Last Friday, Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn, was in town and he hosted a small breakfast with CEOs to share ideas about social business. The conversations triggered a few thoughts.
First, social media will bring new models on the free flow of knowledge workers. Jeff positioned LinkedIn as a social site for "knowledge workers". He said there are over 600 million knowledge workers in the world. And guess how many subscribers they have on LinkedIn? 250 million! Even allowing the fact that not all subscribers are active, this scale of coverage breaks down country borders and gives rise to potentially whole new business models on talent flow, acquisition and trends prediction. This is amazing.
Second, social networks are re-defining how companies source talent and build their brand to attract skilled resources. The amplification effect of social media takes recruitment to new horizons. For instance, in IBM, we engage not only HR but IBMers round the world, including our alumni, to source for the right talent. We provide a social referral tool on mobile and the web that can see the list of jobs available in IBM. With just one click, IBMers and alumni can instantly share the list or part of it with the relevant job information in their personal networks such as LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook. This helps extend the reach, engagement and amplification of our talent recruitment drive.
Third, the impact of social and digital in enterprise business is just beginning. At IBM, we believe in a simple business equation: business performance is a function of client experience, which primarily is driven by employee engagement. Adopting social technologies enhances employee engagement and client experience. When we adopt it in communicating with employees as well as clients and stakeholders, it's not just how much employees "know" that determines their value to the enterprise and clients, it’s how much they "share". Our strategy is to build a socially collaborative workforce to inspire and accelerate knowledge sharing, and hence better client experience. When employees are inspired, engaged and fulfilled at work, they will be more productive and innovative -- and ultimately create more value for the companies they work for, both internally and externally. A social workforce is a smarter workforce.
Talent strategy that includes talent acquisition, skills enhancement and workforce engagement forms the critical base for any company to succeed in today's knowledge economy. As the world becomes more connected and intelligent, and the millennial population continues to embrace social computing, enterprises now face the dawn of a new era – the era of Social Business.
Just as internet changed the marketplace forever, the integration of social computing into enterprise design represents another enormous shift. Organizations that successfully transform into a Social Business will reap great benefits – among them the ability to deepen customer relationships, drive operational efficiencies and optimize workforce.