Social Media and Human Resource Management

The world has in the recent past experienced increase in the use of social media in all places that include workplaces. This has highly changed people’s behaviors in the workplace, where people tend to spend most of their free or even work time on social media. Social media is also widely used by the companies for public relation which include enhancing the company relation with its customers.  Social media has also been attracting human resource review during hiring and even for confirmed workers as a way of evaluating their character and behavior. This extensive use of social media has thus created a significant impact to the human resource management of different organizations. This paper analyses the impact of social media on HRM.

Influence Social Media has on Human Resource Management Success

Social media has a great influence on HRM activities in today’s workplace. Social media attracts HR professional urge to investigate more about a job applicant or an employee through their social media accounts. Most of them view their public profile and learn more about their personal details and character from their post. This is likely to influence their decision regarding an applicant or their judgment regarding an employee, and in most cases assist them in making the right judgment with regard to the new employee character or in any other matter other than discriminative aspects (Wilkie &Wright, 2014).

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Social media can also aid in identifying the right individuals based on their qualification. Media such as LinkedIn is a professional network that can easily link the company to the kind of employee it is searching for based on their qualification (Wright, 2014b). According to Waden (2016), most workers are found to use significant part of their working time to engage in social media activities. This is said to affect the individual work productivity and eventually resulting to a considerable decline in organization productivity. Uncontrolled use of social media is also likely to affect the image of the company. This mostly happens when unauthorized workers make post on behalf of the company without much scrutiny on the content of their posts (Swain, 2017).

Challenges of Human Resource Management Professionals Using Social Media to Learn about Current and Potential Employees

HRM professional are currently experiencing challenges accessing job applicants and employees personal accounts in the social media. According to Wilkie and Wright (2014), different states are making laws to prohibit HRM professionals from asking for personal social media accounts login details from their employees or job applicants. These laws which have by now been enacted in twelve states regards asking for login details from employees as a bleach of individual privacy and hence it is prohibited. The American congress is also pushing to be able to enact similar law as a national law. This according to Wright (2014a) will protect people who post anything on social media without thinking of the consequences it can bring to their professional life.

Another major challenge HRM professionals are facing is legal risk of obtaining personal details protected by the antidiscrimination law in employment. Most social media accounts owners give so many details about their lives which include their age, race or ethnicity, and religion among other protected personal information. The HRM team fears that dismissing an employee due to other permitted reasons may initiate legal battle claiming having been terminated due to discriminative reasons. This can highly take place especially if the employee knows that the HR had access to his or her detailed personal information from the social media (Wright, 2014a). Moreover, HR cannot dismiss an employee based on something he or she posted in states where social media privacy law is enacted, unless it can be viewed in a public domain; while viewing the profile without having to login.

Use of Social Media in Private Companies with Regard to HRM

Social media is extensively being used in various private companies to enhance HRM activities. Zappo for instance has recently abandoned the traditional method of recruiting which involved positing job in its website and waiting for applicants to apply to a new method that focuses on using social media. In the new system, anyone interested in working for the company should join the company’s social network known as Zappo insider where the company will be posting available jobs openings. The company gives its social media members a higher priority than other people in job provision (Robb, 2014). Kroger Co. is another company that has transferred its recruiting process to social media. Kroger HR basically shares job openings to people through the company Twitter and Facebook accounts. This has enabled the company to reach demography of workers they could have never attained in the previous means of job opening advertisement. Spitfire Group is also using social media to attract new talents. The company integrates LinkedIn, twitter and Facebook in a Financial Force HCM system which is a cloud based system for managing human capital in sales department (Rabb, 2014). This demonstrates that social media use in HRM activities is growing extensively and more is still anticipated in the future. 

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