Role of Social Media in HR

Role of Social Media in HR

Means of communication has undergone major changes during last century. The growth has been from, communication through telegrams to telephones and currently an entire new series of technical wonders have replaced the earlier modes e.g e-mails, web chats, video conferencing, which in fact have brought people closer, in constant touch and made the world a small place to live.

Now is the era of mass digitization with prolific use of ‘Social Media’. The use of technology to communicate, socialize, affiliate or getting acquainted with others, has grown in leaps and bounds.

A pertinent change in the functioning of different divisions of an organization especially Human Resource Development, has been made possible through usage of above mentioned media tools. In order to capture the very essence of this widely discussed topic, FIIB had organized ‘HR Conclave’ on 30th Nov 2013, inviting some of the prominent industry members (HR Dept) of well known organizations.

To encapsulate what every speaker had to say regarding the topic, I would like to critically examine whether ‘Social Media in HR’ would prove to be a boon or bane for the corporate world.

Social Media is a powerful tool, which if used wisely can result in positioning the brand (can be a company, person, place anything) in the mind of the people, what the company wants to project and create its image. It can be used by the organizations to:

  • Target active, passive as well as prospective employees.
  • Check profiles of the employees, to ensure that the information provided by them is authentic or not.
  • Act as an important means of communication, for training & development of employees and taking employee feedback.
  • Give rewards, appraisals to the employees for their effective & efficient performance.
  • Disseminate the necessary information not only inside the organization but to the outside world, hence helps in creating brand image & equity.

It also provides a platform for the employees (current & potential) to get to know about the organization & work environment by interacting with their personnel via online live chats, linking to the companies homepages on Facebook, or getting linked by using LinkedIn.

These are the pros or the positive aspects of Social media being used by the organizations. Let’s look at the challenges and the constraints imposed by it. The major challenge faced by most of the organizations in this regard is diffusion & adoption of the very idea of the digitization by the employees especially who fall in the age group of 55+. Another issue that crops up, is the issue related to data pilfering & its security. The information is easily accessible which can be used by anyone, the danger lurks if it is being accessed & used by a person with ill intentions against the organization. This can lead to a viral growth of negative sentiments against the company, calling for an urgent need for re-engineering, which means high cost in financial & psychological terms due to resistance by the employees.

Thus, I would conclude by saying that, Social Media can be used in a constructive manner to find complex talent, expertise, diverse & skilled set of employees because of connecting the employers & employees at a global scale, defying the place & time barriers. It gives people the power to voice their views and gain recognition promoting personal branding but with power, comes responsibility too. This is where most of us fail, impinging the name, the brand which was created by someone by investing years of hard work, passion & challenges. Just one negative comment about anything or anyone of an organization can prove to be a devastating factor for it.

Hence, to make a transition to a world of digitization, where social media plays a prominent role all that is required is to ‘Unlock’ the right lock that is holding us back due to the uncertainties & risks in the environment, stop looking for ‘Conformity’ and bring about an ideological change to incorporate the positives of Social Media in our lives.