office-romanceToday's guest post is from our board member John Hollon, VP for Editorial at  Lots of people have office romances.  Do they ever come to a good end?  Read on for John's take on the topic.

February is the month that everyone seems to focus on workplace romance, and we can all thank Valentine's Day for that.  It's also the month for all kinds of surveys that try to capture the latest trends concerning love on the job, and it leads to revelations like these:

These are pretty startling statistics that deserve some attention year-round, because they seem to help separate the two larger perspectives that people have about workplace romance.

  1. Perspective No. 1 - People will be people, and they spend all day around their co-workers. Of course some of them will get involved in romantic entanglements.
  2. Perspective No. 2 - Don't fish off the company pier, and don't date co-workers, because it usually leads to trouble on the job for all involved - and even a lot of people who aren't involved.

I'm a big believer in Perspective No. 2, because in all my years as a manager, I have rarely, if ever, seen an office romance end up well.  In the very best of circumstances, the happy couple finds true love and goes on to live life happily ever after. Unfortunately, I have never seen that happen in 30 years as a manager.

What is more typical is that two co-workers have a hot and heavy relationship, but one (or both) brings some baggage that gets in the way - they're still in a relationship with someone else, or one is married, or worse yet, they're both married to other people.

Former HR executive Liz Ryan writes over at LinkedIn that, “Work is a wonderful place to meet a romantic partner, and we will all be better off when we stop freaking out over the idea that normal humans will have feelings for one another at work. As long as everyone knows that the workplace is not the spot for huggie-kissies such that other people could become uncomfortable, there shouldn't be anything to fret over.”

Well, that's easier said than done, because my experience is that although they sound sweet and lovely workplace romances only fuel office gossip, uncomfortable feelings from co-workers, and eventually, high drama and recriminations.

I wish everyone approached these relationships ion the adult-like way Liz Ryan describes, but just about any manager who has had to deal with the fallout from them knows that when you add love and sex into an office environment, people can get crazy and irrational.

Is that ever a good thing to inject into the workplace?

I've said this before and I'll say it again: Office romances are a bad idea. That's because, in my experience, they go bad all too often. And spoiled office romances leave the participants – and the co-workers around them, who have to live with the bitter, sometimes litigious aftermath – much worse off as a result.”

I'm with Hank Williams Jr. on this. He sings that, “I'm all for love; I'm all for happiness.”

Well, I am too - as long as it doesn't take place on the job.

I met my husband through work, though he was not a coworker.  Our union has lasted 28 years (so far).  I think love can teach us a lot about work, but love at work doesn't always work out.  What's your take on whether work romances can work?


Today's guest blog post is submitted by our board member, John Hollon, Vice President for Editorial of  In a dramatic recent example of candidate sourcing via social media channels, Charlie Sheen sent out a tweet to get a social media intern and within 24 hours had 90,000 applications.  On a more serious note, per John's post, social media recruiting is fast becoming a channel of choice for effective passive recruiting.  Read on...

If you're one of those people who still have concerns about using social media to source job candidates, well, maybe it's time to rethink that a bit.

That's because according to a new survey this month from the Society for Human Resource Management, more than half of HR professionals (56 percent) now say that they use social networking websites to source potential job candidates, a substantial increase from the 34 percent who said they used social media for sourcing back in 2008.

The SHRM poll (SHRM Research Spotlight: Social Networking Websites and Staffing , which was released at SHRM's 2011 Talent and Staffing Management Conference in San Diego), also found that not only are more employers using social networking websites to find new employees, but that the 20 percent of organizations not currently using the sites are much more open to utilizing them in the future.

And here's a telling statistic: Only 21 percent of the HR pros surveyed said that they currently do not use social networking sites and have no plans to do so in the future, down from 45 percent in 2008.

So, what are we to make of this increase in social media in HR candidate sourcing? Mainly, that social media is becoming the HR tool of choice to search for passive job candidates who might be willing to change jobs but aren't actively right now.

“Employers are increasingly using social networking sites to engage passive job seekers - those who aren't really actively seeking new jobs, but might change for the right opportunity,” said Mark J. Schmit, Ph.D., SPHR, director of research at SHRM.

He added: “These sites can be valuable tools for organizations to find prospective employees with the specific skill sets and experience that they might not necessarily find through more traditional recruiting methods. (Our) poll found that organizations using social networking sites to recruit job applicants are using the sites most in the recruitment of employees for non-managerial salaried positions and managerial-level jobs, like directors and managers.”

The SHRM poll also found that the top reasons employers use social networking websites to identify applicants:
* 84 percent say it is to source passive job candidates who might not otherwise apply for open jobs or be contacted by the organizations' recruiters;
* 67 percent say it is to use a less expensive method than other ways of recruiting job candidates (67 percent); and
* 60 percent say it is to increase employer brand and recognition

Not surprisingly, most organizations (95 percent) use LinkedIn to source candidates. Other HR pros say they use Facebook (58 percent), Twitter (42 percent) and professional or association social networking sites (23 percent).

The bottom line here is pretty clear: if you aren't using social networking in your recruiting and sourcing process, you are going to get left behind - because most everyone else is already.

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