I just read a quote from a leader that made the assumption Facebook causes young people to be narcissistic. Not sure you can miss it anymore than that.
But this comment is the leading perception around non-profit leaders over the age of 50. Few leaders, at that age, see the value of social networks, some even have a very strong disdain for them. These are the same people who will sit in a room and theorize why the quality of their young hires is less than what it used to be. "Something in the pipeline is broken," They say.
They are unaware that the problem could be the solution.
Social media is where young people are! The organizations that view them as a waste of time will also have the most difficulty recruiting quality team members in the future. The organizations or teams that don't get it will try to have a corporate presence on social media instead of individual presence. People can't connect to an organization, they connect to people.
So if it feels like the hiring pipeline is leaking somewhere consider taking the following action steps:
1. Find individuals - Profit organizations have figured this out sooner than non-profits. Find individuals to connect with young poeple instead of a logo. A couple of organizations come to mind for doing this well, like Zappos or The Dave Ramsey Organization. Both are focused on increasing their brand but you always know the individual who is sharing the information. Check out the last 17 hours from Zappos Twitter account:
You know exactly who you are talking to. Christian, Sheena, and Angela...real people...representing and fostering relationships for a brand. Does your non-profit do the same? Maybe it should.
2. Participate - People who see social media networks as tools for the narcissistic don't participate. They may peek in every once in a while to share a family photo so they feel like they are participating but they don't participate often enough to nurture and care for others. What a huge mistake. Social media is like window shopping for talent. It so obvious a window to people's lives and what's going on. I do this every time a person contacts me to volunteer. First thing I do is I go to their Facebook page, check their statuses, and then look through a couple of photos. Right awayI get a sense if this is a relationship I should pursue as a potential volunteer or to say, "Thanks, but no thanks."
3. Pimp the culture - You're like, "What?" But stay with me. Leaders define cultures. And that's what every leader should be doing on social networks. Which is why there needs to be individuals who participate and share about others who personify the culture. Because people are attracted to the lives of others. So why wouldn't you share the great things happening in the lives of people on the team!? Feature people! Don't feature a brand! So I say, pimp the culture. Don't stop talking about the good things happening because of PEOPLE!
We really need to put the negative views of social media away and realize it's where people are at. And yes, there's a strong chance that someday it will change. And yes, new social media networks are popping up every day. But for now it's where people are at and it's an incredible opportunity to bring new people in.
Do you see social media as a tool for the narcissistic? Or do you see social media as something that can draw people into a pipeline? Please comment below?