Social HR & Strategy… Oh Right!

SocialHRCamp business partner Salima Nathoo and I recently co-authored a 2 blog post series for SmartRecruiters and Blogging4Jobs on “Why HR Needs to Speed Up Social Media Adoption” and “Why HR is Slow to Adopt Social Media”.  The former post focuses on the business case and the latter on barriers to adoption.  It was a tough exercise to go through because there are so many reasons why HR needs to adopt and why HR has not already done so.  The focus of this post is on a simple question that can be applied across all business functions.  The question is… “What does social media adoption have to do with strategy”?

Oh Right… Strategy…

Does it not make sense that the activities that you perform during the course of your work day support some strategic aspect of the business you work for?  Sure there are tasks that one would describe as mundane, repetitive, pointless, etc… but if you ask yourself “why” you are doing those tasks you probably could, or should come up with some strategic reason for why you do them.  The same holds true for social media.

Ah Ha Moment…

Before you dive into the social media maze you need to clearly understand what your core HR business challenges are that you are trying to solve.  Forget about social media for a second; every organization has challenges and strategic objectives that are being tackled.  If they did not exist there would be no organization to work for.

Ask Yourself…

Pull out the dusty HR strategy and the business strategy and identify the top 3-5 priorities.  Are you trying to attract higher quality talent to “hard-to-recruit” jobs?  Are you trying to solve a growing retention issue?  Are you trying to support the business expand and enter new markets?  Will you be tasked with organizational restructuring or acquisition initiatives?  You get the point, but it’s critical for you as an HR professional to figure this out first.

2nd Ah Ha Moment…

For all you non-HR people reading this blog post, this also applies to you.  It does not matter what area of business you work in, the fact remains that you need to understand the core business challenges you are trying solve before you dive into social media.

Now You’re Ready to Think About Social Media…

You now have a crystal clear idea of why you want to use social media; now it’s a matter of identifying the social media platforms that will enable you to achieve the best results.  The task of figuring this out will be so much easier if you have a clear idea of why you want to use them in the first place.  Sorry, just slapping up a Facebook page because “everyone else” has one is a complete waste of time, and will ultimately make you look foolish.

So, think strategy first, then social media second.

Jeff Waldman

Social media enthusiast, entrepreneur, social HR strategist and educator, Jeff is the Founder of Stratify, a social HR consultancy and SocialHRCamp, the first-ever global HR unconference. With a background in business, HR and marketing, and a diverse career spanning all facets of HR Jeff has been carving out and leading the way in a growing niche that brings together HR, social media and business.

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