I saw this tweet today from a hiring manager: "Just interviewed for a sysadmin. I'm struggling since she has no social footprint. Is that wrong, or should social be key?" What are your thoughts on a 'social footprint' requirement for sysadmins?
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- What is "social", though? We've had newsgroups for decades, online forums, mailing lists, and now more mainstream/easy forms of social media like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Google+.
What about personal web sites/blogs? Participating in user groups or speaking at conferences?
Believe it or not, there are already a LOT of SysAdmin folks who are very social, without even trying.
Just because someone doesn't have a LinkedIn account, or a Facebook account, doesn't mean they aren't active in the community and public at large. How many hiring managers know how to effectively search for information about a job candidate online beyond the simple Google search?
Social should NOT be key. Go with whatever the job applicant has offered up in their resume. Anyone who has accomplishments in the public arena would most certainly list them. Anything they do not offer during the interview or on their resume should be considered part of their non-work life.Jun 27, 2012
- Some great points, Dan. I believe that all of those things are social. Not just what a recruiter or hiring manager knows to search for (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or elsewhere publicly searchable and more newly termed social).
IMO results found during the hunt through these easy social sites should not be a key decision-making factor, for sysadmins, other technical professionals, or anyone, if it's not disclosed that you are looking for those criteria in the job req. It's a fact of life that recruiters and hiring managers now do check the low hanging fruit of newer social media sites to research who their candidates are, perhaps even as an aid to screening candidates before they even first speak to them. And they probably have no idea as to how to look for the mailing lists, newsgroup posts, conference and local group activity that might be good indicators of passion and public communications but aren't so well-known to the general public.
Including the desire and/or requirement for someone who is active on newsgroups, forums, lists, in local organizations, at conferences, published, and/or on social media sites should be specified, in the job req, if it is desired or required by the people doing the hiring, to avoid unintended discrimination.Jun 27, 2012
- I agree about documenting accomplishments, and giving a sense of the person's personality. Standard background checks (criminal, financial) should satisfy the rest of the requirements.
Getting to know the individual beyond the professional level is best done in person.Jun 27, 2012
- I wrote more thoughts on this here:
http://everythingsysadmin.com/2012/06/discrimination-means-missing-o.htmlJun 29, 2012
- I thought y'all might find this somewhat relevant: http://www.baselinemag.com/c/a/Careers/Poor-Hiring-Practices-Turn-Off-Job-Candidates-324085/?kc=BSLNLEDP06292012AJun 29, 2012
- In the context of the tweet that started this thread, the hiring manager indicated above he's looking for someone who's open to sharing, willing to take chances, etc.
Sure, one takes a chance by blogging, especially about technical topics, but among the many comments to this thread I didn't notice anyone specifically highlighting the value of sysadmins contributing source code to places like GitHub, CPAN, RubyGems, PyPI, Puppet Forge, Chef's community cookbook site (/me wonders if that thing has a catchier name), etc.
GitHub especially lives up to its tagline of "social coding." Users can even comment on specific lines of commits. Opening an issue on a GitHub project is not so different than interacting with a vendor except that the conversation is public. How well does the sysadmin explain the problem? Is a pull request initiated? Is the conversation civil? :)
Not to go on as a GitHub fanboy, but check out this quote (emphasis mine):
"GitHub is the largest public repository of the everyday experience of work. Ever. If you're a scholar or journalist interested in collaboration, this is perhaps the most important archive you will find regarding what actually happens as people work together." -- http://7fff.com/2012/07/14/the-most-important-social-network-github/
In programming circles, many hiring managers want to see candidates' open source projects. If sysadmins are going to leave a social footprint, they should do it with code! :)
p.s. +1 for bringing the Dunning–Kruger effect to my attention,
1. https://twitter.com/richcasselberry/status/215832723099627523Jul 28, 2012