HR Needs to Get into the Social Media Major Leagues

As summer winds down and we watch to see if the “green shoots” here and there will establish a root system strong enough to provide a harvest of substance and sustenance for a recovery, my thoughts floated over the horizon to the future of HR.

Someone in my social network sent me a link to an interesting presentation on YouTube, Is Social Media a Fad?  The series of interesting tidbits gathered from various sources show we are way beyond fad and into a fundamental shift in the way we communicate. For example:

Years to reach 50 million users: Radio (38 years); TV (13 years); Internet (four years), iPod (three years). Facebook added 100 million users in less than nine months. iPhone applications hit one billion in nine months.

While some of the information presented in the YouTube video may be a bit exaggerated or unconfirmed, the trend is undeniable. The world of communications around us is moving ever faster, much like Moore’s Law. And it is having an impact. Just last week the Obama administration launched “Reality Check,” a section on the White House website that features videos by White House officials who address rumors and concerns about the health initiatives. President Obama gave a boost to BlogTalkRadio when he used the online venue to continue refuting the allegations spread by both traditional and social networking media.

Looking at social media in the context of HR, the impact on recruiting is already apparent. What recruiter – whether in-house or external third-party – isn’t using LinkedIn to scan profiles for passive candidates? But are your recruiters effectively using social media to promote your employment brand and candidate selection processes, to make the candidate experience worth “talking” about whether or not they are hired this time? What ideas are being implemented by your recruiting service provider to leverage the social media phenomenon to your best competitive advantage?

Taking it one step further, the prevalence of social media means it cannot end after the recruiting and onboarding processes. There must be a nexus between employee engagement, knowledge management, development and mentoring. And it must be leveraged to support an aligned culture, increased productivity and innovation.

I found information for this blog in seconds via Google, RSS feeds, Wikipedia, online news sites and my tags on Delicious. Can your employees find just-in-time internal information just as quickly? If they can’t easily find the appropriate subject matter experts for answers to their questions, today’s new employees will turn to their own network.

Other points to consider: Are policies needed around posting personal business-related opinions on internal and external social media websites? May employees recommend individuals from suppliers? What role should, and is, HR ready to play?

The reality is internal HR folks and third-party HRO service providers must quickly develop plans and enhance their skills to fully and effectively leverage social media to become major leaguers. What do you think the role of HR should be in using social media? Send us an email, post on the NelsonHall HRO Insight Group on LinkedIn or respond to this blog.

Like the HRO Insight blog? Please let us know. And pass on the good word to your Twitter network, update your Facebook wall for your business friends, Digg it, MIXX it, or help others StumbleUpon it!

Linda Merritt, Research Director, HRO, NelsonHall

Explore posts in the same categories: hr outsourcing, hr outsourcing research, hr tools, hro, HRO providers, hro research, nelsonhall, recruitment process outsourcing, RPO providers

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