At work a few weeks ago, I was asked to answer questions for an upcoming InsideCRM story on the promise of Web 2.0 technologies for human resource departments looking to make internal changes. My focus is really on employer branding and the candidate/employee experience, so I have no idea if my input was ever used, but thought I would post my responses here on EXCELER8ion as well to see what our little community has to say. How would you answer these questions?
- How would you define Web 2.0, especially as the concept relates to technologies that might be adopted in an HR setting?
- What sorts of solutions are now available to HR shops? How do these technologies differ from more traditional offerings?
- What improvements could technologies based on Web 2.0 possibly bring to a corporate HR department?
- Do you have any other thoughts on these or related issues?
Here are my responses:
How would you define Web 2.0, especially as the concept relates to technologies that might be adopted in an HR setting?
Web 2.0 is a term used to describe the tools that people are increasingly using to connect to one another and share opinions, insights, experiences, perspectives and more. The information that is shared can take many different forms, including text, images, audio, and video. This â€˜user-generated contentâ€™ and the web sites that contain it are often grouped into the term â€œSocial Computingâ€ or Web 2.0 web sites. Popular social mediums include social networking web sites that allow two-way communication, message boards, as well as videocasts and podcasts, blogs, wikis, social search and tagging, and rss are connecting people and distributing information in new and efficient ways.
What sorts of solutions are now available to HR shops? How do these technologies differ from more traditional offerings?
Utilizing the web 2.0 principles of authenticity, collaboration and participation â€“ solutions are being developed at a rapid pace to allow companies to easily incorporate real first hand stories into their career web site and within social networking groups such as those on facebook. As compared to more traditional offerings, web 2.0 is about communicating, not advertising. Creating, publishing and distributing authentic information about an organization creates opportunities and forums through which to directly connect with customers, employers, or talent. Utilizing these principles will introduce a level of transparency, authenticity, and credibility into how an employer is perceived. Building employee social networks or participating in social networking sites, such as LinkedIn and facebook, allow companies to communicate with customers and candidates where they already spend time online.
What improvements could technologies based on Web 2.0 possibly bring to a corporate HR department?
The authentic information that is generated and shared through social web sites can powerfully influence the overall perception of a company and give the audience, customers, as well as potential job candidates, a deeper and real understanding of an organization as an employer – greatly affect their consumer and employer brand. Concepts such as Social Search, tagging and ranking could be introduced into the career site. Social search results that are validated by the candidate community help to highlight the pages that they found most useful:
- Tagging: Candidates could tag content themselves based on words that they would use to describe the content. It will create â€œbottom upâ€ categorization, which will be more relevant to the candidate community.
- Audience Rankings: Candidates rate the importance of content, pages, announcements or news, which will make it simpler for other candidate to uncover what is important and create a mechanism to provide feedback to the employer regarding where the career site user interests really lie.
HR specifically would benefit from utilizing evolving applications and tools that use concepts from web 2.0 such as social bookmarking and social networking to enable the sharing of information; collaboration; sharing information across different units and to help the important information bubble to the top – but within a secure framework.
New â€˜web 2.0â€™ mash-up technologies are enabling the aggregation of data from multiple data sources, saving time for the HR staff by putting their most important information and common reporting tasks at their fingertips and adding insight to their most important work in order to work facilitate better decision making processes. Such data aggregation mash-up tools help bring disparate data point together (ATS Metrics; Job Board Metrics; Career Site metrics; Employee Research Data etc) and summarize existing data into useful new forms that promote analysis and informed action.
Do you have any other thoughts on these or related issues?
When making a career choice, candidates are searching for real â€œbehind the scenesâ€ information about a potential employer and they are often willing to spend the time to look for it. Web 2.0 tools and principles enable employers to make there career site that authentically communicates their employer brand and provides a window into the â€œemployee-experienceâ€. It has never been easier to literally â€œshowâ€ candidates the employee-experience by incorporating social features into the corporate career web site. Effectively communicating what your companyâ€™s community believes in, and what it is driven by, will determine the kinds of people you attract and keep.