Here are the results from a recent Robert Half survey of more than 270 Canadian company CIOs, regarding social networking on the job.

58% - Prohibited completely
22% - Permitted for business purposes
16% - Permitted for limited personal use
3% - Permitted for any type of personal use
1% - Don't know/no answer

"Social networking sites may distract employees' attention from their job duties, so many organizations have banned their use in the workplace," said Geoff Thompson, VP of Robert Half Technology. "For some occupations, however, these sites can enhance business practices, and one in five companies are therefore allowing access for work-related use."

If you are not employed and you are attempting contact with those who are... please read on by clicking here.

Although contact "for the purpose of seeking employment" is not specifically stated as being a "personal reason for messaging", it is noted that 58% of employers have banned social networking while on the job, regardless of the reason.

Apparently only if the messaging is business related, would it be allowed by one in five (20%) companies.

That is probably a reference either to HR activities or messaging to a marketing/sales executive from a client who represents a large account. Social networking may also work well if the company business activities rely on it, examples; an IT solutions provider or a head hunter.

In my recent experience I felt somewhat admonished by some of my contacts for having used social networking to send messages to them. For these contacts, I now arrange after hours face to face meetings or use the telephone, faxes, letters, or email... and the latter very sparingly, with short messages that get to the point.

I hope this helps those who use social networking to use it wisely when making contact with companies who exclude it from their employees.

Social networking is still a powerful method of contact for some specific businesses.

Good planning and hunting to all...
Bob Middlemiss
Product Engineering Support Specialist