Social networks have risen to such popular heights because they satisfied a basic human need: to be connected to the rest of the world. Through social media websites, users can create virtual communities that allow them to interact with like-minded individuals from all parts of the world. Because of the effectiveness of online communities in disseminating information, social media websites have become indispensable tools in various industries. These days, human resources social networking is becoming the new trend for HR professionals. They can put the power of a social network to work in recruitment, employee engagement, increasing retention and more.
Recruiting with social media
Recruiting and brand building is social media’s biggest use for human resources currently. It’s not uncommon to find companies recruiting through social media such as Facebook and Twitter. HR professionals are recruiting employees using LinkedIn and applying practically the same principles that marketing and advertising use to attract a particular targeted audience.
HR can maximize the use of social networking given the right strategies. Here are a couple of tips to keep in mind.
Go to the right networks
It doesn’t make sense to explore social networks that do not meet your targeted demographic. For instance, if you’re in search of a person to fit a high-level position such as a product manager, it would save you time if you stayed away from MySpace or other sites known for its younger subscribers. These networks are great if you’re looking to recruit summer interns, entry-level employees or even college part-time job seekers.
Recruiting employees using LinkedIn is a great idea because the site is known for having subscribers who are professionals. It is a great search venue if you’re looking for experienced individuals in practically any industry.
Take the time to search
It’s going to take a bit of practice to learn the ropes of human resources social networking. For starters, you want to master searching through these networks – streamlining each search to ensure that the results are trimmed down to the best candidates. You want to avoid using broad searches because they come up with far too many results that you wouldn’t be able to efficiently weed out.
Move or lose!
It’s also important to note that you’re not the only organization or head-hunter recruiting through social media. Others have begun tapping into this technique long before you have started exploring it. So it’s important that you act on a qualified candidate as soon as possible because other people are sure to have their eyes set on that potential employee as well.
Even in cyberspace, appearances are everything. If you’re going to put up a profile on Facebook or Twitter for recruiting, you want to maintain a certain degree of professionalism in your pages. It seems obvious to say it, but it’s also important to be nice. Don’t treat people rudely. Word of mouth works fast, especially in a diverse online community. You don’t want to be the subject of a blog post or YouTube video making the rounds of how you were unprofessional to a particular applicant.
Use social networks to promote employee engagement
According to studies, employee engagement can make your organization perform 2.6 times better than other companies. When employees feel passionate about the company’s products and services, sales improve. Social networks can have a huge impact on employee engagement, and more and more organizations now use it to increase involvement and commitment among workers.
Using social networks, you can do all the three internal communication components of successful workforce engagement – that is, TALK, LISTEN, and RESPOND. If Web 2.0 social networking is successfully integrated into your company’s culture, you can send positive team building messages instantly, communicate to all employees faster, and get feedback right away.
Many successful companies (Shell, General Electric, Procter & Gamble) use Facebook to connect networks of employees who don’t have the time to interact personally every day. They don’t just rely on this social network for instant messaging. More importantly, they use it to send messages espousing emotional attachment, commitment, and involvement among employees – for example, stories about the company’s charitable involvements, news about career growth possibilities, and recognition of exemplary performances. Social networks have a high success rate in generating engagement.
These are just a few of the many tips that you have to keep in mind when working with social networking websites. But at the end of the day, it’s still important to remember that the best way to connect with your workforce is directly and in person.