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Why HR is still struggling with social media

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Social media has undeniably emerged as an effective recruiting and employer branding tool today – but why is HR still not utilising its full potential?

In the fourth installment of the 2020 Outlook series, Universum found many companies show a surprising lack of competence in the social realm.

Tracking the social media activity of the 400 largest companies in the US, the report highlighted successful social media teams post content that is between 10,000 and 100,000 times more engaging than the average social media team.

“Companies still struggle mightily to make their social media investments deliver on the promise of higher customer engagement, greater brand awareness and stronger brand affinity,” the report stated.

Lack of expertise in implementing and managing social media programmes was highlighted as a leading cause of such disparity.

While social media emerged as the top digital channel for employer branding (35%), the report stressed the majority (65%) of respondents did not view it as the most important digital tool in comparison to sources such as job boards.

ALSO READ: Is employer branding suffering from an ‘identity crisis’? 

Similarly, when it came to social recruiting, only 32% of respondents stated they oversaw an active social presence on a dedicated career account (regardless of social channel).

More than four out of 10 (42%) claimed a moderate presence, while 19% described their social recruiting efforts as fairly inactive.

11% of companies reported no activity at all.

These findings weren’t surprising, considering only 20% of companies said they have employed a dedicated social media employee for career opportunities.

The report warned while the statistic on its own is not evident of a lack of enthusiasm or investment in social media, its combination with other findings suggested most organisations are under-investing in social recruiting and social employer branding.

“Ironically, marketing departments have the expertise that talent attraction professionals require to build effective social media programmes, but little collaboration exists between HR and marketing to help facilitate learning.”

What was “most surprising” in the study, however, was the low percentage of organisations measuring social media effectiveness.

Currently only half (52%) of respondents said they measure their social media activities, though 69% admitted they plan to do so over the next five years.

Image: Shutterstock

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