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Government: Recruit the Internet-Savvy (Dave Briggs)

Originally published by Dave Briggs at DavePress

The Telegraph has an interesting article today: MI5 dumps spies who can’t use Facebook and Twitter
Patrick Mercer, chairman of the Parliamentary subcommittee on counter-terrorism, told the Daily Mail: “As terrorism changes, counter-terrorism officers have to adapt to keep up.

“Our enemies use every available method to attack including using technology. We have to be aware of the imminent threats of cyber attacks and the old generation of MI5 have to be completely comfortable using computers and the latest technology.”

You might not be surprised to learn that I’d recommend hiring internet-savvy candidates, no matter what position it is you are trying to fill. Think about it – what makes a good member of a team?

I reckon that the behaviour and attitude that the internet encourages are things that make for great employees:
– curiosity
– generosity
– openness
– cooperation

Of course, if you do hire people like this, you’ll need to provide them with a working environment in which they’ll want to stay.

“Always hire the internet-savvy” is a similar message to what the 37 Signals guys say in Getting Real about good writers:


“That’s because being a good writer is about more than words. Good writers know how to communicate. They make things easy to understand. They can put themselves in someone else’s shoes. They know what to omit. They think clearly. And those are the qualities you need.”

Mary blogged about recruitment recently, referring to a speech by the American academic Dennis Kimbro. Some attitudes about this issue in local government, as Mary notes, are worrying.

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