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HR goes social

Social media and mobile devices are raising the bar on HR service delivery

Integrating social media and mobile devices with human resources service delivery is one of the key trends in HR. The recent Deloitte global report Human Capital trends 2012: Leap ahead highlights how integrating social media and mobile devices with HR service delivery can provide a real opportunity to restore the personal touch that has been lost in previous pushes for improved HR efficiency. HR has an opportunity to leverage social media tools to create communities for sharing knowledge and to support employees through direct, yet informal, communications.

The introduction of social and mobile technologies is not only expanding HR’s service delivery options, it is also increasing HR’s value to the business. Although social and mobile technologies will not entirely replace traditional HR channels, social media and mobile devices are easing the burden while providing customers with a richer experience that is more engaging and often more convenient.

With workforces increasingly more complex, social and mobile technologies can reinvigorate personalised HR service. HR service centres can evolve into communities where employees, managers, vendors and alumni help each other by sharing knowledge and finding innovative ways to improve services, processes and policies.

It will be the HR organisations and departments that adapt that will avoid becoming obsolete. Fortunately, social media and mobile devices are sparking numerous opportunities for HR to remain relevant to the specific needs of each customer segment.

The report identifies eight key lessons which HR organisations can consider when developing and implementing a strategy for mobile devices and social media:

  • Create a holistic strategy and value proposition with other business functions. HR leaders need to work closely with other business leaders to define the benefits and execute a coherent strategy.
  • Enable HR to drive social and mobile adoption. Empower HR leaders so opportunities are not missed and critical technologies are embedded into the fabric of their organisation.
  • Consider the specific needs of each customer segment. The new model and tools should be viewed as a complement to existing HR delivery channels, not a replacement as forcing everyone to switch could alienate or exclude key user segments.
  • Define success by identifying the desired outcomes for the three main stakeholders: HR, employees, and the overall business.
  • Develop and implement an integrated solution ensuring mobile devices and social media are integrated into HR’s overall service delivery mode.
  • Manage social and mobile risks. An organisation’s reputation can be compromised so a social media policy should minimise the risk of that happening.
  • Play the role of facilitator and moderator. HR can add significant value by ensuring the organisation stays on track and doesn’t propagate rumours and false information. The need for fact checking and moderating has created an opportunity for HR to actively involve itself in social media.
  • Continue to grow and improve. Social media and mobile devices can provide a platform for ongoing growth and improvement and HR leaders can adopt a curatorial role in nurturing communities and encouraging participation.

Leading organisations will recognise that mobile devices and social media are here to stay and more people are using smart devices and social media to collaborate, communicate and conduct their daily business. Organisations don’t want to be forced to play catch-up by nimbler competitors, so it is time to get started.

Andrew Hill is human capital partner with Deloitte Consulting.

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