By Karen Axelton
You know you’ve got to be cautious about what you put out on the Internet. You’re concerned about data breaches, social media slipups, customer privacy, protecting your company’s network from viruses and more. But with all the things you’re protecting, there’s one area you might be leaving wide open. If you’re putting too much data about your staff on your website, competitors, recruiters and HR people might start poaching them.
Yep, that’s right. In a recent post on Fistful of Talent blog, recruiter Kelly Dingee admits to a dirty little secret in the recruiting industry: the practice of scouring company websites to find information about their employees. You know the type of info—those cute (or not so cute) bios of your executive team, and sometimes even your entire staff that you post in the “About Us” section. The ones that tell us about your VP of Biz Dev and all his accomplishments, or Kelly in Customer Service and how she loves pickle-eating contests.
Having spent my career in journalism, I love that stuff because it gives you the “flavor” of a company and lots of good info you can use in figuring out if you want to write about a company or not. (Do they have a sense of humor? Are they thought leaders?) And I always encourage companies to share more information, not less. But I never thought about how this information could be used against a company to steal their key players away.
Of course, as Dingee admits, lots of the same information can be found online elsewhere by using social media tools such as LinkedIn and Facebook. But putting it on your company website gives it that extra “authority” because it’s your company, not the employee him- or herself, saying all those nice things.
“In your effort to be customer focused, client facing and accessible, you just put your talent on the line,” writes Dingee. “You’ve given me their name, their job title and and their email in many cases.”
It’s a thought-provoking blog post, and if your industry is one where there’s a lot of competition for qualified talent, you may want to think twice about what you share about your staff—not just on social media, but on your own site and marketing materials.