Social Media and HR – where do we go from here?

Paying attention to the HR topics at the Social Media Week in Hamburg last week made one thing quite obvious: HR and Social Media are tied in a close knot, not since yesterday, and buzzwords like “active sourcing” and “employer branding” are pretty much old news. But how do we proceed once we understood the alliance?

To be clear, this is speaking from the filter bubble at the very Social Media Week itself because – that we know – this is far less “old news” in the “real world” we deal with every day. Because the speed of developments in the digital world is clearly one of the biggest challenges for modern HR and Recruiting. You don’t only need to keep up with and understand the technologies and their impact on communication but you also need to stay agile and implement these developments into your processes and your organization. And you cannot understand Social Media if you’re not using Social Media. Without being there you cannot understand which channels matter to you and what resources you need, to utilize them to your advantage.

Listen to your heart

One very essential takeaway from the discussions of Social Media Week was to pay attention to the heart of your company: your employees. Very often the potential there is strikingly ignored. And the potential is huge in more than one respect. Social Media magnify this effect. First of all, employees can be a great source for potential talent to bring into the company. Employees often know someone who is perfect for the job and can hint on just the right candidate. Even if you need to use multiple channels to source for talent, you shouldn’t leave this one out. So make it easy for your employees to participate in discussions and learn to listen to them on the digital platform of your choice.

This means you need to be there and listen to your employees and understand how they actually see your company. Because this largely defines your employer brand and much less what HR or the CEO see it like. This difference can become a problem even before you start a Social Media offensive, so be sure you understand what your employees make your company look like “out there”. And PLEASE don’t see your employees as the “problem” but see them as potential multipliers, your network and the source of the storytelling for you Social Media campaign.

The Recruiter as a career counselor

Active sourcing includes that you actively approach a candidate and fit your approach to the candidate’s profile. In the ideal case the Recruiter functions as a career counselor for the candidate and can establish a long-term relationship with the candidate and thus have a pool of high-potentials to get back to whenever he has an opening or a search. That provides authenticity to the fit and makes it easier to be the “first choice” for the candidate as well, since it’s not a “Hey, I found your profile”-kind of first contact. This long-term investment may sound like a lot of effort but it can pay off tremendously. After all, Social Media gives you access to so many more potential candidates - and you’re not the only one who noticed that. So make your approach count.

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