Social Media in HR – So Much More Than Recruiting
For HR, the most obvious use of social media has been in the area of talent acquisition. In fact, 55% percent of job hunters agree that social and professional networks are preferred means for a job search.
But the potential of social media goes beyond recruiting, and extends to maximizing employee performance and unlocking workforce potential through employee engagement and supporting training and development. Thanks to social media, conversations have changed both internally and externally in organizations, and HR’s role has evolved beyond filling up spreadsheets with employee data. HR managers can now know the pulse of the workforce and stay tuned into the employee psyche. Enabled by social media, they can create an engaging two-way dialog between the organization and its employees. Here are some of the ways we see social media supporting the multiple facets of the HR function.
Building an organizational culture
Content shared by employees, or peers, is re-shared more frequently than content shared by top-down channels. Social media can be a great channel for defining and communicating the organization’s brand and culture through videos, stories, and images that get shared, liked, and downloaded by employees (with tools like Workplace, Yammer and Slack). Employees can also be enlisted as brand ambassadors to share these stories and rally peers around core values. The expected result would be a workforce that lives the culture you are building, social media can get people talking and sharing internally. Social channels also provide a useful forum for collaboration, problem-solving, and for soliciting employee feedback.
We all understand that employees feel more connected with an employer if they feel informed, have a way to share their opinions, and a forum for problem resolution. Social media helps build that engagement with employees irrespective of their location. For instance, line managers or key HR members can post news of team achievements or awards that employees can share or retweet. Hashtags can be created to boost participation in CSR initiatives, and even weather and health advisories can be shared to get employees talking.
This helps build the visibility and credibility of HR as a function, while HR heads get an idea of how an organization is perceived by its employees and potential recruits.
Reinforcing training and development
The success of corporate training programs depends a lot on collaboration and sociability among participants. Social media supports learning and development before, during, and after a training program has been delivered. Trainers/ HR managers can build excitement for an upcoming training session on an internal social network and/or LinkedIn. Platforms like Meerkat and Periscope support engagement through live video feeds, while internal and other social channels like Twitter can be used to share content and learnings once the training is over.
Brand reputation management
HR teams can also use social media to build and manage the reputation of the organization. Employees don’t want to work for a brand with a bad reputation, and many job seekers will turn down a job offer from an organization that’s perceived negatively. That’s why the HR team has to actively monitor social media for mentions and feedback from employees, and ensure that their positive reputation is maintained by responding to negative mentions. Salesforce uses Facebook and LinkedIn to stay connected with potential hires between the recruiting cycle and their first day of work after graduation. Marriott and Naboit both feature exciting testimonials from employees on their Instagram page, while L’oreal posts enviable photos of its lovely office space. Microsoft goes a step further where they stream live interactions with their recruiters on Facebook, giving potential candidates a chance to connect with the brand.
The next step is to go social
HR heads are realizing the use of social media as a powerful tool for connecting individuals across teams, departments, and offices. By bringing people together, social media promotes collaboration around shared goals and challenges. It can also help HR managers communicate and shape the culture by keeping individuals and teams informed and engaged. If you ask us, then social HR is definitely the way to go.