4 Ways Human Resources Uses Social Media to its Advantage

I have always thought about Human Resources as a department that is reactive by nature. Not to say that is a knock on HR, far from it, but when you’re managing people, that’s the only way a department can exist. Managing humans has to be reactive because you cannot predict how people, benefits, distractions, companies, etc. will change. One of the best and most recent examples of this is the enormous popularity of social media.

Most see social media as a hindrance to their workplace, that employees will spend their time on it instead of on their work. While that may be true in some workplaces, I see social media as more of an olive branch between employees and HR that has the ability to merge the company’s brand and ideology with its employees.

Talent acquisition

This is the part of social media that HR departments adopted immediately. Getting to know your potential employee before you meet them is a huge part of Human Resources hiring process. And anyways, you’re already doing most of your recruiting though social media – “LinkedIn is the top dog for social recruitment. The professional social network was used by 93 percent of companies in 2012, which is up from 78 percent in 2010.”[1]

Most people think you would use this just to rule out potential candidates who use;  excessive profanity, post inappropriate things or display behaviors that don’t match up with your company culture, which makes sense. However, HR has been using social media for so much more.

Checking out your prospective employees profile can shed light on who they are not only as an employee but who they are as a person. Does their resume say they’re crazy about marketing? Well, what does their profile say? Are they following marketing blogs, engaging in marketing groups, or posting sweet articles about marketing?

Enhancing brand/company identity

Employees are an extension of a company’s brand. They represent where the company has been, where it’s currently and where it’s going. Exhibiting that identity on social platforms allows the world to really know who you company is and what they’re all about. For instance, Dominion gets stoked about our fiscal kickoff and our social platforms reflect that. Our people tweet, post, retweet, and take tons of pictures of everything we’re doing, showing everyone how awesome we are!

Streamlining communication

This aspect of the social media hr relationship is on such a thin line. Most employees do not want to feel annoyed or that they’re always at work if an employer engages them on their social platform. Keep it light when it comes to this kind of communication, nothing too serious. Give happy birthdays, employee specific company news or…

Give your employees virtual props!

Implement a social media recognition strategy and give out employee of the moment awards. Old school employee recognition ceremonies happen and then everyone goes back to work,  forgetting about it soon after. Implement a social media recognition strategy and give out employee of the moment awards.

Old school employee recognition ceremonies happen and then everyone goes back to work, almost instantly forgetting about it. Celebrating these awards socially with your employees gives immediate, positive and public feedback that resonates. It also gives them a chance to show their family and friends how awesome they (and their company) are!

[1] http://sproutsocial.com/insights/social-media-recruiting-infographic/