I think you have seen the harmony stuff cooking here at SAP, but that is just the tip of the iceberg.

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