7 Ways That Social Media Is Changing Talent Management and HR

To Our Readers: This week, TLNT is continuing our annual tradition by counting down the 30 most popular and well-read posts of this past year. This is No. 24. Our regular content will return on Monday January 2, 2012.

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Editor’s Note: Dr. John Sullivan has been a strategist in HR and talent management for over 30 years. His specialty is HR strategy and designing world class HR systems and tools for Fortune 200 firms. He’s never been shy about telling it like it is. That’s why TLNT asked him to share his thinking in a video series titled “$#*!@ Dr. John Sullivan Says!” 

“When you talk to business people these days — HR people also — the buzz is social media,” Dr. John Sullivan says. ”Some people think it is just a fad, while other people think it has major impact.”

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Well, it’s not a fad, according to Dr. John, and here’s why: because it changes the way we are going to do business and is “probably the most important change in the last century when it comes to HR.”

7 ways social media is changing HR

He lists a number of areas where you can see this at work, including:

  • Recruiting — where it allows you to connect with people (potential candidates) and build relationships, make referrals, and build talent communities;
  • Best practice sharing — because internal and external social networks allow people to share best practices on a global basis;
  • Learning — because people can post questions online, or do a Google search, and get “hundreds of answers from hundreds of people” immediately instead of having to find and consult a textbook or get on the phone with an expert;
  • Identify talent for development (succession planning) — social media allows you to identify high potentials or thought leaders, even from a remote vantage point;
  • Innovation — because social media encourages more collaboration between people on the same team who are not necessarily located in the same place’
  • Identifying workplace problems — social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Glassdoor can serve as an early warning device for HR to plug into issues or problems before they start to really take off; and,
  • Competitive intelligence — Linkedin gives you the ability to track what companies people are leaving, where they are going, and what the market demands.

John Hollon is Editor-at-Large at ERE Media and was the founding Editor of TLNT.com. A longtime newspaper, magazine, and business journal editor, John has deep roots in the talent management space. He's the former Editor of Workforce Management magazine and workforce.com, served as Editor of RecruitingDaily, and was Vice President for Content at HR technology firm Checkster. An award-winning journalist, John has written extensively about HR, talent management, leadership, and smart business practices, including for the popular Fistful of Talent blog. Contact him at johnhollon@ere.net, connect with him on LinkedIn, or follow him on Twitter @johnhollon.

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