Some human resource departments see social media as a curse. It can take up employee time, distracting them from their jobs and reducing productivity. It can also play host to all sorts of activities that are inappropriate for the workplace. However, some businesses believe that taking advantage of social media can provide the company’s human resources department with important insights.
Sites like Linkedin.com have proven that social media can be professional. Linkedin.com is a social media site built on making professional contacts and displaying resumes. Many employers ask applicants to link directly to their LinkedIn profile when providing references. Companies also take advantage of social media as a means of advertising new jobs and reaching out to candidates when new positions become available.
Social media can also play a role in branding. Marketing departments have taken advantage of this for years, but human resources departments are now seeing social media as a way of building internal corporate identity and reinforcing the brand. Viral trends can also have an impact, positive or negative, on a company’s branding. It is important for a company’s human resources team to keep an eye on potentially viral content because it could have an impact on employees in the office.
Companies worried about their employees’ activities on social media and the ways that could reflect back on their business can put social media to work for them. HR executives can use social media themselves to monitor their employees’ activities. Companies can create social media policies to prevent employees from posting non-work related material during business hours. They can also engage employees to post work related posts and improve their company’s image, while at the same time boosting office morale.
Social media might still be somewhat new, but it has cemented its place as a touchstone of modern culture. Both to prevent it from having a negative impact in the workplace and to better take advantage of it in the future, human resource professionals will have to continue to evolve their social media policies in order to stay relevant.