Execs Don't Want to be "Friended" by Colleagues

Last Updated Aug 20, 2009 1:00 PM EDT

According to a new survey by Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc., an outplacement consultancy, hiring managers think social/professional networking sites like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are the second most effective job-search tools available. The best is good ol' fashioned networking (presumably the face-to-face, on the phone or in the field type) and the least effective is a job fair.

But that doesn't mean you should haphazardly inundate every executive you've ever worked near with Facebook "friend" requests.

Another survey released this week by OfficeTeam, a staffing agency, shows that nearly half of executives are uncomfortable being friended by the employees they manage (48 percent) or their bosses (47 percent). Part of the reason may be that power players simply don't need to wade into the web 2.0 realm because traditional networks based on education, social background or spiritual beliefs still matter the most. Others may want to keep their networks and personal life away from the prodding eyes of their underlings.

"The line between personal and professional has grown increasingly blurred as more people use social networking websites for business purposes," argues OfficeTeam's Robert Hosking. "Individuals should classify their professional contacts into a 'work' list and limit what personal details this group can view."

Or perhaps its best to go one step further and establish a personal profile for your real-life friends that's under maximum privacy settings and another public profile for all your casual acquintances and collegeues. If you have an office line and a personal cell, then keeping these domains seperate isn't really that much of a stretch.

  • Stefan Deeran

    Stefan Deeran helps environmental nonprofits and green businesses develop and execute their new media campaigns. He also publishes The Exception magazine, a nonpartisan news platform serving his home state of Maine. You can follow him on Twitter @RStefanDeeran or via Facebook.