Hello… Hello…Hello?? Is There Anybody in There?
I’m a card-carrying member of the new Baton Rouge Social Media Club, and I couldn’t be more thrilled. Well, OK, I imagine I’m not going to get a card; but I WILL get access to a wide and divergent group of individuals. I’m excited to interact with local people who understand that moving up the Forrester Social Technographics Ladder as outlined in “Groundswell” by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff, is a GOOD thing.
After attending a few BRSocMe events (including #speakeasy, which was super fun!!), I have found, not surprisingly, that the group appears to be comprised primarily of entrepreneurs, business owners, bloggers, and marketing/PR professionals. But I’m an HR practitioner… so why am I involved? Don’t HR folks tend to be the ones who say “social media is a waste of time, opens our company to risk, and encourages employees to waste time at work..?”
Now certainly, HR has a role (often along with IT and legal) in evaluating and mitigating risks – and each organization has to evaluate the adoption and use of social media based on their culture and organizational needs. But in order for HR professionals to have this conversation within their organizations, they first need to understand social media. HR professionals must be aware that social media is here to stay, and they should only make their organizational recommendations after first understanding the business uses and applications of social media beyond the walls of the HR department.
HR professionals and organizations who ‘get” social media are incorporating these tools in a variety of ways within the HR sphere – engaging candidates in alignment with their recruiting strategy; using social networking tools to onboard and train their employees; tapping into the power of social media to engage existing staff; and leveraging employees’ talents for the betterment of the company and the betterment of the employment experience for each individual. The Marketing folks have always talked about branding; being late to the game, HR practitioners began discussing branding earnestly in the 1990’s. And the focus on employer branding/employment branding (yes, they could be different) has gotten new life with the advent of social networking, as HR professionals discover how using these tools can connect their employment experience AND their organizational culture.
I have a desire that HR professionals will embrace social networking and incorporate it into their professional lives and to assist their organizations. There are exciting things happening in Louisiana and across the country:
- The Greater Baton Rouge SHRM chapter has the LARGEST LinkedIn group in Baton Rouge (181 members) and members regularly engage in discussions, post news articles, and move their ongoing collaboration “offline”
- The Louisiana SHRM State Council (@LA_SHRM) used social media including twitter and guest bloggers from Recruiting Blogs and SmartBrief on Workforce to successfully increase understanding of social media amongst 300 attendees at the April 2010 state conference
- The Society for Human Resource Management (@SHRM) has recently hired @shrmsocmedguy to engage with the very active community of HR bloggers and HR social media enthusiasts
- There are a number of weekly Blog Talk Radio Shows devoted to HR and recruiting, including HR Happy Hour, Drive Thru HR and The Recruiting Animal Show which bring together practitioners from across the globe
- The twitter back channel is very active during HR events/conferences as well as with regular chat streams – recent and ongoing hashtags include #jobhuntchat, #socialrecruiting and #tx10
- A group of HR professionals interested in advancing, influencing and evolving the profession recently attended #HRevolution where our conversations focused on a variety of topics… but ultimately came back to social networking and a final challenge to “break out of the echo chamber”
So I’ve set a personal goal of breaking out of the echo chamber by doing what I can to bring my Baton Rouge HR peers to join in the conversation with the Baton Rouge Social Media Club. My hope is to encourage the HR community to ‘bust out of the barn’ and network with SM users, share resources and information, learn about this exciting local community and engage in the often fascinating discussions about the power of social networking.
And now I’m off to visit my Google Reader to catch up on the blogs I follow; sales, marketing, IT, general business…. and 61 HR blogs.