HR and Social Media – 6 ways in which HR can leverage Social


When a company rolls out a social media program, the role of the HR has often been limited to being a critic and naysayer. So the HR is brought in to prescribe  elaborate do’s and don’t’s  detailing what the employees can do and cannot do on social media. However with organizations become more social and a certain dissolution of power structures occur, HR needs to understand social channels and leverage them for building a more effective and collaborative HR function. The new age HR has to be attuned to the digital habits of the next gen employees and the evolving nature of the business and accordingly redesign HR policies and programs.  Social tools and channels can become important part of the HR arsenal and important pillars of HR strategies.

Here are six ways in which HR can leverage social channels:

  1. Employee communication – A study of the digital habits of the millennial generation reveals that email lags as a preferred communication media to social collaboration channels or aps. HR needs to factor this in while designing new generation employee communication. Consider building a more socially collaborative communication plan using tools such as wiki, chats, message boards, online communities. You would like to build your own enterprise social network or you can use channels such as Facebook  or LinkedIn creatively- a private group for example.
  2. Community connect – The organization’s community extends beyond the employees, it includes the families of employees and the wider community stakeholders you choose to work with. Social media gives you the tools and wirings on which you can build such a community up, engage with them and create powerful touchpoints with your brand.
  3. Social Learning – The pedagogy of learning has changed over the last few years with evolution of peer to peer learning, learning communities and open course ware. You can radicalize your training and significantly cut costs by incorporating social paradigms into it. Consider creating external talent communities to nurture prospective talent pool or spot talent. Talent communities can also be the source of crowd sourced ideas invigorating your in house research program.
  4. Employer Branding – The new generation of workforce looks beyond salary cheques and the company brand while selecting a place to work for- they seek reasons to work there. Employer branding has thus become an important paradigm as you compete for talent in the new world. Social media gives you the channels and tools to build and communicate your employer brand. Look at companies running innovation contests online or putting out videos showing how in-house teams have fun at work. HR and marketing has to work hand in hand to build up effective campaigns showcasing the employer brand
  5. Social Recruiting – Is your talent sourcing team using social channels to source candidates? You may want to consider it very soon if you are not doing it already. Recruitment has slowly moved away from expensive ads in newspapers and hiring external agencies to a federated, crowd sourcing based approach.  Empower your recruiters to leverage their social networks  and source talent from the channels where your prospective candidates are likely to be in. Tracking the social footprint of a prospective employee helps you select better fits for your organization.
  6. Build up employee advocacy – In a hyper connected, multi dimensional world with numerous touch points, empowering employees to participate in conversations around your brand, offerings seem to make a lot of sense. HR has a significant role to play in removing barriers and encouraging employees to participate in wider forums for eg blogs, brand communities, company facebook pages. The concept of authorized spokesperson isslowly  giving way to a collective voice which drives up brand conversations and helps the corporate to be perceived as a responsive, agile org. By creating the right culture and structures, HR can drive up and reap the benefits from power advocacy from within the organization.

RimjhimRimjhim Ray heads the Social Media Marketing at Tata Consultancy Services. She is an experienced sales and marketing professional having led  global portfolios including new age solutions such as cloud, social media and mobility. She has also lead CS initiatives in various countries including UK and Ireland and have championed social media programs around sustainability. She is an avid blogger, marathoner and a social media practitioner. She holds a degree in Mathematics and Computer Applications from Jadavpur University and a MBA from SP Jain, Mumbai. She also holds certificates in Social Media from Chartered Institute of Marketing, UK. She is an avid toastmaster and she is a part of the executive committee of Mumbai Toast Masters. Check out her blog at Globe-Slother. Connect with her on LinkedIn and on twitter @GlobeSlother.



1 Comment

  1. kalyan says:

    Can social media help in better offer to joinee ratio? Give examples of companies who have benefitted from this.

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