I’m unPinterested

Over the past few months some of you might have seen all the commotion surrounding the site Pinterest. It’s not new, it’s been around for over a year, but it was mainly a site used by Mommy Bloggers, crafters, home design folks, etc.  Somehow, in the past 90 days, Pinterest jumped-the-shark in the HR/Talent community and everyone is following everyone!

My wife started using Pinterest over a year ago, and I saw it, she invited me, I accepted, but really never gave it another thought.  I did start to use it for really one main item – motivational quotes.  You see I have two things working against me: 1. My undergrad is Elementary Ed – I like making bulletin boards!  2. I run a recruiting company – which gives me access to a bulletin board and a team of recruiters that I like to put up motivating quotes for.  Pinterest gave me an easy way to find and save ideas for my little boards.

Sackett’s Motivational Board!

That’s it.  That is the entire reason why I would even spend 30 seconds on a site like Pinterest.  So, I’m sitting here wondering why all these talent/HR Pros have jumped on the Pinterest bandwagon?  I keep waiting for the great HR blog posts on how Pinterst is the next evolution of Performance Management, or how you can use the Pinterest platform to recruit top talent. And I wait…

You see, Pinterest has nothing to offer HR or Talent Pros.  This is one of those odd quirks of our new social media world – we too often get caught up in the new shiny object and although we don’t know yet how it will help us, we just jump feet first into it, believing that it must – because why would so many other people be joining.

Let’s face it – I think highly of a ton of HR/Talent Pros in our space – but I could really care less that you have a watch fetish, or a shoe fetish, or that you love bathroom designs, or that you collect photos of baby seals – it really doesn’t matter to me.  That’s cool for you – but I don’t feel this deep seeded need to show you all what I like.  Believe me I tried – I tried to put some boards together and give it a shot – and each time I “pinned” something, I thought to myself – “who the hell am I pinning this for?”  So, some of you can see I like shoes?!  I like shoes, but I don’t need you to know that – and I actually feel pity for someone who wants to know that I like shoes.  That’s kind of weird in a stalkerish way.

So, Pin away, find cool stuff, organize everything that catches your eye – and if you find a better way to deliver performance feedback – let me know, so I can pin it to my board “HR/Talent Stuff That Actually Works” – which is currently empty.


FOT Background Check

Tim Sackett
Tim Sackett SPHR, is the ultimate Mama’s Boy!  After 15+ years of successfully leading HR and Talent Acquisition departments for Fortune 500s and smaller technical firms, Tim took over running the contingent staffing firm HRU Technical Resources in Lansing, MI. Serving as the Executive Vice President, Tim runs the company his mother started over 30 years ago, and don’t tell Mom, but he thinks he does a better job at it than she did!  Check out his blog at www.timsackett.com. Because he's got A LOT to say, and FOT just isn't enough for him.


  1. Tim, I think you have a great post here. I nodded in agreement with everything you said but then I was reminded about something: Social Media is supposed to be “social.”

    In any community, especially organic ones, trends/hobbies/personal facts are shared among individuals who trust one another. While Pinterest may or may not have serious utility in the realm of HR and Talent Management, it may have a lot of utility in it’s ability to become personal with one another online. I could actually think of some practical HR applications for Pinterest: 1) Virtual Quote Boards for employees 2) “In The News” memo board for larger companies to post the great things about the organization 3) Online “Don’t Forget” board for enrollments and trainings. Just to name a few.

    Isn’t the goal of community – online or off- to create a safe place for individuals to share and communicate ideas – both personal and professional?


    Joey V. Price,
    CEO, Jumpstart:HR
    PS: No I am not on Pinterest! (haha)

  2. jessica lee says:

    THANK YOU! i’m so not on the bandwagon. i don’t get how folks have time to pin and repin and pin and repin – but beyond that – what are you doing with your pins and boards?! i think the vast majority gawk and drool over images but if you looked at their homes, their wardrobes, their craft projects, their lives… there’s very little reflection of this magical online persona they are creating through pins and boards! i’m ready for the pinning to end!

  3. We’ve just jumped on the bandwagon but only to showcase great examples of creative CV’s to our candidates. What would take us hours to do on our corporate blog takes minutes on Pinterest.

  4. William Tincup
    William Tincup says:

    Not to be a dick or anything but you’ve missed the point… with Pinterest, you are going after folks that learn visually… which is a huge audience. Think of it like this… you write shit… you manufacture a ton of content… which, btw, is awesome… but only for those that read shit… for those that don’t or can’t learn via reading… all of your hard work is wasted… wasted as in NOT consumed. Instead of beating Pinterest to death… that’s easy actually… the game is how you use Pinterest to serve your audience. For instance, what if you could render your blog post with visuals? Either with a photograph or infographic, etc… and pin those… folks that are interested and/or stimulated visually… would then consume your content. And consumption and/or usage IS the game. Anyone that tells you differently is either a fucking moron or liar. Peace out.

  5. Tim Sackett says:

    William –

    Not sure I missed the point – I get what Pinterest is – it’s the “flock” mentality that drives me crazy. I love inforgraphics and design aspect that goes into getting a point across through visuals, and the learning capability. I’m sure someone will figure out how to use Pinterest in a productive manner (from an HR/Talent standpoint), but so far I haven’t seen it, and you know I’m a visual learner, so until I see it I just can’t picture it…


  6. Bryan Wilson says:

    It kind of feels like Social Media Sites are like speed dating at times. Hop from one to the other until you find one you like. Pinterest is visual so it definitely has a different element than other social sites. I was about to agree with most of your points Tim and then read the comment from Mr. Tincup and had to think about it more. If I’m being honest, I love to read and do it as a large part of my daily activities. BUT…. I also have a few blogs that are nothing but pictures (usually architecture stuff or travel photos) that I love. And I have to admit, I go there to “escape” when I can’t deal with all the text anymore and just want something purdy to look at. Maybe Pinterest will be the Social Refuge site for people that are sick of talking to each other and just want to take a few minutes to enjoy.

  7. Tim Sackett says:

    Bryan –

    Great points.

    I think my take is a reaction to what I was seeing and hearing in the HR/Talent space – that somehow Pinterest was the 2nd coming and somehow was going to be the solution to all of their HR/Talented related issues – which I struggle to believe that will be the case.

    I don’t dislike the site. I love the easy interface, the visual aspects and how it sucks you into stuff you didn’t even think about before you got there. Your use of “refuge” explains it well!


  8. Bryan Wilson says:

    Tim, I had to come back and share this because I JUST read it and thought of you and this article. You can read the whole article if you want (http://www.copyblogger.com/pinterest-marketing/) but this is what struck me as interesting: “In January 2012, Pinterest drove greater traffic to websites than LinkedIn, Google Plus, Reddit, and Youtube — combined. ” – WOW! Of course like you said, not sure how this really applies to the HR/Talent space specifically other than a great way in which to build brand awareness and bring in potentially large amounts of new applicants?

  9. shannon says:

    i can see how consumer brands and marketers in the retail, electronics, toys, hotel industries could / can benefit by having boards and their pins repinned. in terms of getting products/clothing in front of female consumers, pinterest is a viable social channel. many of my friends refer to pinterest as a “time suck.” however, i concur, not sure how HR / recruitment marketing fits in (and as someone who works in the HR social space i have been trying to figure it out for weeks).

    enjoyed this post!

    — i once found a recipe on pinterest that i made. muffin pan pizzas.

  10. Francois says:


    I totally disagree with you Tim. Sites like Pinterest will like William said change the face of recruitment due to it’s visual aspect. A few weeks ago I wrote a small piece on it: The Future of Social Media Recruitment http://attackdefenddisrupt.wordpress.com/2012/01/31/the-future-of-social-media-recruitment/ which brings together Pinterest, Klout, LinkedIn and Esty (another of your favorites I am sure. What’s important here is not the sites themselves but what they can bring to a new social media recruitment model. Visual candidates in skill specific pipelines, pre-qualified or at least pre-recommended….

    Possibilities are endless. So now my question is who is going to help me build it.???

  11. Seth McColley says:

    Struggling with this one here. I’ve always prided myself on being an “early adopter” (although, I guess it’s all relative, compared to who you’re comparing yourself against), but I feel that I’m just tapped out. I’m active on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and a regular reader of these incredible HR blogs (FOT, HR Capitalist, HR Insomniac, Tim Sacket Project, etc.), but I just don’t know where I’m going to find the time to fit in more stuff (Klout, Pinterest, Google+, etc.). I mean, I’m sure there’s some cool stuff out there, but I do need to sleep and hang out with my family evey now and then, right?

    That being said, I have not ventured out to Pinterest yet. I’m actually actively avoiding it, for fear that I’ll get sucked in. Until there’s a compelling “why”, I’m good where I’m at.


  12. Kelly Blokdijk says:

    My main source of disPinterest is the mere fact that I’m already MAXED OUT on various other social tools. I just have a hard time believing that yet another diversion of time, energy and effort could possibly be that much more valuable in my life at this point.

    I’m (usually) not one to knock something before trying it. I have been “following” the hype for quite a while without actually personally experiencing the site, so I can’t officially say it seems lame, but it kinda does…

    Not that there aren’t likely really cool applications for the tool besides shoes, recipes and quotes; but I think I’ll sit this one out for a while longer until that becomes unavoidably obviously useful from a professional standpoint.

    KB @TalentTalks

  13. nlivingston says:

    Not that interested in Pinterest, but we’re already beginning to see the theme of ‘boards’ elsewhere on the internet (Gimme Bar, Quora), so the model is making an impact.

    With respect to recruitment, I could see this adding value to the agency headhunter or biz dev side of the house. Pinterest could serve useful to find similar or shared interests with a candidate, potential client, in order to build or strengthen a long term relationship.

    The same goes for job seekers connecting with Hiring Managers. Rather than waiting for the in-person Interview, with only a second to scope the office for the picture of them sailing, scuba diving, etc., in order to break the ice; Pinterest provides another platform to (re)search beyond a title, with information typically excluded from LinkedIn profiles and public FB profiles. If you’re ‘pinning’… don’t be surprised if your next interviewee’s wearing the suit, bag, or label that you like, it may no longer be a coincidence.

  14. Jennifer says:

    Great post Tim! I can’t believe the amount of time spent recently discussing Pinterest for HR/Recruiting. I’m an early user of Pinterest and love the site, but for my personal use. I use it to store recipes I find, design ideas for my house and now beginning to use it as a vision board for myself. All the primary reasons that Pinterest was created. I do not see the cross over to recruiting. We really must draw a line somewhere and stop trying to make every new shiny social site a tool.

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