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How social media can help your human resources department

Social media represents an incredible opportunity for business. It allows you to more authentically communicate with your customers and build brand loyalty. But if turned inward, social media can also help your human resource department:

  • Better qualify and recruit new employees
  • Retain the employees you have by providing them a more intimate connection with your organization
  • Encourage innovation and hasten implementation of new ideas
  • Train and develop employees more efficiently and in a manner that is more conducive to learning
  • Reward and publically acknowledge exemplary behavior
  • Develop more relevant company policy by easily including your employees’ feedback

Screen shot 2011-02-17 at 8.54.41 PM

A survey by Birkman International of 20,000 human resource professionals revealed that 83% realize the value of social media as a tool to help communication and knowledge sharing within the office. Among those using social media in their recruitment processes, a 2009 Jobvite survey found that 95% use LinkedIn, 59% use Facebook and 42% are using Twitter.


Simply tweeting about a new position with appropriate hash tags can send your job listing to tens of thousands of people in a matter of minutes. Not to mention third-party sites, such as, and that leverage the Twitter API to assist job seekers find their perfect career.

Many larger organizations have already recognized the value of social media in their recruitment efforts. Microsoft, PwC, and IBM, to name a few, have eagerly embraced LinkedIn as a recruitment tool.  

Ernst & Young has been using Facebook as a recruitment tool for a number of years. With almost 50,000 fans, their Facebook site ( serves up everything from information about their company to job opportunities targeted to current students as well as experienced professionals. They even include pictures and videos of their employees taken in and out of the Ernst & Young offices. All of these efforts provide context for prospective candidates that they would otherwise not be able to access.  

Knowledge sharing and training

Surprisingly, a recent survey from the American Society for Training & Development (ASTD) found that most organizations (76%) do not use social media for internal learning. That is a shame because social media can encourage your employees to ask questions, share ideas and learn from each other. Using social media sites such as Wikispaces or Yammer, you can set up private social networks that can help with the orientation of new employees, answer frequently asked questions, provide links to 401K and other benefit-oriented services, and help develop an employee-centered culture that empowers everyone to participate in the growth of the company. And of course, these examples are just the tip of the iceberg. 

Even the United States Army, the epitome of hierarchical control, created a wiki last year and invited over 140,000 soldiers to help them update the Army's tactics, techniques and procedures. 

What's your opinion? How is your business leveraging social media for human resources? Let us know in the comments section.


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Reader Comments (1)

Indeed, Social media like facebook, twitter and any third party sites can really help and advance communication and knowledge sharing.
April 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPCS Consultant Inc.

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