Do you remember when social media outlets such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, or even MySpace were new and maybe even a little intimidating? Social media started out as means for individuals to communicate and share information, but has quickly crossed lines into the business and professional realm. This in turn has had an effect on Human Resources (HR) and its role in the workplace. Let’s take a look at some of the best benefits social media has provided for the HR industry:
1) Communication: HR can now reach their employees not only via paper memos and e-mail, but also provide communications through social media sites on inclement weather and upcoming events. Many times employees follow the companies they work for via social media sites to stay informed of company changes and to advertise their company’s mission, vision, and values. Although, using social media channels is an additional means of communication, HR should not use these channels to communicate policy changes or major changes that are occurring within the organization.
2) Evolution: Social media is a great way for HR to remain up to date with modern times. It pushes the industry to keep up with the trends through developing policies and procedures and linking up with next generation employees. Upcoming generations will feel most comfortable using social media and this gives HR an opportunity to meet them “where they are”. While HR is meeting the next generation by implementing social media, formalized letters and/or memos for any professional matters should still be done.
3) Recruiting: Social media has required HR to step out of the box a bit when it comes to recruiting. Recruiting now focuses on sites such as LinkedIn and Twitter to source for candidates and post open positions. Additionally, sites such as YouTube and Instagram allow HR to provide an insight into a company’s culture (i.e. employee testimonies and tours of offices). Although, recruiting via social media is a means for the future, the “old school” methods of “post and pray” and sourcing on job board is not completely obsolete. A combination of the both the “old school method” and use of social media can be an effective means together.
4) Training & Development: Social media has allowed HR professionals to teach and learn from one another. It sets up forums for professionals to share new ideas and trends in the workplace as well as best practices. Additionally, it also provides professionals with an opportunity to take classes together and receive trainings from around the U.S. and all over the world. Lastly, although this is an opportunity to train and develop from peers, information gathered should be fact checked to ensure policy and procedures are being implemented and followed appropriately.
At first glance, social media’s affect on HR seems to be minimal. However, once a closer look is taken, we can see this has allowed the profession to evolve and grow into something that is new and continually changing with modern times.