Guidelines for HR Management of Social Media

HR trying avoiding social media has become like HR trying avoiding paperwork - in today’s world it is nearly impossible. Social media has become part of every day life, for both individuals and businesses. This has forced HR to address the issue of where social media stands in the work place.

Establish Social Media Policies

The first step in tackling social media is to establish consistent policies for the HR Department and the employees. Include information on employees nondisclosure agreements and how it applies to social media - employees should not post any form of confidential company information online. Employees should also be educated in rules of promoting company product or service online. Employees need to identify themselves and their relation to the company to avoid issues with false recommendations. Conversely, if a employee is stating a personal opinion, it should not be connected to the company.

HR policies involve recruiting and hiring employees and will be explained below.

Recruiting Through Social Media

Recruiting potential employees via social media is another topic directly correlated to HR. Social media allows you to post job descriptions in non-traditional places online to attract a diverse population of applicants. One precaution to take is posting exclusively in specific demographic groups on professional networks. This can draw reverse discrimination charges on your company. To avoid this and get maximum, post job descriptions in both generic and specific online groups.

Hiring and the Screening Process

Social Media can serve as both a positive and negative tool when it comes time to screen job applicants. Online screening should be strictly reserved for HR Professionals and needs to be done consistently - the same social websites, same pages and same details should be evaluated for every candidate. It is also wise to leave managers out of this aspect of hiring to avoid predetermined bias for a potential employee.  One of the high risks involved in social media screening is developed a biased opinion of a candidate based on personal appearance and pictures on the profile. Another risk is gaining unwanted information that was not needed for the hiring process.

However, there can be benefits to using social media to view potential employees. HR will get insight on how the applicant portrays him/herself on an every day basis. For example, all qualified applicants will be on their best behavior during an interview. Which can make it more challenging to determine their true personality and reliability. Social media can give you an understanding on how they represent themselves online to the public.

Social Media as a Work Culture

One of the main benefits behind social media and HR is the ability to enhance the company culture, both internally and externally. As an individual, you can connect with other HR professionals around your location or in your industry. This can greatly expand your network and allow you to learn tips and tricks from other HR professionals around the world.

Social Media can also work as a tool to increase communication among employees. It can be beneficial to set up groups where employees can discuss and communicate amongst each other. It allows employees to bounce ideas back and forth and brainstorm with each other in an easy, relaxed atmosphere. One precaution is to ensure your employees know not to release any confidential company information on these online sites. Although a group may be private, it is not secure.

HR can no longer avoid social media and will not be able to do so in the near future. Learning to control and educate employees now can save headaches down the road while presenting the opportunity to improve your company and its culture.

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