A master’s in human resources, one of the highest-paying master’s degrees, is one option for attaining a job as a human resources manager. Prospective HR managers may wonder how much of their work – and in what capacity – involves the use of social media. Most companies today do use social media in some capacity for human resources purposes, particularly as a method of recruiting new workers and engaging with their employees. You don’t have to be a social media influencer to make a good HR manager, but you should be comfortable using social media as a tool for achieving your company’s human resources goals.
Distinguishing Human Resources Managers From Social Media Managers
HR managers use social media, but not in the same ways or for the same purposes as social media managers. Social media is an essential channel of communication for modern marketing departments, which may focus on immediate sales or on long-term relationship building. For human resources professionals, though, the goal of using social media isn’t sales but instead employee recruitment and engagement. The values expressed in social media posts serve to further establish the corporate culture of a company.
Some master’s programs in human capital management or human resources offer social media electives, but these classes aren’t a common part of core HR coursework. One way to develop social media skills is through a certificate program in social media in HR.
Social Media as a Tool for Personnel Recruitment
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A big part of human resources management is hiring the human capital companies need. Social media is one of the many platforms HR managers can use to recruit workers in the digital age. Although job listings published on job search sites are still relevant, more and more employers are turning to social media to aid in their hiring efforts. As of 2017, 84 percent of organizations surveyed reported that they were already using social media to recruit workers, and another 9 percent planned to use it in the future, according to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).
Human resources managers routinely use social media to advertise and promote job listings for vacancies they want to fill. Social media screening of job candidates, in which companies check candidates’ social media profiles and channels in a sort of unofficial background check, has also become a common practice. However, social media screening of candidates needs to be performed with caution. Some of the information HR managers find when going through a job applicant’s social media accounts could form the basis of a discrimination lawsuit, the SHRM reported.
Interestingly, for 82 percent of organizations that utilize social media to build their workforce, the main reason for using this tool was to engage passive candidates – people already employed elsewhere and not actively looking for a job, according to the SHRM.
Social Media’s Impact on Employee Engagement and Communication
Social media is one of the ways your company communicates. While marketing personnel use social media to communicate with potential clients and customers, HR managers may view social media as a tool for employee engagement.
If your organization is large, social media updates can keep workers abreast of developments made in or by other teams. Social media posts may be used to highlight exceptional worker performance. Some social media campaigns serve to build and reinforce company culture. Engaged, enthusiastic workers may also wish to share the company’s updates because they are proud of the work their organization is doing. In most cases, social media has a positive impact on employee engagement.
Although social media channels can prove valuable for engaging and communicating with workers, they can also be problematic. In heavily regulated industries like pharmaceuticals, simple social media “likes” and “shares” by employees could risk being seen as unlawful promoting of products. If your company is going to use social media, it’s important to communicate to employees what types of social media engagement are acceptable or appreciated. You should also specify to workers whether any seemingly innocuous social media interactions could get them or the company in trouble. HR managers may want to develop a company social media policy and related material, perhaps in consultation with marketing and social media managers.
In recent years, workers have lost jobs over social media interactions. If your company monitors workers’ social media channels or would consider social media-related disciplinary action, consider adding a notification to the company handbook.