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Corporate HR Social Media Report


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Results from the recent survey
conducted by Hire Strategies LTD (Feb/Mar 2009) into how the HR community see social media supporting their people initiatives during the current (2009) economic climate. The results are the culmination of 421 responses from a range of organizations in size, geographic focus and industry sector.

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Corporate HR Social Media Report

  1. 1. HR 2.0: Social media assessment Corporate HR Social Media Report. Using social media to deliver better people performance. By Peter Gold April 2009 Hire Strategies Limited Marston House 5 Elmdon Lane Tel: 0870 116 3031 Marston Green E-mail: Solihull B37 7DL Website: © 2007 Hire© 2007 Hire Strategies Limited. All rights reserved. Strategies Limited. All rights reserved.
  2. 2. CONTENTS Introduction.....................................................................................3 Report background ...........................................................................3 Results ...........................................................................................4 Recommendations............................................................................9 What next......................................................................................12 About Peter Gold and Hire Strategies Limited....................................13 Appendix I.....................................................................................14 © 2007 Hire Strategies Limited. All rights reserved.
  3. 3. Introduction On the following pages we have shown the results from the recent survey we conducted (Feb/Mar 2009) into how the HR community see social media supporting their people initiatives during the current (2009) economic climate. The results are the culmination of 421 responses from a range of organisations in size, geographic focus and industry sector. As with any survey, the questions are posed and answers interpreted as accurately as possible albeit open to further debate. We therefore advise anyone reading this report to apply our findings against their own interpretation of the questions. A copy of the original questionnaire is shown in Appendix I and can be printed and used accordingly within your organisation. We also encourage readers of this report to join Talent Cloud ( which is our dedicated business social network for HR and Talent management Professionals. Anyone can set-up a Discussion Group to encourage further discussion around this area of interest. Report background In the marketing world there is constant debate about how organisations need to adapt their customer interactions due to social networks etc. However, this is very much an outward looking approach and often forgets that it is the internal workforce that will be responsible for communicating with customers in this new social world with the social tools. In our many discussions with HR, supported by our ongoing research into internal corporate social media, we find that there is insufficient understanding or focus around social media in the workplace even though the marketing department may already looking externally at social media. Through ongoing research and real life projects we aim to expand the knowledge, confidence and capability of HR professionals to tackle social media as part of their people strategy, to help to connect the workforce with the customer so as to enhance service and develop longer term, more valuable relationships. A bit of a cliché bit delivering results for many forward thinking organisations! © 2007 Hire Strategies Limited. All rights reserved.
  4. 4. Results The results are self-explanatory and show a diverse type of organisation in both geographic focus and size. Section I © 2007 Hire Strategies Limited. All rights reserved.
  5. 5. Section II © 2007 Hire Strategies Limited. All rights reserved.
  6. 6. Section III © 2007 Hire Strategies Limited. All rights reserved.
  7. 7. Question 4: What is your industry sector? © 2007 Hire Strategies Limited. All rights reserved.
  8. 8. Question 5: How many people do you employ? Question 6: Geographically what type of organisation are you? © 2007 Hire Strategies Limited. All rights reserved.
  9. 9. Recommendations We have focused on key functionality based solutions and project steps in support of: • The ongoing need for employee engagement. • Better communication at all levels. • HR’s limited expertise in using social media. Internal blogs One of the areas of considerable interest (43.7%) was the use of an internal CEO blog. These are relatively easy to set-up but do require some thought in advance around ongoing workload and future growth. We created an internal blog for the CEO of Superdrug that was such a successful communication tool that it evolved into three specific blogs as part of the employee communication strategy which ultimately helped increase sales. A case study paper is available. An alternative blogging option is Twitter! We have dedicated our current edition of the social thinker to “Twitter for Talent” which goes into more detail around an internal CEO Twitter profile as well as other people related uses of Twitter. You can subscribe to this quarterly publication at Internal social network Better communication is part of the employee engagement strategy and listening to employees is clearly how the organisation can learn how best to engage their workforce. Building an ‘internal Facebook’ is a growing trend being adopted by a number of leading organisations and in our opinion will become the next generation Intranet and prevalent in the majority of organisations. An internal network comprises many levels of functionality such as forums, groups, blogs, videos etc. The technology cost varies from as little as £10,000 to in excess of £100,000 but really depends on what is needed. In some cases, a private Page on Facebook or a private Social Network on Ning (which can both be set-up for free) may suffice! We have built an internal network for a well known retailer that has created a much better employee communications channel which is now being expanded to include a senior management blog as the next step towards better communication and business performance. © 2007 Hire Strategies Limited. All rights reserved.
  10. 10. External social media Attracting and hiring high quality people is even more critical in a tough market and social media tools such as Facebook, Twitter and Blogs all form part of a social recruiting strategy. Although they are all very low cost in financial terms they can, if not used correctly, become very expensive from a time point of view. The general concept is to be able to start conversations with potential new hires so that the quality of hires and overall retention period gets better, achieved at a lower cost. We have a dedicated workshop “Social Recruiting” which goes into more detail about how these tools can reduce recruitment costs whilst still attracting great people. Further details are available at Other technologies There are many other web 2.0/social media technologies that form part of the overall communication channel including video, podcasts, RSS feeds and more which are in simple terms part of the jigsaw. Defining the communication requirements is the key as this will determine which parts are needed to create the final picture. Internal audit We recommend you complete an internal social media audit to define: • Key business objectives. • Senior management team communication style and social awareness. • Internal workforce communications style and social awareness. • Corporate social media policy and communication guidelines. • Measures of success. Once your audit is complete you can determine which technology solution is the best option and how you anticipate people will interact/engage. This anticipation forecast will help you put in place the right support to maximise success of your project. In our experience, the biggest challenge will be buy-in from the CEO followed by support from senior management who are often not that well connected to the new social world. This is often a significant cultural change for this level of management that only HR can change; without achieving this change the risk of failure is high! © 2007 Hire Strategies Limited. All rights reserved.
  11. 11. Business case The audit results will help build the business case which may also require the building of a pilot project. We have used various low cost technology solutions as part of this phase which provides: • A steep learning curve for the project team and enhances their understanding of the pros and cons of such a deployment. • Demonstrates the level of system flexibility versus low cost and helps determine functionality needs. • Allows for some internal testing and “real life” feedback from employees to help support the project drivers. Having used technology in a pilot mode helps to provide a much stronger project foundation and demonstrate project value to the budget holders/key stakeholders. © 2007 Hire Strategies Limited. All rights reserved.
  12. 12. What next This report does not aim to advise on every aspect of implementing social media as the overall results were the primary focus which is why we have not gone into great detail around “What next”. We do however offer a number of different levels of support that range from low cost social media workshops through to high value strategic coaching/consulting should you wish to use external support to help you form your social media plans. We also provide a number of other sources of information that include: • Free reports: • Social Workplace blog: • Social Workplace newsletter: • The social thinker (quarterly, hard copy only): Finally, look out for our “Twitter for Talent” workshop/lecture that will take place in London in June. Full details will be available shortly at or e-mail us at for updates. Alternatively you can also contact me direct to arrange a telephone discussion using any of the methods below. In the meantime I hope you have found this report useful. Tel: 0870 116 3031 Twitter: E-mail: Profile: Web: © 2007 Hire Strategies Limited. All rights reserved.
  13. 13. About Peter Gold and Hire Strategies Limited With more than 20 years recruiting experience, most of which have been utilising the Internet, Peter Gold advises employers on how to implement real time technology solutions to attract, connect, engage and retain great people at minimum cost. Hire Strategies help organisations demystify web 2.0, social media and other Internet technologies with services that range from coaching and workshops, strategic consulting to tactical ideas encompassing corporate social networks, leadership blogs, process automation, e-recruitment technology selection and implementation, career site marketing, and search engine optimisation/marketing. Peter has worked with well known organisations such as Mothercare, New Look, Focus DIY, Debenhams, Tesco, Boots, Halfords, DHL, Sodexo and Pets at Home to name just a few. He has built his own Applicant Tracking System (acquired by PLC), career sites and job board, utilises the techniques and strategies he talks about, and is an avid Blogger ( as well as a renowned public speaker, giving him a unique perspective on the world of web 2.0 and social media. His latest report Social media in the workplace has been his most popular to date due to the number of organisations trying to understand how to harness the social networking phenomena for attracting, hiring and retaining the best people. Peter Gold also wrote The Retailers Guide to E-recruitment, a 95 page guide to retail e-recruitment that contains tips and advice on how to use the Internet as your primary recruitment channel. ISBN: 189904308X Pages: 95 A4 Format: Hardback perfect bound Published: September 2006 © 2007 Hire Strategies Limited. All rights reserved.
  14. 14. Date of completion:________________________________ STRONGLY STRONGLY NEUTRAL DISAGREE AGREE Business priorities 1 2 3 4 5 1 Talent Management is a strategic priority for 2009 and beyond. Appendix I 2 Retaining top talent at every level is a company wide priority. 3 We need to create a single business culture and focus (as a result of previous mergers/acquisitions). 4 Our workforce is spread over many geographic locations which makes communication difficult but critical. 5 Employee engagement is a key element in helping us achieve our business goals. Culture and aspirations 1 2 3 4 5 6 It is critical for employees to be able to communicate openly amongst themselves and at any level. 7 Employee’s would love it if our CEO had an internal blog. © 2007 Hire Strategies Limited. 8 We will still need to attract and hire great people in 2009 even though our recruitment budget will be limited. 9 As a senior HR professional I want to stay abreast of how social media can be used as part of our people strategy. 10 I am very comfortable using social media tools and understand how they can help me achieve our strategic HR goals. Corporate social media assessment questionnaire Technology and the Internet 1 2 3 4 5 11 I use the Internet most days as part of my work. 12 I use my mobile phone or PDA for constantly checking e-mail when I’m away from the office. 13 I am registered with one or more social networks. 14 I subscribe to and read a number of blogs. All rights reserved. 15 I use numerous social media tools to stay in touch with my network.