HR and Social Media: Trends, Networking and Intergration

HR, Social Media and Personal Branding

How HR Views Personal Branding

The Human Resource industry has been slow to adapt and understand the new social media world. Since not all HR professionals are Recruiters and vice-versa, job seekers are at an advantage and a disadvantage at the same time.

As someone who has worked as a Recruiter, I understand how important social media is in finding quality job search candidates. I’ve used tools like chat rooms, online communities, blogs, Twitter, Facebook, and even internet dating sites to source and place candidates.  As a blogger, I have used Blogging4Jobs, my blog to develop an online personal and business brand that has provided me with a solid reputation in my industry as well as landing a handful of clients who found me and reached out after reading my posts and content.

Understanding HR and Their Use of Social Media

Think of recruiters as salespeople who are in the business of finding people for companies they either work for as employees or as third party agencies who search and find candidates most often on behalf of companies they represent.

Human Resource professionals are more analytical personalities who are focused on policy (policies), procedure, technologies like payroll and application systems, as well as legal concerns with protecting the company in mind such as mitigating the corporate risk of social media. Most HR professionals do not like recruiting, work in recruiting or if they do, are not passionate about the process. To them it’s a means to an end. I like to think that I am the exception to the rule and have worked in and understand both.

Social Media Trends; HR Intergration of Social Media on the Rise

The good news is that according to EMarketer, the tides are changing when it comes to HR and social media.

A recent survey regarding HR Executives found thatHR Professionals spend an average of 3.77 hours per week for work purposes on social media About one half of respondents reported that a social media helped their brand and made them more valuable as a job candidate.

This change in thought regarind the use of social media from HR Executives and business leaders makes personal branding even more important than it ever was before. As you continue to grow and build  both relationships and your personal brand, companies are becoming more aware of its value and seeking out influencers and thought leaders either internally within their own organizations or externally and often using social media networks and communities. This also makes managing your online and personal brands strategically and targeting your audience, content, and touches more critical in your future job and career success.


**June 2011:  A new study was released about how HR uses Social Media.  Conducted by, this study found that human resource professionals are now spending nearly 8 hours a week on social media for work purposes, information, and networking.  Those are promising statistics the support when this article was first published in early 2010.  With Facebook expected to reach 1 billion members by the end of 2011, social media is quickly becoming a necessary part of maintaining a personal and professional network, and finally HR is getting the memo.  

Posted in , ,

Jessica Miller-Merrell

Learn more about Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource, and the host of the Workology Podcast. More of her blogs can be found here.

Reader Interactions


  1. Hussein says

    A great article and just on time. I have noticed how important it is to brand myself and it really sustain more before and after an interview. There is a website named Academia that sends you an email whenever someone searches for you on Google. After “every” interview I get a couple of notifications, you know what that means. Thats when I decided I should make myself and my qualities clear instead of making my interviewers and recruiters hunt for anything about me. I started a WP based website, I am planning to get more engaged with social networks and lets hope for the best.

    Thanks again for a great article.

    • blogging4jobs says


      Thanks for the comment and the compliment :). Let me know if you have any questions as you start your blog. Best of luck!



  2. Stephen O'Donnell says

    As a recruiter for over 20 years, I know that every candidate can be pitched to the right employer, for the right job, regardless of many qualities that might otherwise make them unattractive. An IT guy may have zero personal skills, an accountant me be unaccountably dull, and a carpenter may have outrageous political views, but they are all perfect for some job somewhere.
    Can all of these candidates build and present their “personal brand” by maintaining networks on Twitter, Linkedin, FB and running a personal blog? Are they all in a position to sell themselves online, when they possess no selling skills, and may not even be able to string a sentence together. Yet in the right job, each can be stars in their own right. Of course common sense should prevail, and each can learn to present themselves in the best light, but in the meantime will only personal branding aficionados ever get jobs? Moreover, is that good for employers and candidates.
    I’ve often submitted candidates for interview who have needed coaching, because as good as they were at their job, they were terrible at interviews. Equally I’ve coached employers who were terrible at interviewing, and represented their own company badly.
    Yes we must get beyond the bare bones resume (CV) but we need to accept that only a minority (especially in some sectors) will ever have an online “personal brand” at all.

    • blogging4jobs says

      Appreciate the comments Stephen. True, an online personal brand will not lead to a job opportunity for everyone, but these blogs are quickly becoming a replacement for traditional resumes. As someone who spent the last four years blogging and building my brand, it has helped me gain exposure and credibility in the marketplace. Candidates need to be very cautious about the topic and angle they use when building and developing their blog. The blog is not only about building a brand and networking but about developing relationships with online influencers who already have a following like you and me. I’m sure that you are very connected and more than willing to connect a job seeker who has a solid reputation in their field with another recruiter or company to help them find employment or their next contract.

      I certainly see your point and would not submit a candidate to a hiring manager solely based on their blog content without reviewing their experience, qualifying them, and speaking with them personally to determine if they are a good culture and job fit.

      Thanks again!



  3. blogging4jobs says


    Understandable. Gist seems to be gaining some momentum. Personally, I’m sick of going from FB to Twitter to LI looking for contacts and would prefer them in one place. I recommend that you read the legalese on the Gist website to determine if you own the data. Gist I do not know but on FB you do not. Personally, I have put phone numbers and fliers on bathroom walls and stalls and have used this method to successfully to hire candidates. I have their undivided attention for 5-15 minutes and there is at least a 95% read or open rate (much greater than email or direct mail marketing). Besides, my phone number is all over this website. Is that really any different?

    Thanks for the comments,





Pin It on Pinterest