Human Resources Networking Is Going Social
Once seen solely as the preserve of young Millennials social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn are ever increasingly being used by professionals for a wide variety of reasons. Survey after survey shows that not only do people expect companies to have an active and engaging presence across social media platforms; but also that employees - both current and prospective - expect to be able to network through these means. For Human Resources social media looks set to revolutionise how businesses recruit, operate and network across the board - it's exciting times for sure, but, as ever, it needs to be approached with thoughtfulness and a clear minded strategy.
One of the first issues worth touching upon is which social media sites are worth interacting with? The more playful, but interesting, Facebook? The limited snappiness of Twitter? The middle of the road Google+ or the more professional, yet slightly grey, LinkedIn? The answer is quite simply all of them, as they each serve purposes that cannot just project the company message to clients and potential employees, but also serve as useful tools for how the operation actually runs. Our focus here is going to be upon how social networking can serve HR so well, so without ado let's start with recruitment.
Social media & recruitment
Long gone are the days when it was enough to post a vacancy in a professional or industry magazine, newspaper or a syndicated jobsite. To find the very best employees it's now essential to get out there and interact with others working in the industry, or trying to break their way in.
Let's say, for example, that we're looking for a programmer ready to make the step up to becoming a junior team leader. If we have been active on social media and touted our successful achievements, ambitions and progressive ethic and passion for our product we'll likely have plenty of followers after a short time. That, after all, is what social media is so great at - following what others in the sector are up to and sharing thoughts.
If we were to tweet out that the company is looking for a programmer with a good track record ready to take the next step, you can be certain that experienced staff within the sector will be in touch in a flash. Even better, the fact that these people are engaging through social media themselves shows that they 'get it', are up to date with their practice, understand the importance of this as a medium for networking and are likely to be strong candidates. In a sense this is targeted recruitment and is without doubt soon going to be the norm in many sectors.
How social media helps network
LinkedIn is especially good at catching up with former colleagues or associates who are still working in the sector. Even if you may have been out of touch for years, expanding a network and sharing experience and contacts can be a vitally important means of conducting business. For HR, an example may be in trying to gain other professionals experience in learning about HR software. If you’ve wondered, ‘what are HR systems?’ and how this ground-breaking technology can help you, then this is an excellent place to begin your research. Ask around. How much money did they save, do they allow staff to self-serve, do they tie it into their networks and social media even?
There's countless groups across social media that encompass every profession regardless of how niche it might be, just a quick search on Facebook, Twitter etc. will turn up plenty of options. Remember also to make the best of social media when networking face-to-face at conference or trade events, it's a great way to keep in touch with fellow professionals and stay on the crest of the wave.
Social media & brand development
This may not be the sole preserve of HR but it's important to have an influence on it because ensuring a company has a lively and engaging social media presence will draw not just customer attention but also that of the industry. This equates to professional interest that may come in useful next time an attractive vacancy comes up that demands experience of the sector. Perhaps most key is that a prominent and active online presence also allows HR to monitor how departments respond to queries or discussions with clients and customers, as sometimes it's more enlightening just to kick back and listen.