One of the most powerful things about blogs is that they put a "human face" on companies. But with that more personal voice comes a lot of perceived risk -- I've found that many companies just are not comfortable giving employees or even executives the power to publish. Some companies, especially those in highly regulated industries like financial services or pharmaceuticals, have very real needs to control what information is provided by the company.
But there's one area that I think is a no-brainer and a greater starting point for companies interested in blogging -- and that's in recruitment. Think about it -- when else would it as important to show the “human face” of a company as when you're trying to convince someone to come and work for you?
Microsoft has been a pioneer this area -- their Jobsblog discusses technical jobs at Microsoft. There's also a blogroll of other recruiter blogs at the bottom of the right rail. And one of my favorite examples of a job-related post is actually on Microsoft’s Channel 9 video blog, where the ‘Softies conduct a mock interview showing what it’s like to interview for a technical position. And be sure to check on the comments to that video, where developers chime in how what they would have solved the problem!
One key question that I get is how a recruitment blog would differ from the static pages available on most “About Us” sections of corporate Web sites. Think about it as being able to quickly and easily update those Web pages with more personal stories, and most importantly, to market those hard-to-fill positions. Some ways for recruiters to use blogs include interviewing the hiring manager for a hard-to-fill position or providing tours of the campus, cafeteria, or of employees themselves.
I’m always looking for examples, so if you know of any companies that are using blogs as a recruitment tool, please add it as a comment below or email me.