While use of social media platforms in HR is an area which has grown over the past several years, there are additional ways in which HR managers can ensure that they are using any given social media platform successfully. Although typically used as part of recruitment with many companies (for example, using Twitter platforms to post job announcements), companies would find it advantageous to utilize social media even before jobs become available. Good candidates are not only attracted to the position but also to the company; and organizations which use social media platforms to market their company as a brand, can begin to raise candidates’ attention in the organization even before openings are posted. This engages a potential pool of candidates and ensures that candidates regularly check company websites and Twitter.
The type of social media platforms that HR managers choose to use is also an important consideration. HR managers must try to match the type of social media platform with the personality of the organization, as well as the job type and desired personality of candidates. For example, Twitter may be useful for attracting interns and younger candidates, while more seasoned professionals applying for higher level positions may not be comfortable with such transparency. Here, companies may choose to use a platform such as LinkedIn.
HR managers may also choose to be creative with job postings such as creating videos which start an online trend and which are shared on social networks. Such videos could then be used as an advertisement for the company. Some companies are also engaging in smart sourcing, a proactive approach to recruitment in which companies utilize information on social media’s engagement rates and mobile platforms ease of action. For example, companies can use software which accesses information on how often a potential candidate reviews certain social media sites. The company could then gather information on his or her previous employment and determine whether they would be a good fit for the organization. Once identified, companies can ask the potential candidate permission to send them updates via text or email on future job opportunities.
The use of social media networks also helps to drive traffic to the company’s website, turning recruitment strategies into advertising campaigns. From the main website, companies can offer tools in which potential candidates can register with job boards and receive skill specific notifications of job openings as soon as they are advertised. In order to engage candidates further, some organizations encourage feedback from candidates on its recruitment strategies, often asking for suggestions on improvement. By encouraging this feedback on platforms such as Twitter or Facebook where others can comment, companies can generate engagement between themselves and their audience. These strategies also help to set the organization apart from its competitors and reinforce the company’s brand. By collecting data as part of these campaigns (such as number of ‘likes’ on a job advertisement posted on Facebook), companies can analyze their recruitment or marketing strategies and determine which networking sites and which specific postings result in higher levels of audience engagement at which times of day.
Companies also use social media for other means, such as monitoring employees’ activities, with postings listing negative comments about the company often being prohibited in the company’s social media policy. In the same vein, employees posting to social media sites during work hours with postings which do not relate to work are usually prohibited from doing so. Alternatively, companies also use social media to communicate to their employees, including reminders of upcoming events and training opportunities.
As technology advances, companies are realizing the use of social media as a powerful tool in today’s HR industry and one which is necessary to keep ahead in a competitive market. As a result, it is increasingly important that HR managers familiarize themselves with the social media options available to them, understand how to choose the most appropriate platforms for their company, and keep abreast of the future trends.