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Why HR needs social media

RecruitmentMarch 17, 2015

Why HR needs social media (Last Updated On: March 17, 2015)

Social media has gone past being merely social – employers need to know how it affects their business. Every stage of employment, from research and recruitment to training and dismissal, is influenced by social media. This is partly because half the workplace will be Millenials by 2020 and partly because many professionals and companies already use social media to promote themselves.

There are no laws stopping employers from searching social media to find out more about a candidate, but you need to know how to use it. Any information gathered in social media that refers to protected attributes, such as race, age, disability and sex discrimination, could be unlawful. Also when people make their personal information public, it is not always honest or true. You must be able to authenticate it without breaching privacy. If you want to create a trusting workplace culture, you cannot be snooping around before you employ someone. Many employers should have a pre-employment search policy in place.

LinkedIn has 5 million people in Australia alone and many companies already track profiles to find candidates. Siemen, for example, is so influential that nearly a million people follow its company page. Most companies need a LinkedIn page, at least, and a LinkedIn recruitment strategy for finding the right employees.

Reputation can be easily built and lost in social media. It certainly matters a lot in employment, both your reputation as an employer and the reputation of the candidate. New indicators of reputation and influence, such as Klout and Kred, might also count in digital marketing roles.

The old view of social media at work is that it always wastes time. You need a clear policy on how it can be used and the limits of what can be said about the company. There have been cases of unfair dismissal for failing to obey social media policy, yet many companies do not even have one. A recent case in Queensland found a social media quick reference guide was not enough.

Company social media is changing the way people work and is far more productive than email. Some large companies, like McKinsey and Microsoft, run their own social media because it helps employees quickly find information. Gartner Inc says social networks will become the main way that businesses make decisions, but only if their leaders embrace it.

Social media is not going to go away and you need to have policies on how it is used both by your employees and for the entire process of recruitment. Call Employsure for advice today on 1300 651 415 or fill in the form below.

*Information sourced via the Smart Company website.

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