Online Reputation Management

One hundred percent (100%) of Chief Financial Officers 

and Senior Finance Executives have an online reputation to manage 

Not everyone loves statistics, but I do. There is something about having a factual basis for acting that resonates with my brain and propels me forward. So of course, as my Online ID re-certification course began, the stats had me saying WOW! My clients definitely need to know – from a facts and figures perspective – how critically important it is to manage your online reputation. Because whether or not you are proactively managing it, you do have one … even if that reputation is MIA.

Here are some of the stats that jumped out at me …

— … an executive can increase the amount of his or her compensation by increasing one statistic; the number of CEOs and decision-makers in a sector that are aware of the executive’s accomplishments. Howard Nestler, CEO of Executive Options

— 79% of US hiring managers and recruiters reviewed online information about job applicants. 70% rejected candidates based on what they found, with poor communication skills, lying, and sharing confidential company information among the reasons cited for rejection.

— Conversely, 18% of companies found social networking profiles as a positive influence because they offered a good feel for culture fit and added credibility to the candidates’ resumes / interview. I believe this number is only going to continue to grow.

— 76% of executives expect to be Googled yet 22% have never Googled their own name to see what companies and recruiters will find. 

— While there are no measurements on the influence of a CFO’s reputation, 87% of respondents to a Hill & Knowlton survey believe the CEO’s reputation is key to the company. I would venture to say the CFO’s reputation is equal or greater to that of the CEO, particularly during tough times.

— According to a Career Builder study last year, the top industries most likely to screen job candidates using social networking sites and search engines include those who handle sensitive information. 

Bottom Line: If you want to be among the hunted, you have to be able to be found.

(Sources: Reach Online ID Certification 2010, Microsoft 2009, Career Builder 2009, Execunet 2007)

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13 thoughts on “Online Reputation Management”

  1. Excellent post! I agree with it all.
    The point about individuals not checking their own Google results was spot on. I often Google the names of those I’m working with to see if there are any problems floating around. Many are shocked by what I show them I’ve found. They had no idea how much was out there waiting for a few clicks of the mouse.
    For those who don’t know, you can set up Google Alerts that notify you when your name appears in web content. I have alerts set up for my maiden/married name, for my blog address and for my company name. Google Alerts emails me daily with any results.

  2. These numbers are disturbing to me in a couple of ways.
    If 70% of hiring managers rejected candidates based upon their online presence then why have an online presence? Too risky. It would be interesting to know how those with “no online presence” were perceived.
    Secondly, you mention that only 18% of companies found social networking profiles as a positive influence in their decision making. Again, the corollary to that is 82% of companies either didn’t weigh social networking profiles at all or perceived them as neutral to negative. Again, this seems to suggest the risk of an online profile may be too high given that in today’s market everyone is looking for a reason NOT to hire you.

  3. Interesting thoughts, Mike. Here are mine based on your comments.
    Having no digital footprints means you can’t be found. Period. You don’t exist. In today’s social media economy, every executive MUST have an online presence. To what degree can certainly be argued.
    The kinds of things candidates are rejected for are not typically things an executive would need to worry about – other than the three I mentioned. To me, those three are common sense things. Don’t lie, don’t share confidences, and communicate clearly. If you lie, share confidences, and/or can’t communicate, you shouldn’t be hired in any event.
    That 18% is a trending number and you can put money on the fact that it will grow rapidly over the next few years.
    I disagree that companies are looking for ways NOT to hire candidates. Rather, I believe they are looking for ways to hire the “right” candidate. A good online presence sells culture fit, brand, personality, and attributes that can help a company determine the “right” candidate to bring on board.

  4. A life without risks is not worth living. Personally, I’m willing to take the risk and be online. It’s about making real connections with real people. And finding opportunities through those connections.
    I googled my name for the first time in several weeks and was surprised to have three hits on page one. I have stiff competition with such a popular name. I was even more surprised that my old LouisvilleSoup Twitter account ranked higher than my MikeCampbellCFO account. Finally, Geico’s CFO is kickin my butt with Mike Campbell CFO.

  5. Real connections with real people that lead to opportunities. That is what it’s all about, Mike. Congratulations!
    It is tough when you share a common name. I do battle with two other Cindy Kraft’s for the top spots on Google. Keep working at it because it can be done. Google now reads images and videos so those can help as well.
    Thanks for reading and for commenting, Mike. Have a fabulous day!!

  6. I’m not disputing the need for a digital footprint. I’m all over the place now (thanks to you BTW). My point is that these statistics can be misleading to some. Had I stumbled on this post with no online presence I would have thought, whoa, do I really need to be online? Having been there for a while I understand the benefits.
    It is also still early in the game in the development of metrics to adequately measure the impact of social media either professionally or on a business entity.

  7. I know many people who are using the Q&A approach to build their expertise and find clients and their customers. This is what the Social Web is all about and to my mind, how the Business World will become a more human and successful place for all of us.So its better to keep a close eye on our competetors and make sure that we are just doing our best to remain best in the reputation.


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