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HR Officers to become digital advocates says Hyphen

HR Officers to become digital advocates says Hyphen

Hiring managers call for greater innovation and further experimentation in social media as a recruitment channel to create strong and engaged talent pools

 Social media is fast becoming a critical part of the recruitment and employee engagement tool kit as major organisations adapt to the new digital age, according to a roundtable event of senior Resourcing and HR directors facilitated by hyphen, the recruitment process outsourcer.

The roundtable event, which took place on Tuesday, played host to senior HR and resourcing leaders from a number of top blue chip organisations, including Xerox, Lloyds Banking Group, BBC and Nokia.

Delegates overwhelmingly observed that the massive rise in prominence of social media in all walks of life has led many major global organisations to increase their thus far limited investment into social channels such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook in order to attract and engage talent, and that this investment is starting to drive internal change towards a focus on digital within organisations.

But without significant support from digital specialists, such as the CIO, in-house social media experts, or external consultants, organisations often find it difficult to put in place a holistic and sustainable model to attract and engage talent through social media channels. 

Corporates of all sizes have therefore experienced mixed success in leveraging social media as a recruitment tool, with a lack of confidence in digital recruitment strategies a common theme for HROs across sectors.

Organisations that are seeing return on investment and experiencing the value added of a strong social media strategy are those nimble and agile enough to fully integrate the use of digital channels to reflect both marketing and HR priorities, through creation of digital working groups. Knowledge sharing across the HR industry is therefore paramount to ensure that HROs and hiring managers are generating the best value for their early innovation in digital.

The event follows research released by hyphen, which shows that many organisations are yet to make effective use of emerging social media channels as a recruitment channel.

The research, which polled over 1,500 UK professionals, showed that over one in ten (13.9%)  candidates are avoiding digital communications channels in favour of traditional application methods when applying for a new role because they fear they will be negatively perceived by prospective employers.

Meanwhile, over a fifth (21.4%) of professionals stated they would not follow any organisation on a social media channel and over a quarter (26.8%) would never engage with a business or would need a very compelling reason to do so.

Key areas of agreement amongst the roundtable delegates at the event included:

Social media is on the priority list for HROs, and is set to play a role in recruitment strategies for 2013. The question for organisations is how to make effective use of channels as a recruitment tool and how to engage internal stakeholders to ensure resources are assigned correctly to support the shift in focus.

HROs reported generally positive results from early engagement with social media as a recruitment tool. Blue chips have had particular success in creating strong, engaged talent pools amongst entry level staff – particularly graduate intakes – by combining social media channels, and creating networked communities of engaged employees through gamification.

Social media is not seen as the absolute or singular future of recruitment by HROs and hiring managers rather it is seen as an important emerging channel that organisations must engage with to remain relevant and tap into new talent pipelines. Effective use of social media requires a nuanced and strategic approach that differentiates tactics according to the target audience, and presents a clear vision and experience of the employer brand.

Zain Wadee, Managing Director at hyphen, said: “The importance of social media as a recruitment and communication tool is growing, and organisations are realising the value of interacting effectively through social media channels.  It is important that employee engagement plays a key part in an organisation’s social media strategy this will encourage a following that is both active and aligned to the organisation’s culture.”  

Paul Harrison, Managing Partner of social business strategy firm Carve Consulting, outlined steps organisations need to take if they're truly to realise the business value in social technologies:

"Organisations need to have a robust strategy in place: 'provide and pray' - which characterises much of what passes as social recruiting today - will simply not effectively attract talent. Similarly, organisations need to systematically engage their internal audiences in their engagement and recruitment strategies. That means empowering employees with the tools, training, trust and time to become authentic, active advocates." 

Zain Wadee added:  ”It is essential that organisations have a properly thought our social media strategy that does more than just push corporate messages or list reams of vacancies. 

“Companies need to develop an authentic persona and ensure content is engaging or talent will simply tune out”. 


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