Social Media and the HR Professional

For many of us, it feels like social media has been around forever. It’s become a part of our everyday life, but for others, it’s still a confusing place. It’s something they’re unsure sure of – or even suspicious of.

Social media, for some organizations and professionals, remains an unrealized potential. But undoubtedly the rise of social media represents one of the biggest changes in both our professional and personal lives since – well, ever.

When it comes to those working in Human Resources, social media is a trend that cannot be ignored and a skill that practitioners can’t afford to be without.

Here are my top five reasons why, if you are an HR professional, you should be getting social:

  1. It is coming to a workplace near you. Most organizations are using social media to some extent or another, even it is just in its sales and marketing efforts. Others are making the use of Enterprise Social Networks like Yammer, or awaiting the forthcoming arrival of Facebook at Work (now named “Workplace”). You can’t escape social media in the workplace.  Employees expect to use the same technology at work as they do in their personal lives – and will do so whether you encourage it or not.  
  2. It is your employer brand. It used to be said that employer brand was what people said about you to their friends and family. Social media amplifies this exponentially: your organization is being talked about online, from reviews here on Glassdoor to more casual comments over on Facebook. You can’t entirely control your employer brand but you can positively influence it and share the story of your workplace through social media.
  3. Social media is perhaps the biggest learning and networking opportunity available for many professionals today – and most of it is available for free. Even more importantly, it is accessible whenever and wherever required. Social media makes geography irrelevant, meaning HR professionals can access the thinking of the brightest and best of the profession from their own home.
  4. Your employees are already there. The people who work for you are using social media in their professional and personal lives. There are probably reviews on Glassdoor from your employees and job applicants. As it is often said in the social world, the conversation is happening, whether or not you are part of it.  
  5. HR professionals have a responsibility to help their organizations get social and digital. Organizations need employees with digital skills if they are to succeed in our ever-increasingly technology-driven world. Those individuals and organizations who cannot adapt will sink into irrelevance.

To those HR managers and professionals who aren’t already using social media, I implore you. It is time to get social – for yourself and for your organization. And there is no time like the present. If not now, when?