Funnily enough, I blogged about LinkedIn for recruitment agencies recently – and I mentioned that in my role as a social media marketing consultant, I’d seen plenty of good uses of the technology in HR.
I’ll briefly fill in the gaps before I expand:
As a social media consultant I often see HR professionals aligning themselves with others in the same profession. HR is a somewhat unique profession in this respect, in that it’s kind of a wider industry serving a whole group of different companies.
In other words: the HR professional may be on his or her own within his or her company: but he or she has a broad community of fellows, HR pros in other companies, with whom he or she may share information.
Any social media marketing consultant should, of course, heartily recommend this way of doing HR business. By setting up LinkedIn groups, for example, or joining existing groups, which are specifically for HR professionals, you get to stay in touch with industry developments, share contacts and find future prospects for the organisation you work within. None of these things are so easy to do on your own.
I would also recommend that social networking is used to form prior contacts with people who might, in future, be interested in working in a specific department, or within the company as a whole.
This works in two basic ways:
1: You use social media technology to create a brand loyalty, an adherence to brand message in a future candidate before he or she has even had an interview; and
2: You use social media technology to get the candidate aware of potential skills he or she will need to develop before he or she is suitable for the role.
Also ensure that your social media consultant recommends ways in which the social network can be used to gauge the temperature of current employee satisfaction.
One of the most common contributing factors towards worker dissatisfaction is a feeling of not being empowered; of being in some way removed from a faceless upper echelon of executive staff. The HR department can use social networking internally, to get the executives reaching out to staff members – and also to create a forum where staff may complain constructively about things within the company.
Clearly some education is involved here. For a social media marketing consultant to help a company in this way, the executives need first to understand the difference between constructive and non-constructive complaints.
It’s as legitimate for staff to complain about a company as it is for customers to do so.
I would also advise that this practice be encouraged – so executives can be seen to address problems directly. It’s exactly the same as doing customer service transparently in an external social media page. When people can see what you are doing, they feel loved.
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