Thursday, June 3, 2010

Social Media increase transparency

The world is more transparent today than ever before. And companies are highly affected by Social Media that makes it so much easier to expose what’s going on inside the company to the public. Facebook, Twitter, Blogs and YouTube are new channels where people share their views and experiences about employers. Rumours, scandals, lay-offs and lawsuits that may have very negative effects on the employer brand are nowadays very difficult for companies to control. As a result, it has become more costly for companies to promise what they can’t live up to. Increased transparency means that the employer brand must be very much linked to the reality inside the company.

Luckily, Social Media also brings some good news for employers. Companies may actually gain from the new channels as these channels increase the opportunities for interactivity with job seekers and bring a more personal touch.

This increased transparency means that companies today have to be more consistent in the way they treat their employees. And they have to be very clear and carefully inform the labor market about the work conditions and the culture inside the company. The good thing however is that companies can use exactly the same communication channels to increase the knowledge about the company and the workplace. Social Media may actually be used to spread the word about the employer and also be a tool for recruiting ‘passive job seekers’, i.e. highly attractive candidates who are not actively looking for a new job but are keeping an eye open for new opportunities. Some companies have started using blogs and Facebook to give job seekers and other parties a more personal ‘feel’ of the company. These communication channels open up for interactivity and two-way communication. As such, they may complement the traditional one-way communication channels.
Small companies with limited marketing budgets may also use Social Media to create familiarity and awareness. Another reason for using Social Madia as a marketing tool is to create a more personal dialogue with current and prospective employees. As I see it, Blogs have so far been underutilized as a direct recruitment tool. However, many companies are presently exploring the opportunities to communicate with job seekers through Social Media. From an employer branding perspective, Social Media can become a part of the overall corporate communication mix as a way of enhancing knowledge about the company among target groups.

I look forward to see how companies will use this opportunities in the future!