For myself and many other HR professionals already using social media it's painful to think of our lives without Web 2.0. Social media has propelled our blogs, our personal businesses, and/or the company we work for - yet many HR professionals still haven't seen the light.
The last thing HR needs is to be left in the dark, so it's time to break out my social media flashlight. Here are six HR functions that NEED to utilize social media.
Candidates are going above and beyond applying to job postings. They use blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and even YouTube to gain exposure. Companies should follow their lead.
While Facebook has 400 million users, 80% of companies use Linkedin for recruiting. Joining professional groups on Linkedin provides access to active and passive candidates hungry to engage with you. And don't forget to post openings on Linkedin.
The more creative companies can make videos showcasing corporate culture and positive employee experiences. Start a YouTube channel, and link it to your careers website. This is also great for corporate branding.
2 Corporate branding
Just like consumers, candidates identify with a brand. Facebook fan pages are a great start and, if used correctly, are incredible brand-builders. Along with company information, pictures, a link to the corporate blog and corporate website, and even a job posting section are must-haves. If you want to get fancy, check out a few of the special apps that Starbucks and Pizza Hut have on their pages.
To avoid the standard boring orientation process, companies can create an engaging programme using Web 2.0. Your new employee web portal can include games, videos and tests, as well as all of the necessary information. Managers and HR teams can easily track a participant's progress through the system.
With HR changing constantly, communication speed and collaboration are critical. A Wiki page allows a group of people to create, edit, and change documents together, making it perfect for creating or editing new programs and processes. Check out Wikispaces.com.
Once a programme is finalised, why not have the CEO make a vodcast or podcast, and put it on the corporate blog? Along with an e-mail describing the new programme, add a link directing employees to the specific blog post.
5 Employee engagement
While many factors affect employee engagement, I believe it's all about including and empowering employees. You can start with the corporate blog. Allow employees to leave comments: better yet, have managers select certain employees to write a post for the blog.
More advanced companies should develop their own social media site.
The possibilities here are endless. It would be a great portal for employee recognition, contests, a "suggestion box", an employee market-place, meet-ups, and information about company functions.
6 Our own education
As I've already mentioned, HR changes rapidly, so we need to keep one step ahead. Social media should be our informational outlet store, and here are a couple of my shopping suggestions.
Twitter is your first destination. After creating your account and following other like-minded people, a stream of completely relevant information will be on its way. Twitter provides instant information, and also a chance to engage and network with other HR folks. Follow me @CornOnTheJob and say hello!
Blogs are another incredible self-education tool. I love blogs because they allow comments, discussion, and community-building. So many discussions have resulted from a blog post, and that is where true learning occurs.