Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Human Resource Management Weds Social Media

Yes! That’s right finally Social Media has come to an age and it’s getting into an alliance with Human Resource Management (HRM) for a lifelong mutually beneficial partnership. Funny right? Now why I’m really excited about this whole engagement? Wasn't it always there in existence?

My answer to the first question has two very strong reasons – first, I come from the HR Background with around 10+ yrs of seeing THIS and doing THAT, and second is that I was one of the early adopters of Social Media way back in 2005 when Orkut & Hi5 (names sounds familiar, huh?) were the leaders in the social media space. The reason why I adopted social media into my profession is simple – both deal with networking, people and communication.

Coming to the second question, a BIG yes! In what I can take a privilege to say is that the romantic affair between HRM & Social Media was on-going since ages, but only now has Social Media matured to address all the needs, demands and maneuvers of HR management. The symbiosis between these two is highly fruitful considering their affinity and compatibility.

Since then each year at this time, I look forward to and habitually predict trends between social media & HR for the coming year. The year 2011 has been one of the most phenomenal year for the Social Media business. It was more focused on the essential factors like User Experience, User Interface, Content Curation, Social Network Mediation, Cross function usability and the most important of all which is also an icing on the cake is Social Media Intelligence and Analytics coming into existence. Now that promises a wonderful and exciting 2012.

Since the dotcom bubble exploded the job boards are on their way to being an obsolete channel to hire people by advertising jobs/vacancies. As a matter of fact a lot of job boards are mutating into the Social Media way to survive this change. In recent times a lot has been written and spoken about social media on the HR practice but honestly I’d confess that very little has been done towards it. For some reason my fellow HR folks did not opt to jump into the Social Media bandwagon early; the reasons of which can be listed and I’d be discussing them in my following post.

Speaking of the future of this great lovely wedding, I think it’s going to be wonderful in every aspect of HR (Recruitment, Employee/Employer branding, Employee Engagement, Training, Organizational Development, Corporate Communication, Thought Leadership, Exit Interview and even Alumni Engagement).

LinkedIn is a classic example of this marriage. It started off as a professional social networking portal but today it has the capacity to do recruitment, advertise jobs, enable employment and background checks, Increase credibility of individuals and companies, create a discussion groups or forums…. Sky is the limit! Now most of the companies do about 12% - 16% of their leadership hiring though LinkedIn; 70% of people use it for job hunting while 80% of the recruiters use it for recruiting or recruitment related networking. I really love the way LinkedIn evolved over these years from just a professional networking portal to a Social CRM that it is today.

Twitter is yet another social networking tool that is equipping itself towards this maneuver. In spite of it being a micro-blogging site with a limitation of 140 characters per tweet, it had its own share of contribution to the universe of Social Media – Collaboration and Cross functional synergies. Today Twitter when combined with a blog (blogger, wordpress and likes) is the most powerful form of propagating communication of any form. Lots of businesses have started tweeting on their vacancies, corporate announcements, employee branding. Talking of tweeter I’d be committing a crime not to mention its new twitter avatar with killer features like embedding tweets and new set of widget buttons. It speaks of the evolution of Social Media

Facebook which is considered an undisputed giant in the social media space still has a long way to go in being considered a focused contributor in the HRM maneuvers but it is definitely not going to lose the race. Most of the businesses are opting for a Facebook page today to engage employees, increase employer branding, propagate their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives or even their work culture. Best part about Facebook is that it’s loaded with all possible cosmetics – Photos, Videos, Blogs, Games, even analytics! The reason why it’s not so much in vogue amongst the professional circles is that most if the times these cosmetic features tend to be a major distraction. But as a social media enthusiast I always counter this problem with a simple statement that “Tools are tools, the real problem is the person who is opting to use it or abuse it.”

To conclude, one thing that is for certain is that this marriage is definitely fruitful and the by-products are really promising and exciting from what I envision. It is beneficial for all industries, niches and anyone who embraces it, and 2012 seems to a year when this “newlywed couple” would enjoy their honeymoon period to enhance the synergies and mutual understand each other before they actually get settled with some serious business ahead.

1 comment:

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