How #HR & Your Workplace Use Social Media #SHRM14

To access my full brief and presentation from my session at SHRM in Orlando, click here to be redirected. You can access my full slide presentation and download my briefing with the initial results of my survey. 

Yesterday, I presented at the SHRM 2014 Annual on How to Integrate Social Media and Technology Into Your Workplace Communication & Engagement Strategy. As part of my presentation I released a portion of my workplace social media survey.

HR is not known for innovation. We are rewarded for being risk averse through promotions and career changes which makes using innovation, technology and social media very scary. Change is not easy.

But technology and engagement is happening with social media at our company even if we are not listening. Our employees are talking, tweeting and instagraming every piece of their lives and sharing their day with the internet population. There is no stopping this time of engagement. The only option is to embrace the tech, train our workers and put to use the adoption of this technology to reach our employees, candidates and management team.


When asked, our survey respondents listed the most important uses for social media at work as follows:

1)    Employment Branding

2)    Recruitment and Hiring

3)    Distribution and Communication

While I am not surprised by the results, the goal of this particular brief is to focus on the use of social media beyond external recruiting of job seekers, which you will see.


Our study revealed the top 3 uses for social media at work. Recruiting was the third most popular, but it’s an obvious use that companies and recruiters are embracing. Social media is a huge opportunity for employers to engage their employee audience on the channels and communication centers where they are already talking with their friends, family and peers about their life activities.

Work and life is no longer separate. It is colliding as we collect and engage our social networking ‘friends’ in a central place like Twitter or Facebook. Even LinkedIn is encouraging social sharing through their publisher platform. They are encouraging us to connect, share, like and engage through their network beyond just the standard professional connection and virtual handshake.


The bar to engage works using social media and technology is still low as most companies are still just dipping their toes in the water. Companies and HR teams if done correctly can really elevate their brand, communication and engagement with little effort and cost of money. My presentation during SHRM talked about three case studies of companies doing that through podcasting, internal blogging and text messaging. More about that in a post later this week.


I remember just a couple years ago when less than half of companies allowed for employee access to social media at work. In 2007, I had to submit my business case to the CHRO at the company I worked for to be able to gain access to social media for recruiting. Now, most recruiting teams can’t imagine hiring without using a social media property. The mobile smart phone really changed things when it comes to access to social media. I can surf any website or social network from my personal device completely unmonitored. Companies have no idea what sites you are visiting. I’d rather allow my employees access to websites so I can at least better monitor and understand how they are spending their days and the sites they are visiting especially when you think about employee engagement and productivity.

To access my full brief and presentation from my session at SHRM in Orlando, click here to be redirected. You can access my full slide presentation and download my briefing with the initial results of my survey. 

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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Jessica Miller-Merrell (@jmillermerrell) is a workplace change agent, author and consultant focused on human resources and talent acquisition living in Austin, TX. Recognized by Forbes as a top 50 social media influencer and is a global speaker. She’s the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource and host of the Workology Podcast.


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