It is unlikely that social media hasn’t directly influenced you or someone you know in the workplace. Whether that be a personal Instagram post with the caption #workingfromhome or snooping through a potential employer’s LinkedIn profile, social media has crept into our work day, especially since the rise of a remote and flexible working style. No doubt it is here to stay.
What does this mean for your business? What impact does this have on operations and keeping “things professional” in the workplace? It all comes down to your human resource (HR) function. More traditional business models can find social media intimidating to use and shy away from its potential to improve business overall. When implemented correctly within the HR function, social media can increase market reach, consolidate valuable customer feedback, recruit skilled staff and allow for further insight into competitor movements.
In this blog, we discuss how to use social media to improve your businesses HR strategy. This includes using social media to recruit the right employees, using social-based technology to keep employees engaged and productive, using certain channels to showcase and promote your organisation and how human resource outsourcing providers use social media to recruit and retain quality candidates for their clients globally.
To add another dimension to your HR strategy, organisations have started considering social media strategies to improve recruitment activities. Using social media to recruit the right employees can be broken down into sourcing and screening.
Finding the right employees
There are four main social media platforms that, if used correctly, can amplify your HR strategy to recruit: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
LinkedIn has over 800 million members and continues to grow its profile base. It’s a much more cost-effective and proactive way to source candidates than looking through job board applicants and leaving it up to them to apply. Start building up your network of potential candidates before a role is advertised by connecting with clients, experts in the industry and current employees.
Join LinkedIn groups to establish your business as industry experts and find like-minded professionals who benefit your business. Consider the fact that 79% of professionals are labelled “passive”, which means they aren’t actively looking for a new job. LinkedIn Recruiter allows you to reach out to these passive candidates by searching the entire network based on location, job title and relevant keywords. LinkedIn Careers Page is another hub to highlight your active jobs and spread brand awareness.
Facebook has over 1 billion monthly active users, with 48% of all job seekers doing social media job hunting on Facebook. So, why not take advantage of that visibility and use Facebook to share your brand story and promote employee engagement initiatives which showcase your workplace culture. Instagram is also another platform that, being owned by Meta, you can simply share posts across both platforms with the click of a button. Given the number of active users, there is a likely chance that their first interaction with your brand could be on Facebook. Make sure to put your best foot forward when showcasing who you are and what you represent. Consider creating a separate Facebook careers page fully dedicated to recruitment activities like advertising job openings and other important career related information.
Twitter has over 206 million daily active users. An even better part of using Twitter to source candidates is it is the cheapest and ‘easier’ network of the three to use. Twitter has a 140-character limit to posts, so it will mean that your job descriptions will be stripped down to the essentials. This will mean catchy and to-the-point job postings. Like LinkedIn, build up your network by following industry experts and sharing posts representing your organisation or promoting values you want potential candidates to identify you with.
Screening potential employees
Social media is a great indication of the personable traits of a potential candidate. LinkedIn has a function that allows candidates to request recommendations from fellow peers or employers, so, essentially, they are providing you with the opportunity to screen them and “prove they are worth’ in a way. Consider who is in their network, the type of content they are sharing and whether they are engaging and promoting their brand or the company they work for, to provide further insight on the kind of person you could hire.
When setting up your business's social media account on whatever platform you decide to use, consider the impression you want your candidates and potential clients to have when visiting your social profiles for the first time. First impressions very much count here, so you must be showcasing your company in a way that fosters positive awareness.
Highlight what you do
A key driver of employee engagement and client confidence is a sense of purpose. This purpose with work often comes from the desire to feel that you’re a part of something greater. So take a step back and review how your company currently markets itself. What the homepage on your website says about you, and what effect you want your other content to have on potential clients. Have you truly showcased how great it would be to work for or with your business, or have you been too modest?
If you are confident that your business takes care of its employees and provides them with growth opportunities or rewards them with bonuses, or team events and activities, promote it. When you celebrate an internal event, plan a social post for it on your careers pages. If your business wins an industry award, organise a blog post and then a social post to promote the blog. Take note of what your employees and clients find compelling enough to re-share and incorporate similar activities into your HR strategy.
Highlight your people
Your employees are live representations of your business. You would not have hired them if you did not believe in them. So, show them off. Consider adding or updating your “About us” page on social media accounts. Showcase your senior executive team to paint a picture of a secure and tenured management team. Highlight your HR and corporate social responsibility teams to illustrate your investment in building quality teams and giving back to the community. In any case, you want this page to support the relationships you hope to establish on these social media channels. Consider posting about the "Employee of the month" (or the equivalent in your business) or introduce employee recognition programs internally if you don’t have them already that you can share on social media.
Highlight your culture
Use social media to express your business or brand personality. Consider the American fast-food chain Wendy’s, which focused its HR strategy for Twitter around a blunt, almost too straightforward “tag response” personality. For a chain of family-orientated restaurants, they understood the demographic that uses Twitter, mostly Millennials, and adjusted their strategy to showcase their company culture and engage with their target market.
To showcase your company culture, consider interviewing existing employees and creating short, engaging videos to post on social media that shows them expressing their own positive experiences working for your business. What other employee engagement activities or additional bonuses do you provide your employees with to facilitate a productive and motivational environment? What is your company’s attitude towards social media itself? Do you allow your employees to use social media and mobiles at work? Your answer to these questions says a lot about your company culture and how much trust you place in your employees.
Foster employee engagement and productivity
How does promoting employee engagement and productivity fit with how your HR strategy incorporates internal and external social media use?
- Avoid hypocrisy: many businesses have a set of “values” that get printed out and stuck on walls in the office or spoken about at general meetings. To build employee trust, it's important that your business can talk the talk and walk the walk. To foster genuine employee engagement, an authentic presence on social media is important. What gets posted on social media regarding company values needs to be an accurate reflection on the true essence of your company for employees to feel engaged - you need to make sure that you ‘practice what you preach’.
- Invest in technology: foster open communication amongst the organisation by investing in workforce management apps that incorporate social media functions. Social media connections, especially in these remote working times, can increase employee morale and productivity.
- Reward and recognise: make sure to highlight and post about employees who have been recognised for their outstanding efforts. In the aforementioned workforce management apps, consider functions that allow for employees to praise each other.
- Listen: engaged employees tend to react more positively to a business's social media activity. Review the comments left on social media posts to consider your HR strategy needs to be revised.
Creating an open and genuine presence on social media is crucial to employee engagement. In fact, 69% of job seekers “are likely to apply for a job if the employer actively manages brand reputation” on social media platforms.
HRO: why businesses are seeking the help of experts
There is no better example of an organisation, or rather an industry, that understands social media's importance in amplifying HR strategies than Human Resource Outsourcing (HRO).
These experts are dedicated to providing HR services for businesses around the world. This can include engaging a HRO provider in the Philippines to hire a talent acquisition specialist to source candidates using various social media channels, plan interviews with hiring managers and coordinate selection procedures and criteria. Some businesses even hire outsourced human resource specialists to take care of the entire HR lifecycle, from managing job advertisements on LinkedIn or Facebook to onboarding administrative tasks.
The reason behind HRO success is that these specialists are all too familiar with social media channels and understand the background workings of applications like LinkedIn Recruiter. Consider how much time you spend creating a compelling job advertisement. Not to mention the promotional activities on these social media accounts and whether you’re using the right keywords for certain hashtags. These experts know how these systems and channels work and exactly how to attract the right attention, whether from a potential employee or a potential client perspective.
By recruiting HRO staff in the Philippines for example, your local staff will find themselves with more time to focus on building effective social media strategies instead of spending hours on high-volume tasks such as updating employee files or bulk recruitment activities.
So what are the best practices for incorporating social media into your HR strategy? Yes, there is a huge element of marketing to social media success, but having your HR team onboard and aware of how to best utilise social media for the company, as a whole, is crucial. So what exactly can HR do to harness the power of social media to foster a positive employee culture? Download the ‘Social media best practices checklist’ here.