Tag Archives: Human Resources

Mind your Ps and Qs with your social media

An interesting article about the usage of social media from Careerbuilder.com. Nothing too earth shattering, basically stating that a third of companies are leveraging social media for their corporate goals. I think it is safe to say that the thought that social media is only for entertainment or idle communication by teenagers is rapidly evaporating. Social media is and will become a greater part of our every day activity in the corporate world, just like web sites did 20 years ago. What stuck out to me in the article is the following:

When it comes to managing social media strategy, 43 percent of employers report that their marketing department handles social media outreach, followed by public relations (26 percent) and human resources (19 percent).

No surprise in the first two statistics, but the third – close to 1 in 5 companies have their HR departments managing social media. This just reinforced the fact that more companies are using these channels to vet potential employees. What does that mean?

That you need to be very conscious of how you are seen via your social media channels. That picture from your frat days on Facebook, funny to you and your friends, might not be so funny to a future employer. Checking in every night on Foursquare at the local drinking hole….maybe go off the grid with that information. Again, it does not mean you should not have a social life nor use social media, but just remember it is a very competitive world we live in and also becoming more open. The wall that used to exist between your professional persona and personal life has been made easier to look over. You might rationalize that what you do on the weekend is your business, but if you advertise it, then you have exposed to the public. Some of whom might not approve and if they are deciding between you and another candidate, that could be the deciding factor.

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Make your HR department marketing savvy

When you mention HR (human resources) you rarely think about marketing. Human Resources role revolves around attracting, retaining and overseeing a companies’ labor force. For job seekers they are usually seen as a gate keeper – a hurdle that needs to be overcome to get to the real decision makers that will determine whether or not you will be hired let alone interviewed. Once hired by a company, HR is seen as the department that tells me about my vacation policy, how many personal days I can get and if I need to find talent or get rid of under-performers are the resource you turn to. Human resources is definitely seen as the “A” in SG&A. So why should we worry if our HR department is marketing savvy?

  1. Your HR department is the first point of contact for your future leaders. Look around your office, how many of the employees that are on your payroll have not gone through an interview process with HR? Most likely the majority of employees first real point of contact was with someone within the Human Resources department – and they also spent time with this department when accepting a position. Those that did not get a job were most likely told by human resources.
  2. The way your HR department handles prospects is indicative of how your company operates. If your HR department is not responsive to candidate demands or worse just ignores candidates who have not been selected, how does this reflect on your organization? If your corporation treats potential employees poorly during the process how will they be treated once within your 4 walls.
  3. HR communicates with potential future customers. Those who are candidates today might become customers tomorrow. Clearly if someone is interviewing for a role within your company they most likely want to be in that industry or are already in the same industry. This means those candidates could find themselves in positions to be your client…

Human resource departments have often times been regarded as important to recruit and retain human assets. However, rarely is the notion that Human Resources are the front line for marketing efforts and have a direct impact on how your business’ brand is viewed by the outside world. Take Ernst&Young and their efforts to leverage social media to reach out to prospective employees. They give their future employees a view into what Ernst& Young is all about from the current employees. Not only does this give future employees a great resource, but it portrays an image of openness and a human side that makes the firm’s image a angle it otherwise does not have.

Corporate leaders should take a look at their HR groups and ensure that the interactions with future employees and clients portrays the company in the right light.

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Filed under Marketing