The Importance of Social Media in HR

free essayHigh popularity of social media with users has caused HR managers to use social media sites in their procedures and operations for recruiting and communicating with employees, training and teambuilding. The most widely used social media sites in HR management are LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. HR managers tend to apply all or some of them to enhance managing human resources.

Recruitment

Social media have greatly modified procedures and operations connected with the recruitment of new employees. Earlier, HR managers used to examine resumes, vacancies located on specific boards, and organized job fairs to detect good applicants. Today, about 84% of companies apply social media to recruitment (Society for Human Resource Management, 2016). Besides, the study by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) (2016) indicates that 66% of organizations try to attract smartphone users through enhancing career websites, job postings and application processes. The most popular and effective social media site for recruitment is LinkedIn, but Facebook, Twitter and professional social networking platforms have been raising their popularity. Hence, social media are used as a new tool for recruiting employees.

The uses of social media in recruitment are varied. Most organizations apply social media sites to locate job advertisements and contact potential employees (SHRM, 2016). Besides, HR managers search for active and passive candidates using social media websites’ searching engines (Nikolaou, 2014, p. 179). Many companies also use social media to stimulate employee referrals and increase their interest in a job by locating helpful data, images or videos. Almost half of organizations make a group/page to locate data about them and add career opportunities (SHRM, 2016). In addition, HR managers use social media for screening information about candidates because their profiles contain a considerable amount of work-related data. For example, HR specialists check what potential employees do or do not do in social media, as well as research whether the information presented in a resume is true. Social media sites are also applied to improve employer brand recognition and attract specialists with a specific range of skills. Therefore, they have expanded a range of tools for recruitment and helped to target people, who do not respond to traditional job advertisements.

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Employee Engagement

Employee engagement is higher in the workplace if everyone receives actual data about company’s processes and feels that his/her views are heard. Social media sites provide employers with opportunities of sharing information and receiving a feedback from the personnel. For example, many companies inform employees about new policies through Facebook (Wright, 2011). They also encourage the staff to write comments and questions under posts. Besides, companies may use yammer.com to share ideas within a team, as well as to notify their personnel about trainings and promotional events. Social media platforms are particularly important for remote employees. Encouraging the latter to use Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn helps them to stay connected. The following links promote innovation and cooperation (Wright, 2011). Hence, social media have greatly changed the interaction between the company’s management and its subordinates. In the past, managers used to share data through emails or during meetings, and employees had limited access to company’s recent information and could not express their opinions. Today, workers have constant access to information and can leave their feedback. As a result, staff members feel more connected to the company and other employees. New communication channels also make them feel own importance for the organization, which has positive effects on their job satisfaction and motivation.

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Social Media and Learning

Social media sites have also modified learning processes in companies. Particularly, learning has become constant and natural. Social media also encourage collaboration among employees with various experiences (Olivas-Lujan & Bondarouk, 2013, p. 13).  As a result, learning at the workplace has stopped being a series of training events. Social media sites help the trainer to communicate with employees before, during and after a learning activity. For example, an HR specialist may create a page/group on LinkedIn or Facebook where participants of training exchange their views and concerns regarding the future learning event. Coaches may also add information about the purpose and objectives of the latter. During a learning activity, social media are effectively applied to collaborative note-making. For example, participants can make their notes using Gingko Application (Olivas-Lujan & Bondarouk, 2013). After the session, all notes are collected in one document and shared on LinkedIn or other social media sites. This approach helps to increase the interaction between participants and their understanding of the new material. After the learning activity, social media can be used for collecting feedbacks about the training and providing learners with recourses for professional development. For example, the trainer may use Facebook for posting a list of books and journals, where participants can find more data about the topic. Therefore, social media have modified procedures associated with the development of labor forces; particularly, learning has become more natural, interactive and sustained.

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Staff Evaluation

Besides, social media have affected the staff evaluation process. Before discovering social media sites, HR managers had had to wait months to leave ae feedback about employee’s work. Today, it is possible to make some comments immediately. For example, the manager may review person’s presentation on Facebook and write own opinion. Apart from the acceleration of assessment, the interaction between employees and their evaluators has become more natural and less formal as compared to traditional evaluations (Moqbel, Nevo, & Kock, 2013, p. 240). Social media have also expanded access to information. For example, supervisors can analyze profiles of subordinates in order to determine their personal and professional qualities. Other employees and even customers can also participate in performance evaluation. For example, clients can leave a feedback about the work of an employee on a company’s Facebook page. HR managers may review these comments and make some conclusions about person’s performance.  Therefore, performance evaluation has become more objective and instant, and employees can obtain up-to-date recommendations for further development.

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Conclusion

Social media have modified procedures and operations connected with recruitment, employee engagement, communication, learning and performance evaluation. Thus, HR managers prefer posting job advertisements and searching for new employees using LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or some professional social networking sites. Besides, they use social media platforms for verifying information presented in a candidate’s resume. Social media sites are also applied to increase employee engagement. Particularly, companies make posts on Facebook or other sites to inform employees about new policies and future events. Staff members are encouraged to leave their feedbacks to feel heard by the employer. Communication channels have also changed. HR managers have replaced emails with posts on social media sites. In addition, social media are applied to learning. Individuals receive tools to interact with each other and a trainer at all stages of educational process. This approach has made learning more natural, collaborative and constant. Finally, applying social media for performance evaluation helps HR managers to analyze the work of employees on a regular basis and provide up-to-date recommendations for their future professional development.