The Recruiting Animal, said it best today in reference to an entire cottage industry of “personal brand management” companies that will perfect your online image for a price. You can just as easily dilute your personal brand … for free and with little effort by simply opening your proverbial mouth.
Our recruitment blogosphere in its infancy is a daily lesson of cautinary tales when effecting our own personal brands and the recruitment industry itself as a brand. When do our actions sustain it as a workable and beneficial platform and when do personal detractors in their exchanges, be in in posts or comments, compound the act of luring prospective contributors away from its Wild Wild West reputation among outsiders looking in?
A case in point is my new friend, Amitai Givertz. He was deemed a naughty lad you see as the object of his post, and others who happened to have the misfortune of his tongue-in-cheek. Whereas his arguments are substantive as debating points to outsiders of the realm, questions arise as to whether it’s all “Fair Game.”
Amitai and I had many a phone tag session the last 48 hours. Alas, during our virtual introduction, We had a virtual steak at Ruth’s Chris Steak house and several rounds of Mojitos and cigars while exchanging opinions on the meaning and effects of the blogosphere. Amitai provided a preview of a post that pounds the virtual tables on the virtues of “screaming fire in a crowded blogosphere lounge versus Personal Branding.” The results of our dialogue? We initiated a starting point for discussion on professional conduct within the Recruitment Blogosphere. I am looking forward to his next fire stick juggling act at http://recruitomatic.wordpress.com. In the immediate, per his encouragement, I will attempt to develop preliminary considerations as you consider to click “Publish” when posting:
1) The Recruitment Blogosphere is a nascent universe, and care and consideration must be given to the effects of one’s diatribes to its nourishment as a community building exercise. Whereas I do not wish to be misquoted, nor taken out of context, I argue that there is a fine line between Free Speech and lacking professional tact and adhering to its protocols when communicating a sustainableand debatable argument. Belittling, name calling, and downright mean spiritedness are not simply frowned upon for lacking professionalism but as much and more so for scaring off would be contributors that we lose in the community approach to building educational content and analysis.
2) If am known as man or myth, it is for one networking truism I aspire to, in all my actions, and as a mortal when I fail it does not divert from the stated goal: Building and promoting fellow colleagues I deem to be contributors to 21st century recruitment technologies and practices. That being said, I measure my tone and direction on fulfilling in a proactive manner each of the following:
A Does my post, comment, or email detract from building a community, from building partnerships?
B) Do my actions and words invite new adherents to the faith that is Blogging for Talent”?
3) Did I communicate a failing – pertinent to a technology or a practice or in reference to a blog post – in a manner in which I did not first or at last speak of its virtues? Furthermore did I critique in a manner which fairly observed solutions which could add benefit?
4) The origins of the blogosphere and its strengths as displayed in the last presidential election – is in its prowess as a journalistic device, with all the functional components of who, what, where, and when associated with the fact checks we come to expect in democratic discourse. Amitai and I were introduced on the very basis where I faulted his lack of fact check on the issue of promoting the personal branding of others/blog references as virtual endorsements versus original content. Reading my site, Six Degrees from Dave, – after the fact, gave Amitai a pause for reevaluation. As the recruitment blogosphere matures, so do the standards by which we promote and/or critique each subject of the day – we need to do our homework and fact check as if our personal brand depends upon it. It does.
Before anyone references this post as a hypocritical vantage point to some future or former altercation – I emphasize the points made are the ideal, and as a mortal I can apologize in advance when my transgression reveals itself. My one advantage is that I live and breathe the virtue of “Building up my friends and colleagues” as a cause, not simply a practice of convenience, and so long as I subscribe to this one tenent, I can best do unto others as I would prefer unto myself.
Recently, my friends, Harry Joiner and Recruiting Animal both made worthy references to what is at stake from an online Cat Fight – unflattering comments or actions are now being sustained for eternity on Google and/or Zoominfo, etc. as search engines catalogue link and keyword histories.
Googling a person’s name is something that professional recruiters have been doing for years. But the practice has now spread to human resources departments and office managers everywhere.Harry elaborated upon the issue of what (or frankly who) might be out their tarnishing your personal brand and on how you can keep your impeccable reputation untarnished:
Go ahead, Google yourself. Or Yahoo! or MSN Search; whichever search engine satisfies your itch. As most potential employers will probably be doing the same thing, itâ€™s important to find out what information is out there about you, positive or negative. It is well advised to disclose up front that you write for an personal blog or maintain exposure on any other variety of online sites. Harry illustrates this growing phenomenon in Finding Caleb Founds on Jobster.
Amitai is a gentleman. We learned together in our discourse. What I hope I accomplished was this simple fact, we all have a different sense of humor. What we find reason to laugh to in poking fun, has a cost. I reminded him on the fact we work within the confines of a close knit community and yes, whereas I can agree on the importance of standing by your cause celeb, we must remember that today’s personal jab or professional jab, may be forgotten by all except the object of your post/comment and to a greater extent, one risks diminishing the personal brand of another (aka credibility) regardless of whether it was one’s intent to do so. Your blog comment could be deemed the source of economic harm to one’s ability to conduct commerce aka earn a living, and that my friends is a liability you should refrain from at all costs. Waaalaaa! Congratulations! John Doe’s joke or critique was just sharp enough to lose Biff a client that promised an account large enough to buy Tiny Tim that GI Joe with the Gung Fu grip. Words have consequences, not least of which the person who will refuse to shake your hand in front of other esteemed colleagues due to the “misunderstood” quips online. You can defend the post/comment all you wish, the effect, however, is not within your capability to control.
Everyone with a sharp tongue worries about getting on ‘the list.’ In my opinion they should. It will cost you business, blog readers, it will prevent people from hiring you and/or allowing you to represent them as their recruiter of choice. Above all, it will cost you friends worthy of their friendship, and personal respect.
You can stomp your foot on free speech rhetoric, “standing by your opinion” etcetera, but at the end of the day, “It’s about professional Conduct, Stupid!”
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