So now you know my opinions on what blogging says about you as a candidate to potential employers (if you happen to link that blog on your resume). But what does an employers willingness or even encouragement of employee blogging mean about the work environment?

I know there have been a ton of other posts about the perception of a company's openness and talking directly to one's customer(s) from a marketing standpoint. But what I am talking about here is what it says to our customer when that person is actually a candidate. What might a potential hire think about a company when they see all the blogging taking place? What does a blogging culture imply about your employment brand? Here's my take:

-Companies don't want unhappy employees to be visible. I've mentioned this before. Having “real” people on your website suggests that those folks are happy in their roles. So happy, in fact, that the company is not worried about a recruiter finding their name and trying to recruit them away. It's similar with blogging. A company that encourages visibility of it's employees to the rest of the world feels that it has a very strong relationship with those employees. Unhappy people may blog elsewhere, but generally not when it'd connected to your company in some way. By the way, that does not mean that I won't try and recruit bloggers away from other companies ; )

-Companies that encourage blogging are not afraid to take risks. One thing that I learned early on at Microsoft is that the stigma attached to failure here is a little different. Failure promotes learning. And you don't get the luxury of failing if you don't try something new. Many companies are still trying to understand blogging and what it can mean for their business. For us (here in recruiting), instead of meeting about it and analyzing to death, we thought we would just try it. If we get our collective hand slapped, so be it. Makes for a lot more fun at work and we are gaining key take-aways that we can use in other aspects of our business.

-Companies that encourage blogging have respect for the individual.What I am talking about is a person blogging as an employee (versus as a candidate with a personal blog linked to their resume). Microsoft doesn't want you to hide your personality when you come to work. And we don't need some PR treatment of our blog space in order to control how readers think of people that work here. Generally, I think we are a likable bunch (and there is absolutely a blogging “community” here).

-Companies that encourage blogging think their employees are smart. Of course, I don't have to mention that I take some pride in this point because I recruit here. Companies wouldn't want someone that doesn't know their stuff blogging on their server. And blogging at Microsoft is open to anyone. Kind of suggests that the higher up folks here have a lot of faith in the intelligence of their people.

What else does a blogging culture say to prospective applicants about the company? Do you think it makes people assume we have extra time on our hands? Is their a downside to widespread corporate blogging from a candidate's point of view?