Blogging & Twitter Best Practices for HR

Although it is a term that has only been around since the 1960s, human resources is something that is familiar to nearly everyone.  HR refers to both the people who work for an organization and the actual department.  More specifically, Human Resource Management refers to the recruitment, management, and development of the people who work for an organization.

In today’s technology-driven environment, where there is a significant focus on social media, HR professionals are frequently utilizing blogs and Twitter to educate others on what is new in the industry as well as what is considered to be best practices for HR.

Best Practices for Blogging:

The obvious first rule of blogging is to make it interesting.  Write about something that you know well and that many people are interested in and can relate to.  This is something that is easily achievable for HR as it is a subject matter that resonates with organizations and individuals as well.

Write it from your perspective, whenever possible, adding in your firsthand experiences or examples of those you have witnessed.  This will give the reader a real-life example of the concept you’re writing about and make them feel as though they know you better.  This may result in them following your blog and sharing it with others.

Keep the length of your blog somewhere between 400-800 words.  In today’s busy world, with so many social media platforms to keep up with, it is important that your blog delivers your message clearly and quickly.  No one wants to read a blog that goes on and on as though it’s a research paper, at least I know that I don’t.  At some point, you will lose people as their minds drift off to the next thing on their to-do list.  Additionally, make your blog easy to read and scan by using white space, headers, and images that relate to your topic.

Best Practices for Twitter

HR professionals can benefit by using Twitter to recruit, to form relationships with other HR professionals, and to share their blogs about HR.  Having a strong presence on Twitter will increase the recognition of their organizations, which will hopefully help them attract top talent for their open positions.  Some terrific suggestion from Mark W. Schaefer, author of The Tao of Twitter are:

  • First, follow, on Twitter, the people that you are hoping to attract. Your goal is to get them, and their followers, to follow you as well.
  • Take advantage of free apps such as Twellow that can help you locate new followers.
  • Look through your other social media accounts, such as Facebook and LinkedIn for people you can follow and hopefully convert to followers.
  • Post relevant information, retweet, and like posts from others. It is important that you Tweet consistently as this will encourage others to follow you and keep your current followers from dropping you.
  • Add your Twitter handle to your business card and email signature.
  • Join Twitter chats to determine who to follow in your industry and to get your name out there as well.
  • Tweet links to your blogs using dynamic headlines that will entice the reader to click on the link.

It is undeniable that the use of social media by HR professionals is growing and quickly transitioning from an optional tool to a staple of the industry.  Twitter and blogging give HR an opportunity to form communities that share best practices and new developments in the industry.  These platforms can also provide the organization with the recognition necessary to attract top talent and new followers for their brand.

Have postings on a social media platform ever made you want to work for that organization?

More great reads:

Blogging Best Practices by Mark Schaefer

4 Step System for Writing a Great Blog Post, Even When You Have Writers Block

The Proven Length of Every Tweet, Facebook Post, and Headline Online

31 Twitter Tips: How to Use Twitter Tools and Twitter Best Practices for Business

The Top 100 Most Social Human Resources Experts on Twitter

 

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Risk of Using Social Media in Recruiting

Like it or not, social media has become a major player in both conducting a job search and searching for new employees.  In a 2013 report by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), they stated that 77% of organizations were using social media in their search for potential employees.  That study was 4 years ago, so it is likely that the number is much closer to 100% at this point.
While there are many advantages to using social media to find potential employees – it’s convenient, you get to see another side of the applicant, you get to view a wider group of potential candidates, including some who may not have come to you otherwise, and you get to advertise your open positions to a much broader group of job seekers than you could with past methods – there is a downside that HR needs to be aware of.

Not Everyone is on Social Media

It’s a bit hard to fathom in this technological age, but there are still people who refuse to use any type of social media.  For instance, my husband has never used social media, doesn’t have an interest it in, and likely wouldn’t have a clue of where to start if he wanted to investigate what the fuss is all about.  But if you wanted to know who won the Super Bowl or the World Series in any year, just ask him, he’ll know (do not ask him to pick up milk after work because he will, consistently, forget that).

There are other highly experienced, knowledgeable, and highly-skilled people who, like my husband, do not want to use social media.  This means that recruiters are eliminating some very qualified applicants when they rely solely on social media for sourcing potential employees.  Some recruiters may even wonder what an applicant is hiding by not showing a part of who they are on social media.  Recruiters and hiring managers need to know that excluding people who do not have a social media presence is essentially another form of discrimination.

Speaking of Discrimination

Scanning social media to pre-screen applicants can provide a recruiter or hiring manager with some valuable information that is good to know before a job offer is made.  If a job applicant is making racist remarks or posting vulgar material on their social media pages, they may not be a good fit for your company.  Likewise, a recruiter needs to ensure that they are not using this medium to exclude certain protected groups.  During my recent job search, it took quite a while before I even got a call, leading me to wonder if my age had anything to do with the lack of responses.

The reality is, recruiters may have prejudices, that they’re not fully conscious of, so they need to ensure that they’re not eliminating applicants based on their race, sex, sexual orientation, or age.  Employers can eliminate this risk and possible legal exposure by only scanning social media sites after an interview, but before a job offer is made.  This will ensure that they are basing their decision on experience and qualifications first and foremost.

Do you think that you have ever been discriminated against due to something on your social media site(s)?

Additional Resources:

Point/Counterpoint: Should Employers Use Social Media to Screen Applicants?

4 Reason Social Media is a Critical Recruiting Tool

Reasons Employers Passed on Applicants Due to Social Media Posts

 

Recruiting On-The-Go

It is estimated that by 2018, one-third of consumers, worldwide, will be using a smartphone.  In the world that I live in, it appears that we have already exceeded that estimate as nearly everyone I encounter appears to have a smartphone surgically attached to their hand.  Recruiters hoping to attract top talent, before the competition scoops them up, are utilizing technology in every way possible, which now includes hiring and interviewing apps.  This enables the recruiter and the potential candidate to respond quickly and conveniently.

LinkedIn Recruiter App

The most popular app amongst recruiters is the LinkedIn Recruiter App for iOS and Android.  As most of you know, LinkedIn is considered to be the #1 place to recruit top talent.  The LinkedIn Recruiter App adds to that reputation by having search and sourcing functionalities that are better than what is provided by competitor apps.  LinkedIn Recruiter is a free app that gives the user the same types of functionality that the web-based platform offers, such as managing job postings, searching for and reviewing profiles, the ability to add and save notes to candidate profiles and access to over 433 million LinkedIn members.  While the Recruiter app is free, you do have to be a LinkedIn Recruiter customer.

Additional Benefits of LinkedIn Recruiter

Over 75% of recruiters and talent managers use some type of recruiting software and/or app, with approximately 94% reporting that it is well worth the effort and added expense.  This is based on the functionality and convenience of using the app.

The next generation Recruiter has added features that give recruiters the ability to search even if they have very little knowledge about the skills necessary for certain professions.  The recruiter can simply type the profession into the guided search bar and receive a list of the top trending skills necessary for that career, as well as a list of potential candidates.  This information will also update in real time.

Additionally, next generation LinkedIn Recruiter has a function called “Spotlight” that lists the potential candidates that are more likely to engage with a recruiter.  This is a great starting point for the recruiter, as well as a considerable time saver.  These candidates are typically someone who has some type of connection to the organization, making it very worthwhile for job seekers to make connections with people who work at the companies that they are interested in.  Also, following the company on LinkedIn is another way of showing up during the spotlight search.

Job Seeker Beware

Something for job seekers to be aware of is the fact that recruiters can see all of your profile information, without you even being aware that someone is checking it (you) out.  This is because LinkedIn wants the paying customers – recruiters and businesses – to have the very best LinkedIn experience possible.  Just a reminder to make sure you formulate a killer profile.

Rating the App

The current version of LinkedIn Recruiter iOS has thus far received a 4.5 rating (83 reviews) for its well-thought-out design and great functionality.  The former version had a rating of 3.5 from over 71,000 reviews, which is how Android users were rating it as well (chart below).

Other LinkedIn Apps

LinkedIn Recruiter app gives the user the ability to engage the best talent, from anywhere and at the recruiter’s convenience.  While this app is geared towards recruiters, it is important to note that LinkedIn also has other mobile apps to fit each user’s needs, such as LinkedIn Job Search, LinkedIn Lookup, LinkedIn Learning, LinkedIn SlideShare, and LinkedIn Groups.  Check them out!!

Which apps have you used to recruit or to find a job?

More articles on LinkedIn Recruiter App, Recruiting Tips, and Social Media Resumes

5 Reasons to Check out LinkedIn’s New Mobile App

15 Social Media Recruiting Tips Proven to Attract the Best Talent

The Top 6 Apps for Recruiters

10 Creative Social Media Resumes to Learn From

 

 

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