Wednesday sees the hosting of the CIPD’s Social Media conference. Cue lot’s of posts about “what social means to me”, “what I’ve gained from social” and of course, “why social makes me a sparklier and better human being than you will ever be”. There is something about the dumb smugness of the Social HR community that sticks in the back of the throat. I’ve written about it before and whilst things got slightly out of hand, the arguments are pertinent and remain.
The fact is, that there are as many malingerers, as many sops and as many charlatans on social channels as there are in any other walk of life. If social was all shiny, then there wouldn’t be trolls. Social channels don’t have a selection process, they don’t discriminate. The democratisation of media places it in the hands of the dull, feckless and boring as often as the interesting and informed. You want evidence? Just look at your Facebook timeline.
In HR we need to be taking the debate beyond the, “I’ve met so many interesting people”, or “we’re a real community” nonsense and start talking about how social tools can be used to better engage with employees, better engage with job seekers and create value within the organisation. We need to be innovating, piloting, experimenting and seeing how we can best harness the technology that is freely being placed in our hands.
Social media policies are potentially limiting and dangerous. Been there, done that and bought the t-shirt. Yet 80% of HR professionals are still busily enforcing theirs within the organisation. Are we there yet? I think not.
If Social HR doesn’t want to eat itself, then it needs to step up and demonstrate value, not talk about social in such whimsical and, frankly eye wateringly nauseating terms. It is time to start to use the technology to transform your organisations, not just tweet cupcakes. It is time to engage internally, not blabber externally. It is time to come of age.
My question is, does Social HR really want to? Or is it just another pink and fluffy example of the profession slowly losing credibility. Only time will tell.