By Yolandi Nortje, executive of Intuate Group
JOHANNESBURG – February 20, 2014 – Over the past decade, social media has metamorphosed from being a college student pastime to a fully-fledged corporate phenomenon, resulting in a surge of interpersonal communication, the exchange of information and ideas, and virtual community building. The use of enterprise social networks (ESNs) is also on the rise. They work just like traditional social networks, but are designed with the business in mind.
A report by SilkRoad, a provider of cloud-based social talent management software, entitled “The State of Talent Management 2013”, is based an online survey last year of more than 5,700 professionals, representing a wide range of corporate positions. The report found that 43 percent of respondents work in organisations with open access to social media. Another 24 percent reported their social media access was monitored and only 16 percent had their social media blocked. Regardless of whether social media is monitored or blocked, the report noted, employees have access to social communications outside of work or through their own mobile devices at work — and most workers access it daily, regardless of restrictions — so the report advised that talent professionals could productively channel its use.
Social activity can be used to advance the goals of an organisation by capitalising on employees’ enthusiasm, such as using social media for learning activities, talent sourcing, recruitment, orienting new employees, or for promoting the organisation to prospective employees. Recruiting software provider, Bullhorn Reach reports that 21 percent of recruiters are connected to LinkedIn as well as Facebook and Twitter for hiring purposes.
Unlike individuals, businesses have been slow in embracing social media but the last decade has changed this. Social media is starting to become a strong marketing tool, and it can be leveraged for talent management throughout the employee lifecycle. For the sake of this article, the employee lifecycle is defined as attraction and recruitment, through to onboarding, performance and learning, succession and exit.
According to the SilkRoad report, recruiting and hiring, which was selected as the most social of talent management processes by 64 percent of respondents, is seen as having the hottest potential for social media by using employees to promote the company and to cast a wider net for the best candidates. In the attraction phase by creating talent communities and managing them correctly, and keeping your social media platforms active with current news, achievements and movements, you are marketing your company without even realising that you are doing so. In this context, social media can also help you to approach passive candidates, those who are not in search of a job via professional networking, as it helps you to establish a pipeline of talent for when it’s needed, allowing the company to react quicker.
Taking advantage of social media in the attraction and recruitment phases requires that a company has a well-defined, integrated strategy implemented across the right channels. The “spray and pray” approach will not work here as it is still about your company’s brand message; so your company profile, as well as individual employee profiles, must be built accordingly.
Using social media as a recruitment tool will allow you to advertise, search, monitor and review more quickly and cheaply, as it allows candidate screening in real time.
Social media profiles can also give an employer an indication of a candidate’s personality, as well as their professional skills, helping you to establish early on if the candidate would fit into your company’s culture.
Sharing employee communities with new employees will make them feel welcome and part of the corporate family; remember a successfully onboarded employee will be a great company ambassador.
Social media programmes can improve performance as they utilise employees’ enthusiasm for company goals, and increase workers’ loyalty, enthusiasm for the organisation, and pride in their work. Key mechanisms for fostering learning and employee engagement through social channels are trust in management (especially through honest company strategy updates), opportunities for career development, and fun interaction between employees. They also allow for best practice sharing, because internal and external social networks allow people to share best practices on a global basis.
Social media allows you to identify high potentials or thought leaders, even from a remote vantage point, for talent development and succession planning.
Some key points to remember when maximising social media channels for talent management are to regularly review your company social media profiles to ensure that the information is relevant, up to date, and sending the right message; then monitor the use of your social media sites in order to identify trends and areas of interest. Training your employees on the use of social media will help to create committed communities, and be sure to let them know the impact that their personal profiles will have on the profile of the company.
About Intuate Group
Intuate Group is a privately owned, broad based IT company that focuses on providing professional, integrated technology and people resources solutions. Its services encompass the provision of state-of-the-art contact centre solutions, the supply and implementation of best-of-breed IT solutions, as well as IT strategy and consulting. The company is also a partner of choice for business intelligence, project management, the management and support of IT infrastructure – specifically storage and server consolidation – and the provision of resources. For more information, please visit www.intuategroup.com.
Intuate Group, Nicolette de Wit, +27 11 302-1200, NdeWit@intuategroup.com