Thursday, February 10, 2011

HR and Twitter-Yes You Can!

I usually stay away from writing about how to use specific Social Technology tools as there is a bigger gap in the ‘why’ to use them arena. I firmly believe that you must directly link the benefits of using Social Technology tools to achieving strategy and goals, but perhaps a little inspiration about how a tool might help you in your role is in order. My favorite HR competency, collaboration will be very useful when you are integrating Twitter with other tools.

Twitter is a Social Network tool and is used externally, meaning beyond the firewall. Twitter is free to use at this point, however, given the speculation regarding a possible purchase by Google it may change to a freemium model at some point. Twitter is primarily used by HR Professionals for recruiting purposes and depending on your target demographic it may be one of the most effective ways to connect with a great pool of candidates.

HR practitioners tend to think of recruitment as an activity that occurs only when specific jobs are open but strategic HR practices require that you develop and maintain a pool of candidates that have competencies that are critical to the organization. Go beyond posting an abbreviated job description with instructions on how to apply and use postings to attract the interest of people who may want to work for your company in the future. Becoming visible as an employer of choice can be enhanced through connecting and branding.

Resources Required

Managing a potential candidate pool is a little tricky but Social tools provide us with a much bigger reach than ever before and with less reliance on external consultants and expensive advertising methods. It does take time and you need to account for that in your schedule. You can’t rely on Social tools only; traditional methods will also be required.

Things to Consider

• At this point, Twitter and LinkedIn are the most widely used Social Network tools for recruiting in North America. It makes sense to have a company profile on LinkedIn if you are using Twitter for recruiting (Integration)

• Training is required to learn to use the tools well and as these tools are constantly being improved, ongoing learning will be necessary

• It takes time to build a network on Twitter and LinkedIn-consider who your target connections are and start following and connecting carefully. Remember that Social Tools are only effective if you engage and share with others. Figure out how much time and when in your work week to set aside for interacting with your networks. There is such a thing as “too much”, don’t overwhelm your audience

• Tools that work beyond the firewall have security concerns, liaise with IT

• The use of Twitter must be integrated with other tools, requiring planning. Once you attract candidates through a 140 character Tweet, they need a link to your application system. Does your application system reflect your brand? Is it attractive to your target candidate pool?

• Your branding must be consistent with the overall branding of the organization, liaise with Marketing

• You must be able to write well, getting someone to click on your link requires a very concise and interesting Tweet

• Mistakes made via Social Technologies are a much bigger deal than sending a dumb email to your entire office. It will take a lot of work to repair the damage done.

• Follow companies that are using Twitter and LinkedIn for recruiting -what do they do that works and what doesn’t work?

Monday, February 07, 2011

Since 2003 I have experimented by writing blogs on several different topics. I ended up with 4 blogs oriented to my major interest areas. Last year it became clear that it is time to focus-but where to focus as giving up an interest can be difficult. It occured to me that my research and writing have led to looking at collaboration as an important area that is critical to Change, HR/OD/Leadership and Social Technologies. So, starting today, this is the only blog that I will continue to contribute to and the focus will be on how each of these areas are related. As we move into an increasingly Web 2.0 or "Social" world this focus seems the most appropriate way to bring years of learning together to continue the process and share information with others trying to make sense of it all.

The current debate between Malcolm Gladwell and proponents of Social Technology benefits is interesting as some are asking if Malcolm Gladwell has perhaps met his 'tipping point'. While I tend to agree with the Social Technology flag wavers, that these technologies have indeed created the ability to effect significant change in unprecedented ways, are we possibly missing Mr. Gladwells' somewhat obscure message? Or is he missing ours?

What do you think? I look forward to hearing your views on this debate while I ponder my future postings.