Undoubtedly, in today’s world of management, the only constant thing is a change. In the HR area, two things never change: Human capital remains the most strategic asset of the company and HR’s responsibility is to ensure that the organization is the Employer of Choice. However, with the emergence of all the interactive Web 2.0 tools, the changes in HR are inevitable. Knowing what HR people are rather conservative towards new technologies the main question is HOW TO make use of all these new tools?
Web 2.0 is essentially a term given to the second generation of Internet-based services. If you think of the first generation of web sites on the Internet they were mainly static web pages with little or no interaction. The second generation of web sites are more dynamic and allow people to share information, create their own user-generated-content and contribute to online discussions.
Other examples include video sharing sites such as YouTube and Yahoo! Video, plus photo sharing sites such as Flickr. Blogs are another example of Web 2.0 applications where individuals or companies can publish their own news, views and information and allow visitors to take part in the conversation by means of posting comments.
All these Web 2.0 possibilities can add a lot to the HR practice, first of all for recruitment purposes and on the other hand for communication with employees. Just watch the movie below to see an example of how Twitter is being used for recruitment purposes in the US.
With the technological advancement and access to all the benefits of Web 2.0, we can experience innovation in the recruitment process and sourcing methods. All the communication channels and media we have been using are currently undergoing a revolution in the age of web 2.0 and digital self-publishing. HR departments should increasingly use the unique character of the internet to interact with different communities.
Online recruiting will go far beyond traditional job sites and switch more to interactive tools of Web 2.0 to strike relationships with the candidate and increase the visibility of the company on the labour market. Many companies in the US already make use of online recruitment tools such as online language, psychometric and aptitude tests and very often carry out Skype interviews.
Targeted recruitment through social networks
Although social networking sites boomed in 2007 Recruitment & Consulting Services Association (RCSA) has found that 38 per cent of recruiters are already using them. In the beginning, recruiters were using social networking in response to a serious drop in the number of jobseekers.
Since then recruiting has become more targeted at specific groups and, as a result, more efficient. It should become common practice that recruiters take advantage of various networking sites while searching for suitable candidates. Also, before inviting the candidate recruiters look them up in Google and the external social networks to obtain additional information about their activity outside workplace. These portals provide recruiters with a range of useful information about the candidate, from education, employment history, achievements and the communities they are in. In this way we know exactly who we invite for the interview and if this is a potential match.
Many career-oriented candidates also set up their professional blogs in which they describe their career path, give links to their own publications and the articles they’ve read. Blogs contain downloadable CVs and the recommendations from the former employers. This solution also facilitates the selection process and make the recruiters’ lives easier.
The interaction goes both ways
Moreover, some companies focus more on the interaction with candidates and set up groups on different portals (e.g. Facebook) which allows them to actively communicate with their potential employees by answering queries that they posted. All these Web 2.0 tools allow to find the best talents and maintain contact with the candidates.
The employees also have the ability to research the potential workplace. Bearing this in mind, many companies focus on presenting the human side of the organization and provide pictures, video-testimonials and internal blogs which give the overview of the real company culture.
Now with the emergence of company blogs, they also became a powerful recruitment tool as well as a communications channel. This is where the company and prospective employees can freely exchange opinions and get to know each other better. This trend also includes company wikis and chats that facilitate the knowledge share within the organization and spreading useful information between employees.
Basic HR 2.0 tools in the company
Web 2.0 allowed the implementation of other innovative tools inside the company, which seriously increase employees’ commitment and make their work more efficient. The trend has influenced the way we share information and how we train new employees and no wonder HR departments try to make the most of these tools.
- Wiki combined with intranet which serves as a knowledge exchange platform (also reduce the time spent at training and acquiring knowledge, lower training costs)
- Virtual universities and e-learning platforms
- Internal and external blogs (building a positive reputation, the quicker spread of information, developing the feeling of belonging and commitment)
- RSS feeds and social bookmarking to collect and share information
- Internal employee forums (knowledge share, smooth information exchange)
- Communities on social network websites which enable content adding and commenting the input of colleagues
- YouTube channels for uploading recruitment videos and job podcasts
- Twitter for questions and updates
- Online contact forms through which the employees can send their ideas on what changes should be introduced to improve company performance
- Online evaluation forms (enables 360-degree evaluation and feedback system)
How far will it go?
As we can see, Web 2.0 keeps influencing all aspects of the HR world including recruitment, candidate screening, training and performance management of the workforce. The way we share information and communication will never be the same. However, not all employees see the benefits of these tools and are not equally willing to contribute to wikis, forums and blogs. Some of them insist on sticking to all the traditional methods and are immune to any technological advancements. In this case, it’s HR’s job to properly promote and incorporate web 2.0 tools into the organization.
What interactive tools do you use in your companies? Do you treat them as an unnecessary hassle or a great facilitator?