Calvin Jones's Public Profile on LinkedIn We all know how crucial attracting and retaining bright, talented people is to the success of any organisation. Now is a particularly crucial time on the recruitment scene. The bright young stars of tomorrow — true digital natives (PDF File) — are entering the workforce… and things are changing.

These connected whiz-kids are looking around, wondering where they should work… and where are they looking? Online, naturally; but they’re not just looking at company and jobs websites, they’re checking out your online reputation on social networks like Facebook, MySpace and others, and are looking for the profiles of executives on professional networks like LinkedIn.

Social screening is a two way street

You read a lot about how employers are trawling these networks both to “check” applicants’ details and looking for prospective employees; about how candidates should have their professional profile up on LinkedIn, and how they should be aware of their online footprint and watch what they post. What you don’t hear much about is the fact that those same candidates are doing exactly the same thing in reverse. Be under no illusion, your prospective employees are checking you out too… and as digital natives they’re in their natural environment: i.e. they’re probably better at it than you are!

In a nutshell: if you don’t measure up, then sorry, you don’t get to employ the best and the brightest — and that could hurt the long term prosperity of your business.

Krishna De, a leading business, personal branding and social media coach based in Dublin, Ireland; highlighted the fact that Generation X employers really don’t get that social media is a two-way medium in a recent blog post. She reveals that even companies that consider themselves progressive in the social media space are lagging behind in this potentially crucial area.

Marketing your company to prospective employees — projecting it as a progressive and innovative place to work — is every bit as important as using digital channels to promote and sell your products and build relationships with your customers. And yet few organisations, and even less senior managers, seem to acknowledge it, let alone embrace the remarkable opportunities that social media affords to put their brand in front of tomorrow’s brightest young stars.

As Krishna De so effectively puts it:

If you want to win the war for talent, don’t leave it to chance what potential candidates may find out about you online – be sure to create your professional profile representing your personal brand online

Incidentally, you’ll find my public LinkedIn Profile here.

Are companies embracing social media effectively in the fight to attract the best candidates? Leave a comment and let us know what you think….