Emerging Trend of Social Media in HRM

Published by MBA Skool Team, Published on December 07, 2012

Social media has revolutionized the field of marketing. Much has been said and done on social media marketing. Now it is time to unleash the potential of social media in HRM. Social media is steadily creeping into very other fields of business with its advent in human resource.Some argue that human resource professionals are tardy when it comes to anything related to technology, including social media. Having realized the unparalleled potential of social media, HR professionals are making a beeline towards it with just one contemplation – better late than never!As social media becomes more defined in business world, human resource professionals will have a significant opportunity to leverage this powerful medium in many aspects of the business.


Social Media Recruiting

Gone are those days of traditional recruitment like newspaper ads, employment agencies. With the advent of technological progress at lightning speed, there has been paradigm shift in the approach to recruitment. Recruiting and brand building is social media's biggest use for human resources. It is not surprising to find companies recruiting through social media such as Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter and Google+. HR professionals are recruiting employees applying practically the same principles that marketing and advertising use to attract a particular target audience.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 for individuals in practically any industry.

A host of inevitable advantages of social recruiting includes reduction in cost per hire, reduction in time to hire, global distribution, presence of information for any length of time, interactivity, target group oriented, faster information exchange, lower cost of advertising, faster postings of jobs and applicant response.

The use of Social Networking sites for recruitment is relatively a new field in Human Resource Management. Employers believe that using these sites for online background checks is an acceptable practice for making hiring decisions for getting a quick character sketch of the applicant. Profiles in Social Networking Sites allow recruiters to gain information about their education and professional career in general. In addition, recruiters have the possibility to contact potential candidates and communicate with them in a noncommittal manner. By using Social Networking Sites, recruiters can search for possible candidates and build up long term relationships with them. Social Networking Sites like Linkedin, Xing can act as a talent pool with a variety of social capital in the form of young professionals and graduates. Recruiters can filter candidates and search for candidates with special backgrounds. This can lead to a time reduction for the search and can also improve the chance finding the right candidates. Besides this, companies can keep in touch with interns, alumni and so forth. Thus, Social Networking Sites can support the relationship management between companies and possible applicants.

Social networking sites provide a large number of options to choose from and also make the process easier and better. Companies predominately depend upon these social networking sites to hire IT/ITES professionals. They help them to find the right candidate/s based on their requirement of the skills as well as location. Many HR managers affirm the fact that these sites are extremely helpful when they are seeking for the talent outside their own country. It is a difficult task for an organization to find a candidate with a specific skill set for their office based in some other country, but the social networking sites work wonders for the employers in such situations by providing a platform to locate, judge and select the right candidate for the organization. The social networking sites are also helpful for the employers in reaching the people working at the middle and senior management level who have acquired a niche of skill set and are extremely proficient in their profession.


Driving Employee Engagement

According to studies, employee engagement can make an organization perform 2.6 times better than other companies. 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. Opening up social media would also open up an atmosphere that helps employees feel like they are a part of something, instead of just another employee.

Senior HR Manager at Smith Group says – “On our Facebook Page, we’ve worked hard to focus on ’news you can use,‘ fun information related to the design industry, community activities that our employees have participated in and fun events that go on in our offices. We have succeeded in developing an internal following of employees that are more engaged with their colleagues, which we think and hope will lead to stronger retention rates.” This is a one of the testimony to underscore the emergence of a new dimension to HRM – “Social Media”.

Many successful companies like P&G, GE 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 and building allegiances. Much of the work HR professionals do is around building relationships with candidates, with an employer's brand, with colleagues, etc. Social media helps to better engage and strike meaningful connections that may start online but build offline to a deeper level. Meanwhile, from a day-to-day work standpoint, social media can facilitate employee retention, and further efforts at employment branding.

Maintaining Employee Relationship

The social networking sites enable the HR manager in developing a healthy relationship between the employees and the organization. The social networking sites work as a platform where employees can actively discuss about their experience with the organization. They may also talk about their expectations and/or grievances. The frequent feedback from the employees enables the HR managers to discuss and mutually sort out many employee related issues. The social networking sites not only help the HR managers to manage the functions inside their organization, but they also provide them a platform to interact with their counterparts across the globe. The HR managers actively participate in such discussions to share their knowledge as well as experience in their field of expertise. These sites are increasingly becoming popular among the HR managers to discuss the current events, trends, and innovations in the HR industry. The social networking sites are therefore, helping the HR industry to take a new shape by gaining contributions from the HR professionals across the globe.


Though the transformation is not happening at a skyrocketing pace but the trend of usage of the social media by HR professionals is undoubtedly going to stay and progress further because of the evident benefits it provides. I believe social media has the potential to transform how human resources are managed in an organization however, things have a long way to go and it is only just the beginning.

Having the right resources in hand, doing the right things in the right way that creates the right framework, we can be rest assured that “Social media will revolutionize the world of human resources”.

This article has been authored by Indu J from SDM Institute For Management Development, Mysore

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