What’s your next move?

I experienced a first last week – an ex candidate from 6 years ago made some disparaging comments about me in a very public online forum – on LinkedIn to be exact. Instead of airing his grievances in a private message or email, he decided that LinkedIn was the right forum to make some inappropriate and factually incorrect commentary about my service.

Acting as an advisory service to the recruitment market for as long as we have, we know there is no escaping the fact that you can not please everyone all of the time. Of course there are individuals (both prospective candidates and companies) where the outcome has not been the ideal one for either party.

However, most would attest to the fact that online networks are not the right forum to be making inappropriate comments about anyone, regardless of how you feel about them. Unfortunately, the ease of posting online to the screens of many means I am not alone in this situation.

Tempting as it was to write a swift and much more accurate rebuttal, I knew that would open the proverbial can of worms so I counted to 1000 (slowly) and whilst doing so thought about what others can do if they find themselves in the same situation.

Step 1 – Stop and take a breath. Take 1000 if you need. Its natural to be outraged when someone has made dishonest claims about you but reacting with emotion will only serve to encourage the troll in question. Arguing with a person who only remembers one side of any story will not get you anywhere.

Step 2 – My first thought was; what recourse did I have? Some may decide the best course of action is to ignore it, those that know you and your business well will do the same. Others may prefer to address the issue, emailing or calling the person responsible and requesting to discuss the issue privately.

Step 3 – Remember that any rebuttals posted publicly will not only be seen by the person responsible but also potentially their entire network as well as yours. Tread carefully if this is your chosen course of action.

For anyone thinking of posting about another online, here are some steps for you –

Step 1 – Again, stop and take a breath. Posting in anger may make you regret your words later (and won’t make you look great).

Step 2 – Think about how posting about someone else not only affects them but also yourself. You may be burning many bridges that you don’t even know you need yet. The recruitment industry is largely based on the saying ‘it’s not what you know, but who you know’.

Step 3 – Consider whether there may be a better way to discuss any issues you have with people, especially those in your industry that you may need to work with in the future. Pick up the phone and make your frustrations known in private.

It’s also important to note that defamatory comments on social media can – and are more and more commonly – attracting legal ramifications. Those posting about others may find themselves prosecuted under Australian law, particularly if their comments impact upon the professional reputation of those accused.

Social media has provided the recruitment industry with amazing opportunities for networking but it also comes with its hazards such as this. Using common sense should be the general rule when it comes to posting about others online but unfortunately it seems to be getting forgotten by some.

I’d love to know – have you experienced being posted about online? Do you have any helpful steps to add to my list?

About Hemisphere

Our business has executed many high profile searches across the executive recruitment and executive search market since our inception and we have assisted numerous experienced recruitment executives who have directly approached us looking to make a career move.

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Phone: +61 (0) 422 441 439
Email: tc@hemisphereconsulting.net
Web: hemisphereconsulting.net

Hemisphere Consulting
Level 2/37 The Corso,
Manly NSW 2095

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