Job Whisperer

It may be hard to remember, but during the first year of the blog in mid-2007 to 2008, there was barely a mention of social media and its impact in the workplace.  Just a single reference in January 2008 noting that with sites like Myspace (!), “employees from around the country can share information instantly, making it much easier to figure out if there are trends associated with the layoff that may give rise to a lawsuit.”

Then, in September 2008, I talked about how employers were considering using those sites to “screen” potential candidates for employment.   I suggested against it at the time.  But what I also suggested back then is that employers needed to recognize the sites’ growing influence.

Yes, some college grads put some boasts on their site, but Facebook has moved so quickly into the mainstream that many people are using it as a communication tool, far removed from their college years.

That was just five years ago, but really, it feels so much longer than that.

Flash forward to today.  91 percent of American own cell phones.  63 percent of those owners use their cell phones to go online, mainly through apps used on devices like the iPhone.  As a September 2013 Pew Internet study found, a majority of Americans “now owns a smartphone, and mobile devices are playing an increasingly central role in the way that Americans access online services and information.”

Social media accounts for a significant portion of that usage.  89 percent (!) of 18-29 year olds online use social networking sites.  Even among 30-49 year olds, that percentage is 78 percent.

But what sites are they using and how?

You’ve no doubt heard of YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.  Maybe Foursquare and Google+ (poor Google).   And if you’ve been following the blog, you know that Instagram (a photo sharing site) and Vine (a video sharing site) are growing in influence as well.  But what about everything else?

When I spoke to a group of people last week, a few wore their ignorance of social media as a badge of honor.  But in my view, employers ought to understand the scope of the issue; they may not need to use all the sites, but it’s only when you understand how much is out there that you begin to appreciate the scope of the social media issue.

Take, for example, Whisper to which I referenced yesterday. A few people responded, “huh?”
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Interested in social media for business but wondering how to deal with a policy to manage it?

Central Connecticut State University’s Institute for Technology & Business Development is sponsoring an executive breakfast series seminar on October 3, 2013 from 7:30-9:30 a.m. on Social Media Policy.

I will be among the panel of speakers discussing the

This afternoon, I’ll be speaking to the Connecticut Bar Association’s Annual Meeting on a topic that is familiar to blog readers: The Intersection of Employment Law and Social Media.

If you’re attending, please stop by to say hi.

There are a few resources that I’ll discuss in the presentation that I would recommend here:

  • First,

Despite authoring this blog, I must confess that I always thought it would be neat if I could author a book.

I’m pleased to announce that I can check one thing off my bucket list, at least in part.

I can now announce the publication (finally) of ” Think Before You Click: Strategies for Managing Social Media in the Workplace” (in rough form, it was previously called “HR and Social Media: Practical and Legal Guidance”).

Fortunately for me with a busy practice, I merely had to contribute a chapter; the credit for the whole book is rightly placed with Jon Hyman — author of the Ohio Employer’s Law Blog — who edited the book and coordinated its publication.


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Heard of the popular show, "A Minute to Win It"? Well to borrow from the title, for health care professionals (doctors offices and hospitals in particular), you’re playing a much more dangerous game "a Minute to Lose It".

What is "it"? It is patient data.  And right now it continues to be at risk every

UPDATED 2/7/11 – The case settled today. See this update.  

In an unprecedented case, the NLRB is pushing all in over the battle on social media. And its press release today leaves little doubt where it is placing its chips — strongly in the employee’s favor.

I had heard about this case a few weeks