Why Your HR Department Needs Social Media

A large part of HR’s job is to help support and cultivate the corporate culture. One way they can do this is through participating on internal social networks; as well as, external ones. HR professionals will have a great chance to utilize social to increase its impact inside and outside of the organization. First let's look at a few ways HR can use social media internally before delving into external facing activities.


Cross-departmental communication: Like all social HR initiatives, internal social networks will enable two-way or, in some cases, multi-way conversations between people who wouldn’t, or couldn’t, normally collaborate with each other. Internal networks enable active and engaging conversations from all levels of the organization, from the C-suite to frontline employees.

Round-the-clock idea machine:
Internal networks enable brainstorming on a continuous basis instead of only during a planned session. People are creative at different times of the day, and some need a particular environment to be creative. Some employees may be early birds, with their best ideas coming to them at the crack of dawn, while others may be night owls, at their most creative after the sun sets.

Giving a voice to the shy:
Some people are intimidated by the presence of leaders or executives in a brainstorming session and are too afraid to speak up. An internal network can give employees a safer environment in which to speak their mind. Also, if employees aren’t comfortable offering their own ideas, they can contribute to or rate another idea. This kind of participation is just as valuable as suggesting new ideas.

Crowdsourcing: It’s not possible to have all employees participate in an in-person brainstorming session, so these sessions have to be limited to one department or only a select group of employees. Internal social networks, on the other hand, expose challenges to the entire company and generate more diversity of thought than an in-person session can.


The socialization of HR can also occur externally through recruitment and talent management activities. Let's have a look at my most recent presentation for some hints and examples of how companies are doing this successfully.