The Footprint We Leave Behind

The Footprint We Leave Behind
One of my clients is currently recruiting for a position in which it is hard to find qualified candidates.  The other day I was assisting them with sourcing candidates by going through LinkedIn.  I was searching for potential candidates that have the necessary skills or show potential for growth.  What I encountered instead was eye opening.

As I searched I came across familiar faces from organizations I currently work for or have in the past.  On their LinkedIn profiles they show that they work for my clients.  Only problem is…they don’t.  A number of them I knew had resigned from the organization while for others I had been a part of the termination.  In fact a couple of them were terminated for just cause.

Two thoughts popped into my mind.  The first was, is there anything my clients can do to stop these individuals from representing themselves as still working for a former employer.  They could contact the person and ask them to change their profile, although in some cases the employer does not want to have any direct communication with the person.  I’m sure there is a legal route that my clients could take but I wonder about the cost benefit of doing that.

The other thought that entered my consciousness was wondering how many profiles I have out in cyber world that are out of date and incorrect.  With the onslaught of opportunities to sign up, register, logon, enter to win, click here, we are constantly setting up accounts and profiles.  As well, the business and social networking sites are regularly becoming outdated when a newer better one takes over (remember MySpace?).  I don’t know about you but I rarely remember to remove myself from one site before moving on to the latest and greatest.

The realization came to me that I am unconsciously leaving behind a cyber footprint; in the digital age it is going to become the profile of me that is shown to the world.  Is it how I want the world to see me? Maybe, maybe not – but to be honest I have no idea what I left behind.

I am regularly telling my teenage daughter to be careful what she posts as it will be online forever and follow her throughout her life, yet I seem to have forgotten that myself.  My guess is the former employees I encountered have too.  They have likely moved on to something new and forgotten all about the LinkedIn profile they set-up five years ago.

In the future I am going to be far more mindful of the footprint I am leaving behind.  It will likely still be floating around in cyberspace long after I am gone.  Better make sure it looks good!

Elizabeth Hill
Partner & Senior Consultant

Employers Must Contribute To The Solution of Youth Unemployment

For almost a decade the youth unemployment has been stubbornly high. The biggest complaint I have heard from recent graduates who cannot find a job is that they are in a catch 22 situation. The problem being that:Employers require experience on entry-level jobs and of course they don’t have the experience.

These grads have tried either volunteering or unpaid internships to get the necessary job experience and all have had varied results. We know for a fact that in many of the internship situations recently, exploitation may have taken place.

In my view, employers that receive all kinds of tax breaks with the goal of creating employment opportunities have a responsibility to ease the transition for recent graduates into the workforce.

I’ve identified three ways they could achieve this objective:

  1. If a position is entry-level, don’t ask for experience. Entry-level implies that it is the start and if you ask for experience than it is not a true entry-level position
  2. For fresh recruits, employers should create realistic simulations so that the recruits can quickly gain the necessary experience to swiftly become effective in the workplace. Post secondary institutions use simulation for students to acquire valuable knowledge and skills; there is no reason that I can think of that this approach will not work. This should be part of an extended orientation period.
  3. Create training programs designed specifically for new workers who have acquired credentials but have no experience.

I am sure HR professionals can think of all kinds of other methods to fill the knowledge and skill gap in the workplace. In my experience, this is a win/win situation:

            For the Employer: The training is specific to its organization and it can be a great retention tool.

            For the Employee: Opportunity to develop the necessary experience and practical knowledge to launch their careers

With Governments currently unable to satisfactorily resolve the skill shortages with the Temporary Foreign Workers Program, while failing to consistently to resolve youth unemployment, employers should take responsibility for these areas and develop their own. They have successfully done it in the past and there is no reason that that they cannot do the same now.

Angelo M Pesce

Partner & Principle Consultant