Tue, Sep 21, 2010
More than 1400 HR professionals recently gathered at the annual HR Florida local SHRM chapter event in Orlando, Florida, while hundreds of recruiters descended upon OnRec in Chicago this past week. Having attended both events, one dominant theme resonated with each of these audiences: HR practitioners and recruiters alike continue to wrestle with the concept of social media.
Why does social media engagement pose such angina for many in the HR and recruiting industries?
The HR Florida crowd appeared to be divided into two groups: those who are still questioning the value of social media and those who would like to engage but are absolutely terrified and don’t know where to start.
Fast forward to last week’s OnRec event where attendees, comprised primarily of recruiters, were literally hearing about the value of SEO, trends in mobile, and DM’s on Twitter for the very first time.
1) Fear of losing control
2) Concerns about how to measure
3) Fear of reduced productivity
4) Concerns about how to staff resources
5) How to keep it personal while engaging on a very public and massive scale
HR pros and recruiters appear to be stuck back in 2008, in the hunter/gatherer phase. They attend sessions and panel discussions, but for a variety of reasons ranging from failure to get senior management on board, to legal restrictions, many are still asking questions rather than executing social strategies. Recruiter, blogger and social media enthusiast Jennifer McClure reported on this fear from the annual SHRM National Conference in June.
If 2008 was the hunter/gatherer phase, 2009 was the toe-dipping phase, where companies began to test drive within social, developing strategies and objectives to participate on several levels including customer service, recruiting, brand awareness, PR and goodwill.
In 2010, we began to see more brands diving deeper into social engagement, where the focus turned to finding resources to sustain engagement, measuring and monitoring, determining ROI and success metrics, and developing and introducing social media guidelines to give employees the ability to engage on behalf of their companies.
Even the most diehard skeptics began to see the light, accepting the fact that social media is not a fad; it’s a trend, changing how we communicate and how we do business. [Fact: Monster has had more than 1,000 social media related jobs posted by a vast array of companies over the past 30 days].
Who owns social media content, connections, and relationships when an employee leaves the company? How do non-competes play out in social networking? The legal aspects of social media will be the next big thing, particularly once precedent-setting cases begin to surface in court.
Note to current law students: social media law could be a good career move. Yet instead of prepping their game plan for the next big wave of social media hot button topics, many HR pros and recruiters are still sitting on the sidelines, stuck back in 2008.
Interestingly, while attending the social media focused sessions at both HR Florida and OnRec, where Tweeting was encouraged by the session leaders, 90%of the attendees at both events came armed with notebooks, jotting down advice the old-fashioned way.
Many of the hunter/gatherers couldn’t write fast enough, hanging on the every word of HR Florida presenters like Shannon Seery Gude and Jenny DeVaughn of the Bernard Hodes group, and Jennifer Merrell Miller, author of “Tweet This.” At OnRec, recruiters crowd-sourced a session led by our own Eric Winegardner, along with HR technology strategist Sarah White and Marie Artim, VP of Global Recruiting for Enterprise Rent-a-Car, discussing the power of social media, and packed into sessions led by talent acquisition consultant Shally Sherkel and Jason Warner of Intellectual Ventures, to hear the latest in social recruiting trends, realities and challenges.
One of the most popular HR Florida sessions included Bloggers Steve Boese (HR Happy Hour) and Trish McFarlane (HR Ringleader and Women of HR) who participated in a social media panel discussion along with bloggers Mark Stelzner, William Tincup and Franny Oxford, moderated by Michael VanDevort. The session was clearly designed to show HR pros the benefits of engaging in social.
Despite the case studies and the quality and quantity of information being shared, based on the questions coming from both the HR Florida and OnRec audiences, many of these folks are stuck in neutral and will need more convincing, more encouragement, and more proof before moving into first gear.