Monday, October 4, 2010

Giving Social Media the Business

For a time now I have been hanging out with the “cool kids” on the internet, on twitter and at some conferences I have been fortunate enough to attend. While, it has seemed to me that the whole world of Human Resources is involved in this scene, this has turned out to be is a very naive assumption of mine.  In fact if you look into the blogosphere   you can hear our peers lamenting the lack of involvement of HR professionals

From the tweet stream of the HR Technology Conference, I read that a very small percentage (3% - 5%) of social media users were content generators. So by default 95% of the users are only consumers of content. Given that statistic we have a lot of work in front of us, to grow the contributors of social media. So I have wondered how the “cool kids” can do this.

One thing that I have contemplated doing at my work is creating a single-purpose blog site that is directed to our customers and our industry.  This got me to wondering about the cool kids of HR, as business partners.  Are we living in a vacuum?  The question is this; are you taking your social media skills and abilities and applying them in your industry or discipline.

While there seems to be a number of HR bloggers and social media gurus who are coming from the staffing and consulting areas of HR, there are folks who come from not-for-profits, medicine, government, academia as well as other sectors of the economy.

In an effort to create somewhat of a dialogue, I ask the question, do you take your social media skills to your core business?  Are you an advocate for social media use and tools outside the HR arena?  If you are not doing this you should. This is one thing we can collectively do to help advance our cause and use of social media as a business tool.

Please leave a comment or a link that showcases some of your social media prowess outside the HR area.  Hopefully this will be a catalyst to spur others to do the same.

-Dave Ryan IL SHRM Director of Socail Media


  1. Thanks so much for linking to the HR Schoolhouse. We have a very vibrant and active social media community in south Louisiana, but there is a noticeable lack of HR activity or involvement in this realm. As I mentioned in the blog post, with almost 300 attendees at the Gulf Coast SM conference, I could count on a few fingers, the actual HR/Recruiting practitioners who were in attendance. And I sense, among the HR community, more than just a lack of involvement and usage - there seems to be a general lack of curiosity. I have benefited so greatly from SM usage that I just want to literally shout from the rooftops to my HR peers “get involved!” I personally work to regularly share resources and information and work to make myself available to assist or provide information to my HR peers.

    In answer to your question about using one’s social media skills with my core business – YES YES YES. I am very fortunate in that I’ve been able to partner internally with our Marketing and PR departments as we’ve implemented and rolled out some organizational uses for SM tools and technologies to our customers and staff.

    I applaud the Illinois State Council as well as other state councils and SHRM affiliate chapters who are at the forefront of educating, encouraging and sharing information with HR professionals about the benefits to be derived from a planned and thoughtful use of SM/networking.

  2. For the second year in a row, I have required Social Media participation in my human resource classes. That means getting on Twitter, writing a blog, posting a resume on LinkedIn, reading the blogs others write.

    There is no better way for students to differentiate themselves as they begin their job search than to utilize these tools.

  3. Robin - Matt Thanks for the comments. I too am trying to position my employer to utilize more new media tools. Like with so many other thing in the workplace; it is tough to get people out of the comfort zone and doing and trying new things... old dogs/new tricks!