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Today's World is changing every single day. New technologies or opportunities force all organizations to change rapidly in order to maintain their status and survive in harsh business competitions. In this Research we look at how Social Media play a vital role in Human Resource Management. The focus is on the use of Social Media in a business. In this research we have come to a conclusion that implementation of Social Media in a Business can yield good results. It also makes the organization transparent where every single employee's opinion matters.
Advances in technology are passing at very high speed and for those who want to keep up to date on developments are having trouble staying ahead of the curve. As the technology is evolving the ways in which we coexist and work with these technologies also evolves. Change (or change in technology) is moving at much faster speed and it is far more radical today than it was a decade ago.
As the title of this paper suggests we will be covering the use of Social Media when discussing technological advances. There are a lot of new technologies being released every day and updates can be counted in seconds between releases. There are many reasons why this topic is interesting. One of the main reasons is the phenomena of Social Media itself. Another reason is the Gen-X is entering the workplace. Gen-X is used for people who were born after 1980 and have grown with computers.
We will cover three main topics this paper. The first topic is the rise of the social media and how it is different from other sources of media. To understand social media, understanding of how it is actually different from other types of media in the society. How it can grow and spread as it has a vital role to play in Human Resource Management.
History of Social Media
Today, social media networks are the hottest items on the Internet. Online affiliate marketers, small and large organizations and even individuals like us are continually using these social networks to communicate, promote products, and increase product brand awareness.
Today Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn hold the limelight to social media but this was not always like that. It became all possible because of Netscape, a pioneer web browser, which has the ability to exchange ideas.
Millions of users are using these forms of communication on a daily basis; the organizations are now focusing on learning how to use social media to reach current and potential customers. Businesses are looking to harness the potential in Social Media to increase their reach between customers and to convey their message. "According to Cone researches, almost 90 percent of social media users would like to see their favorite businesses interact with them via Facebook or other forms of social media. Businesses simply can't ignore the power behind that statistic."
Difference between Social Media and Industrial (Other forms) Media
Before the emergence of Social Media, people get the news from Industrial Media. Newspaper, Radio or Television are the examples of Industrial Media. Industrial Media was the only way for the organizations to spread their message to the target customers and they had to pay to reserve their space in the industrial media.
There are various differences between social and industrial media. Let's consider what makes each form of communication viable and unique:
1. Social media requires no professional expertise while a certain level of professional expertise is a must to use industrial medial.
2. News and updates appear on social media right away in real time but it may take some time for the news to appear in Industrial Media.
3. Industrial media can be hold accountable for the accuracy and quality of the news while social media remains largely unregulated.
4. Social media could be personally or privately owned business but Industrial media is much more costly to manage than Social media.
Social Media in Business
The latest available study has shown that, of online adults, three in four use social tools or technologies. This is an increase from 56% in 2007 showing the growing importance of social online media. Social media is becoming a mainstream tool adopted by the majority of online adults. (R. MacManus, Report: Social Web Usage Tipped in 2008)
Social network sites are increasing in importance and popularity. One third of adults with Internet access report using social network sites. Employed internet users are even more likely to use social network sites, four in ten do so, and one in ten does so from work. There is a difference between younger and older adults among the general population, but younger users are only 4% more likely to access social network sites from the workplace compared to their older counterparts. While at work social network site users are equally as likely to communicate with coworkers as with family and friends. (Pew, p. 32-33) An interesting note is that of the companies surveyed, who choose to block access to certain services on the Internet, half of them did so with regard to social networking sites. This is to be put into perspective that 60% of the same companies did so with regard to online gaming. (Pew, p. 29)
Social media and networking sites are something which firms can benefit from. Employees' gossip, conversations, and sharing of photos on life streams such as MySpace of Facebook potentially benefit firms. It's part of professional networking. (E. Pfauth, Harm your business, block Facebook) These services help colleagues stay in touch and helps retain relationships with customers and business partners. Allowing workers a greater flexibility and freedom creates a business.
Employment Branding and Recruiting: "How an organization's prospective applicants, candidates and current employees perceive you as an employer is known as Employment Branding. A strong employment brand benefit from a number of advantages. Some of them are as follows:
a higher quality candidate pool
more candidates who match the role requirements, meet or exceed the expectations of the hiring manager, and relate to the organization's culture
increased attraction and closing of passive candidates
a decreased application-to-hire ratio
a lower rate of offer rejection
decreased time-to-fill and cost-per-hire ratios
a greater number of employee referrals
a greater likelihood for employees to be brand ambassadors for your company
higher levels of employee engagement"
Social Media plays an important role in building and maintaining Employment brand. The employees or ex-employees who share their ideas and experience about working in an organization helps in building an employment brand. A promise that is credible, compelling, and connects to the applicant helps in building strong employment brand. If the relationship between the employees and employer is strong, the employee itself becomes the ambassador of the brand. The employees will encourage others to apply in the organization they work by talking or by using social media like Facebook, twitter etc. about the authentic experience they gain in the organization.
Employee Engagement and Communication: "Social media can be utilized for attraction, recruitment, communication, connection and management. A recent internet survey confirmed that 68% of users found LinkedIn the most valuable tool. Social media is a critical part of communication and collaboration technologies that can be used to connect internal social groups and also it help to make people more productive. Social media have given employees an opportunity where they can share ideas and replacing old style boxes. For ex, VicRoads are using Yammer, an internal "twitter" bringing together all of a company's employees inside a private and secure enterprise social network. According to Judith Pettitt, Executive Director People Services and Internal Communications, more than 20% of their 3,000 employees are engaged in providing valuable shared knowledge on various business topics. It has been especially helpful in organizational problem solving and in 'seeding' ideas. Also, VicRoads has also supported a recent blog project where all staff was able to make improvement suggestions on line, comment on others suggestions and get feedback from the Corporate Leadership Team on implementing the proposals. Using contemporary communication tools makes such a difference to the immediate needs of staff to share their knowledge and effectively engage with each other." (http://collegerecruiter.com/profiles/blogs/how-to-build-employee)
Social Networking like Internal Blogs, Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn etc. is one of the ways organizations can get spread across the Globe to connect and share knowledge. Just by sharing information will not achieve in the outcomes organizations are looking for. Here are few tips that will help in to achieve those outcomes.
Establish whether the tools and methods you are currently in use to interact with employees are engagement strategies or information tools.
Since an organization's ultimate aim in employee communication is to create the "defining Moment". The "defining Moment" is based on idea that questions the employee's belief about perspective of the business. The information that all of a sudden helps employees say, "Now it makes sense", "Now I understand", "Now I can do something about it". Once the "defining Moment" is known, this will become your key message and the basis of your design of employee communication strategy.
Now focus on group research which allows you to ask employees about your business and their thoughts about competitors, to identify the gap between what customers think and what staff thinks customers think, and to identify how to create a paradigm shift in employee's thinking. It will also help in identifying how you will measure the effect of the change in employees thinking and to determine how crucial is to achieve the business goals. Focus groups allow you to explore issues further and sometimes you will discover new issues or ideas. Focus groups generally are held for one and a half hours duration and in groups of 8 - 10 participants. A well facilitated focus group will pinpoint the key messages for your employee communication strategies as they relate to a specific business issue.
Once you have your focus group outcomes, you can then begin working on designing employee communication strategies that engage employees. You should be sure about what employees know and what the facts are, and the gap between the business facts and staff perceptions. This forms your key message to create the "Defining Moment".
You take the key information from the focus groups; pinpoint a business issue that you feel sure your employee communication strategies can impact on. Using that information and work together with that area of the business you then implement an employee communication strategy that can be measured by business outcomes.
Learning and Development - Social Media can play crucial role in Human Resource of an organization. Of course, sharing what is needed is possible via various sources of social media. Learning in present digital age is way too different from what it was a decade ago. Organizations are experimenting with virtual classrooms. People are sharing knowledge via social media and others are commenting or rating them. This is a great way for people to learn and pick up conceptual knowledge.
Compensation and Benefits: Another major responsibility of HR professionals is Compensation and Benefits and Social media can play an important role. Employees can surf the sites like SalaryScout (a network of users seeking fairness in compensation and benefits). Another site called Glassdoor which is a free career community where anyone can look and find and also anonymously share an inside look at jobs and companies. The shared information comes from the current or former employees, interview candidates, and even the organizations themselves. Such sites can help candidates with all the information they need to manage career and make more informed career decisions. Via Social media sites, HR Professionals can negotiate better with candidates about compensation.
Task Management: Reporting either in personal or virtual involves hassle, disturbance and can be time consuming for both manager and employers. But by using social media the task management can become simpler. Just create a group on a social networking site and have the employees post their task done on daily basis on that page. That way everyone in the organization will be aware of what the other employees are doing. Also they can place complaints about any issues or problems directly to HR via this.
Maintain Corporate Brands: Social Media sites can play a crucial role in maintaining Corporate Brands. Like Who are you? What do you expertise in? What can be accomplishing about your brand? How would you like to be known and documented by colleagues, other professionals, and potential employers? You can use this information in your social media profile and this will eventually improve your corporate image and personal brand in market.
Promoting and Advertising: Social media can provide several ways that an HR can promote and advertise. Advertisements targeting users on social media channels are turning more widespread with social ads. By maintaining a database about who is using which social media site, HR can promote their company to the targeted audience on the suitable social site. Other option includes having your managers or employees run online job fair, sharing information about the life in the company, about the work environment.
How Do HR Professionals View Web 2.0?
Though there is no doubt in the power and possibility of Social media but a few surveys reveals a few areas of concern. Almost 4/5th of the respondents understood the potential of Social Media that how it can improve communication and bring greater efficiency to the organizations. It also offers a lot of opportunities for learning and knowledge sharing. But still respondents are somehow in doubt that how employees will use these technologies. Social media and Web 2.0 aren't different rather they are split over whether these are a major distraction that may cause for low productivity.
Even though that the respondents do worry about how employees will use these technologies but almost 69% indicate that there is no concept of Social media or there is no Social computing policy. Until and unless employees don't make it clear that what constitutes the acceptable use of these technologies, how will employees know about what to do?
Although a majority of HR people consider themselves to be late mainstream adopters of these technologies, many believe they are ahead of their peers in use of these technologies.
Although some of those people ahead of the curve might have been blogging or participating in social networks as early as 2001, the majority of survey respondents (57 percent) only adopted Web 2.0 within the past two years.
Although 60 percent read, listen or watch content online every day and 27 percent maintain a social network profile daily, other daily online activities are far more limited:
â€¢ Only 13 percent use RSS feeds, tags and bookmarks
â€¢ Only 5 percent post original content to blogs and websites
â€¢ Only 4 percent post ratings and reviews or comment on blogs and online forums
When asked which Web 2.0 technologies they use more than once a month, the clear leaders were LinkedIn (75 percent) and Facebook (66 percent). However, 45 percent also used Google Reader and 28 percent used Twitter.
The online habits of our respondents are consistent with best practices for social media use among HR professionals, according the leading HR industry blog Fistful of Talent.2 The five best-practice steps that the blog recommended included many that survey respondents are already using, including:
â€¢ Keeping up with industry social networks
â€¢ Participating in LinkedIn
â€¢ Subscribing to Blogs and RSS feeds
â€¢ Getting on Twitter
â€¢ Using Facebook for recruiting
Survey respondents also understand that an essential part of the Web 2.0 experience is creating great content. When asked about how they plan to increase or decrease use of Web 2.0 technologies, 64 percent plan to create content on blogs, web page, and video or audio for professional purposes, and 57 percent plan to spend more time maintaining a profile in a social or professional network. A majority of respondent plan no change in posting comments on blogs or forums, use of RSS feeds, tags and bookmarks or use of online content.
(2 5 Must-Use Social Media Tools For HR & Recruiting Professionals In 2009. Fistful of Talent [online]. Dec. 29, 2008. http://
When asked what kind of online communities their organizations use, 34 percent said a blended community (both internal and external), 23 percent said an external-facing community (i.e. alumni communities, Facebook groups, online user groups), 7 percent said internal-facing community (i.e. division/department communities) and 24 percent said none.