You’d think it was raining “social.” Social media, social networking, social marketing, social recruiting, social learning – so many aspects of business these days have a “social” component to them.
That can pose a dilemma for companies. On one hand, management wants the workforce to be fully connected and networked, as well as to collaborate globally and share knowledge across the digital divide; but at the same time, management hesitates to embrace social media use across the enterprise for fear that inappropriate online behavior could lead to litigation, damage to the corporate reputation and exposure to other risks. In addition, the use of social media in business, and in talent management in particular, is so new and confusion stemming from the viral history of this technology sector is so widespread that selecting the right tools and using them properly are especially difficult.
Many new “free” social recruiting and networking services are launching while talent acquisition and talent management vendors rush to add “social” functionality as quickly as possible. But the return on investment (ROI) for purchasers of talent-focused social media tools and systems is as yet unknown. Information on what works and what doesn’t is unevenly available, being passed around largely by word of mouth with little verification.
Businesses are scrambling to capture the “social rain” and explore ways to take advantage of the potential of social networking to improve their competitiveness and their workforce management and performance. To bring clarity to the frenzy and confusion requires education about both the benefits and proper management of social media, and education requires research-based facts. That’s why, as part of my Human Capital Management agenda for 2011 ,I’m embarking on a benchmark research project titled “Social Networking and Talent Acquisition: Workforce Best Practices in the Age of Social Media.” And by the way, this topic is related to another, business collaboration ,which brings together people and technology to increase productivity and performance for competitive advantage. New benchmark research on collaboration is forthcoming as well, which will extend across all lines of business and their activities, including the talent management components as part of the overall business collaboration story.
The social networking benchmark research will focus solely on its impact on talent acquisition and people management. Social networking can add a dimension to companies’ activities, so it is no surprise that human resources and talent management groups have interest in these sites and services. Talent acquisition, management and optimization are fundamentally social activities, requiring personal contact, discussion and judgment. Social networks constitute powerful new communication channels that can be used for recruiting, collaboration, learning and knowledge sharing; what’s required is that businesses find the right ways to use them.
In today’s business environment, talent acquisition and management processes require the support of technology that provides social business tools and resources that can help the organization more effectively screen, assess, select, train, develop and manage its human capital.
I look forward to conducting this in-depth benchmark research on all things social in talent management today. We will strive to bring clarity where there is still much confusion. And as well, we’ll conduct a corresponding Value Index to address buyers’ strategies for evaluating, purchasing and implementing these social networking talent acquisition and management systems.
If you’d like to hear more about this research and my entire 2011 HCM agenda, feel free to contact me.
Team - Ventana Research