Are you digitally hired?

Are you digitally hired?

By Unnati Narang, Mumbai Mirror

Social media has taken the whole world by storm but a lesser explored segment is the impact of social media on HR. What’s in it for HR managers? Apparently a lot, says Unnati Narang

Gone are the days when companies had to hunt for prospective employees on traditional channels like employment exchanges or classified advertisements. An approach more direct and focused has emerged with the everexpanding reach of social media. Want a sales rep? Go find him on a common interest group on Facebook. Looking for a leadership coach? Hunt for interesting tweets to locate the person behind the oneline wit.

“We believe that social networking is really just the web becoming a tool that fosters more interaction. The future likely includes more rich media on many devices (and employees will have many) allowing people to communicate, share and digest more information any time they want and about virtually every aspect of their lives. The most effective use of social media as a tool is not merely for marketing, public relations or effective customer support but as a means to connect directly and engage with current and prospective employees,” says Aadil Bandukwala, India – talent acquisition advisor, social media and community professional, Dell India.

How would it compare against the traditional tools of recruitment? “Traditional tools of recruitment enabled leaders to rely on their gut instinct when making hiring decisions and whether they liked someone personally was a major influence. The traditional hiring metrics, including quality of the cover letter and interview, compete in importance with the personal preferences of the hiring manager. The employers base hiring preferences on the applicant’s personality, sometimes even more than the hard skills an applicant brings to the table. The social media is a more targeted approach. It helps you focus on the things that actually matter,” says Urvashi Bahuguna Sahay, founder and CEO, Excluzen. Then, there are also those who feel that comparing social media to traditional media is like comparing apples and oranges. “How many candidates do you have in your database?

Whatever the number is, it doesn’t come close to how many potential candidates are on Facebook and Linkedin. Hence, traditional tools cannot be compared to the social media tools as it is always better to have a integrated 360 degree approach and evolve, adapt and change to newer ways,” says T Muralidharan, managing director, TMIe2EAcademy.

That said, social media has its own set of challenges. “An organisation needs to take utmost care when its employees engage on its behalf on social media platforms. An organisation needs to ’empower’ its employees to make sure that both from a recruitment perspective and from a candidate’s experience touch point, the end-to-end process is seamless and delivers on the set expectations. To ’empower’ its employees, an organisation needs to do two things:

Have a social media strategy in place – This will give designated individuals a ground to fall back on. Invest in training its employees on different social media platforms. Says Bandukwala, “At Dell, we have a social media university that renders certifications across different platforms to employees once they complete their training. This way, employees are confident of what and how they need to communicate across social media and tailor specific messages relevant to their target audiences.”

Have a social media policy in place – You want your employees to essentially use social media the right way – thereby it is imperative that a social media policy be in place that tells employees the need to respect privacy, protect information and follow the law. Based on the organisational culture, dynamics and people policy, a social media policy can be rolled out which employees can be encouraged to follow,” adds Bandukwala.

Further adding to the list of precautions is Muralidharan, who feels, “The HR should be careful while scanning and recruiting on social media. They should understand that social media websites are basically meant to socialise with peer groups. The recent case in US where companies started asking Facebook user ids and passwords from prospective employees created a rage and a negative impact on such companies. The human resource should not dig deep into social media profiles of the candidates while hiring but can use to cross-check for the authenticity of the profile. The HR should also keep in mind that simultaneously the candidate is visiting the company profile and also the HR profile, observing their qualifications, achievements before attending an interview, which is challenging for an HR, if he doesn’t know much about the candidate.”

Final word of advice to social media tappers? Know what you are getting into. Create the right image. And trust your instinct with people!

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