In a very dynamic business environment, social media is proving to be a very important business platform for those companies who make full use of it. Today, various social media channels are being used by different parts of the company. They have all facilitated contact between various users who have common interests. Any of these sites include Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, LinkedIn, Wikis, YouTube, and blogs. When social media evolves, human resources cannot be left behind and social media affect both positively and negatively. Social media is being used as a tool that allows the human resource to reach the new target while still staying in contact with the older ones.
Social media is being used for social recruitment by the human resource. It is useful in advertising for new positions within the organization as well as searching and reaching the right applicants. Depending on the platform utilized, it is very easy to reach the right target and in the required numbers. The major advantage of social media is that it is possible to reach a large audience at minimum costs. The key to reaching the right target is by use of the keywords to attract job seekers. The choice of the platform to be used depends on the nature of the job description as wells as the organization, since each platform is unique and with different opportunities to the human resource management. For instance, with LinkedIn, a job advert can allow the applicant to apply directly from the organization’s post. With Facebook, the job advert may come with an email address where applicants have to send their resumes. Such uniqueness makes each platform useful for different organizations. However, use of social media for recruitment may not be as effective since it is not always possible to attract the required quality of applicants (Sharan).
Furthermore, social media can also be used to compete for potential employees just as is done when competing for customers. Such competition can be achieved through reliable presence in social media. If they can respond to questions about their recruitment promptly, then they might just attract the right employee. Moreover, an organization can use some influential social media personnel to advertise for openings by using his or her platform. The organization, in this case, will be counting on the personnel’s influence to attract the required number of applicants. Some job seekers may not be frequent visitors of the organization social media platform but may be regular visitors of this personnel’s platform. By using them, they can capture such potential applicants (Quesenberry)
Additionally, social media is effective for employer branding. The human resource may want to prepare before starting a recruitment process by keeping up to date with trends in recruitment. It may decide to create a positive image to potential job applicants. It can achieve this through social media by creating blogs about the benefits of working for their organization. The blog can include positive aspects of the organization such as its culture and style. Such blogs can be effective in creating hype about the organization especially just before a recruitment process. Essentially, these blogs are aimed at creating positive images about the organization in the minds of potential applicants. By being viewed as an ideal employer, it can attract better candidates that it would have before such hype. It is also important in displaying why the organization is a better employer than others in the same industry. Such image, when created before recruitment is capable of maintaining an emotional satisfaction within the employee throughout their employment period. Notably, it is also very cost effective when social media is used to create such image. A good image is an overall value added to the organization and not only for the human resource section but also for other sections (Bondarouk and Luján).
Besides that, social media is also being used for employee selection. In this process, the human resource representatives are required to visit social media networks of the applicants before deciding whether the application has been accepted or rejected. Depending on what they find then a decision is reached. Some of the issues that can lead to an application rejection may include; display of provocative photos, use of inappropriate information, bad mouthing and hate speech, incitement and also poor communication skills. The reasons that can result in an application acceptance include; creativity on social media and also display of good communications skills. However, this method can be unreliable since applicants can change the information that they display on social media once they are aware that it will be used. The use social media for job selection attract different views from the applicants. Those who have been rejected believe that the system is unfair and also unethical. Some also feel that such use of social media is a violation of their privacy rights. Moreover, such bad feelings can cause an applicant to file a lawsuit against the organization. Eventually, such a lawsuit can result in a bad image for the organization (Halbesleben).
Human resource managers are also using social media to enhance organizational performance. In some organizations, use of social media is encouraged to enhance sharing of information as information is easily transferable through social media. Other organizations encourage it to promote work-life balance. It eventually improves employee satisfaction resulting to improved employee performance. However, some organizations block access to social media to reduce time wastage as it consumes most of the employees’ time and it is also a major distraction. It may also be used to protect an organization’s confidential information as well as computer viruses which are easily picked through social media (Halbesleben).
Training of employees can also be conducted through social media platforms to improve their skills. Major platforms that are commonly used include wikis, youtube and also webinars. These platforms offer convenience as employees do not have to travel to a central training center physically. Virtual training sessions can also be created that enhance employee interaction during training. Wikis are also effective for information storage and retrieval. These trainings are more effective than class based training since some of them are self-paced.
Knowledge management is also very effective through social media. Information can be suggested, debated upon, reviewed and finally passed on to others. Sessions can be created where such information is easily shared. Employees no longer have to wait for physical progress meeting to raise issues affecting them. Social media is effective during such session since there is the real-time reception of the information. It is also user-friendly especially for the shy employees as they can share information freely. It is also effective in information retrieval for employees who might have been committed during the discussion since all they have to do is follow such the conversation unlike in physical meetings. Social media is also effective when managers are delivering information that requires immediate feedback. It is also used to receive feedback on matters that have implemented during evaluation. It is also more reliable for handling issues that might have been hindered by hierarchy issues as it is to circumvent them. WhatsApp is one of the most preferred platforms since the communication is real-time. It also allows the creation of groups that can be easily created to handle a specific work related issue and deleted afterward. Moreover, executives are also using blogs to pass operational affecting information. These platforms are important as they allow the human resource to handle issues affecting the employees as they arise. These platforms can also be used to choose employees’ representatives if required. (Halbesleben).
In conclusion, social media has brought flexibility and effectiveness in human resource management. However, they are several issues that may arise within the human resource as a result of using social media. Privacy of organizational information is no longer guaranteed. Some information that is supposed to be private can be easily disseminated if passed via social media. Cyberbullying of some employees by others is also possible through social. It reduces the performance of employees and can lead to depression. There is also the issue of time wastage associated with employees who are always on social media during work hours. Such wastage reduces the organizational effectiveness in delivering work within the required deadlines (Mathis, Robert and Valentine).
Bondarouk, Tanya, and Miguel R Olivas-Luján. Social Media in Human Resources Management. 1st ed., Bingley, Emerald, (2013).
Halbesleben, Jonathon R. B. Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management. Emerald Group Publishing, (2016).
Mathis, Robert and Valentine. Human Resource Management. 14th ed. 2013.
Quesenberry, Keith A. “Why (And How) HR Needs to Act More Like Marketing”. Harvard Business Review, (2016) https://hbr.org/2016/11/why-and-how-hr-needs-to-act-more-like-marketing.
Sharan, Dr. Deepa. “Social Media and Human Resource Management”. Pezzottaite journals, volume 4, no. 4, (2015),