The Future of Social Media & HR
Social media sites are set to be one of the biggest influences on the future of HR and it would be wise to embrace their influence rather than avoid it.
For some HR professionals social media seems to pose more risks and distractions to the maintenance of an efficient workforce than it does benefits. Although there is mounting evidence to the contrary, the worries of these traditionalists are founded in genuine concern. For example, access to social media sites at work can tempt workers into becoming easily distracted. In addition, what employees post on their social media can affect not only their reputation but also the reputation of their employer. It is understandable, therefore, that some HR professionals choose to avoid social media altogether in the workplace. Social media, however, is becoming increasingly influential and regulated and can empower businesses as a result.
Interestingly, KPMG’s research shows that social media can in fact increase productivity and current trends and forecasts make clear that HR professionals will increasingly adopt various forms of social media for numerous aspects of their work. Most notable of which include:
Recruitment– With the membership numbers of professional networks like Linkedin consistently growing on a daily basis, social media sites are becoming the most abundant outlets for sourcing talent. Not only is it cheaper for businesses to post jobs online and source talent from social media compared to physical job adverts (and likely to only get cheaper in the future) but social media allows HR professionals to source talented workers who are not actively looking for work. Therefore, HR teams will be able to search and select prospective talent online readily and cheaply without having to outsource the expertise of recruiters.
Improving Employee Engagement– There are various ways that social media could improve employee engagement. For example, HR teams could encourage their employees to take part in online discussions and networking both in internal networks and wider related networks. These discussions could be planned and company-wide initiatives. They can stimulate effective communication, help address issues without hierarchical boundaries and also encourage innovation. Of course these initatives could be open to abuse as employees may end up spending much longer on social media than the HR team intends them to.
Decisions on Benefits Packages– Instead of relying on what has been favoured in the past or what other companies offer their employees, HR teams could take to social media to determine benefits choices by consensus Accenture claims. By analysing discussions and polls on social media sites HR teams can build up a clear picture of what employees really want and deem most important in their benefits packages.
It is important to note that social media is constantly innovating and the popularity of particular platforms is not forever guaranteed. Consequently, new ways of using social media may become apparent to HR professionals and their learning and adapting will be never-ending. Nonetheless, social media poses a hugely influential platform for change and HR professionals will need to get on board the fast moving innovations before they have to play a costly catch up game.
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