Social Media at Work – What should a Social Media Policy contain?

15 11 2010

In todays technology-framed times more and more people and businesses are embracing Social Media and using it for a variety of things.  Be it contributing to industry debates, research, marketing, networking or resourcing, the way we are choosing to communicate with each other has shifted once again.  Sites such as Linked In, WordPress,Twitter, Facebook etc have created a permanent space on many people’s web-browers favourites lists and are growing in followers by the day.

In light of this shift, organsations now need to consider the impact of this Social Networking revolution and how it could impact their business.  It’s important that staff are clear on what is appropriate in the use of Social Media at work as distinct from generic internet usage.

With this in mind here are some questions to help guide you towards what your social media policy might need to contain:

1)    What purposes are you happy for your staff to use Social Media sites at work?

2)    Who is able to speak on behalf of your company?

3)    What sort of comments are you happy for your staff to make about your business?

4)    Who owns the content of what your staff write on Social Media sites such as Linked In, Blogs, Facebook etc?

5)    When networking, who’s the relationship between the staff member or your organisation?

6)    What happens if the staff member spells things incorrectly, or mis-quotes/mis-represents something?

7)    How do you know what your staff are saying about your business?

8)    How and when do you monitor Social Media usage amongst your staff?

9)    What happens when a member of staff joins/leaves?

10) If you have a company account on one of these sites, who has the log in details?  Who has access?

11) How and who will handle responses to comments?

12)  What happens if a member of staff says something defamatory, libelous etc?

13)  What sites are your staff allowed to access and what sort of things are they allowed to look at (this will link into your internet usage policy)

14)  How much time should be spent on these sites whilst the individual is at work?

Of course your Social Media policy relates to people’s use of Social Media at work, so whilst you’re concerned with what an individual is saying about your business, keep in mind privacy laws.

If you’d like more information or to discuss this in further detail, please get in touch with Michelle Fischer on 01202 853647.

Alternatively, read what Mashable has to say about the subject here:

For examples of business’s Social Media Policies:


Recruitment – KPIs and Measures of Success for Recruiting using Social Media

24 06 2010

Last time we looked at how businesses can measure and evaluate the success (or failures) of their recruitment campaigns (click here for the full article).  We proposed a few simple generic measures for your Recruitment KPIs, looking at volume, cost, time and performance measures.

Today I’d like to focus on one very topical and emerging area for measurement – Measures of Success for Recruiting using Social Media.

Essentially using Social Media to recruit is the same as using it for anything else, you want people to engage with you/ your brand / people / products / services onsite and offsite.

  • You want people to make a noise and talk about you to their friends and family
  • You want people to value what you’re saying
  • You want people to love your website.
  • You want people to visit more frequently
  • You want people to buy and buy into what you sell

With this in mind, here are some of our suggested KPI’s to incorporate into your Recruitment reporting:

  • Number of hits to the careers area of your website
  • Length of time spent on the careers area of your website
  • Downloads from the careers area of your website
  • Number of candidate registrations citing facebook/twitter etc as a source
  • Usage of specific hashtags you’ve initiated e.g. #creativeleadership
  • Number of comments to specific posts/comments etc
  • Number of followers on each site
  • Quote statistics from google analytics

This is by no means an exhaustive list and we’d love you to share your thoughts. Meanwhile, for more information on how to measure the wider spectrum of Social Media – Engagement and Interaction, we really like Chris Lake’s article “35 Social Media KPIs to measure engagement”

For more information on how to use Social Media to Recruit, get in touch with Michelle on 01202 853647 or

My thoughts on the Recruitment Unconference

22 02 2010

So last week saw The Recruitment Unconference AKA TRU London 2 come to town on Thursday and Friday.   This was an event dedicated to Social Resourcing and other related topics and brought like-minded people together, many of whom have only ever connected online.

Bill Boorman Introducing TRU London

I loved the day I attended (Thursday) for the people I met, the tracks I led, discussions I had and also the opportunity to be part of the wider discussion around this new media.  The world is changing and that much was vividly apparent from the number of people blogging or tweeting about TRU and indeed the live twitter stream of the tracks that took place in real-time behind some of the tracks.

The Talent Wars trackled by Jon Ingham, Peter Gold and me (check out the Twitter stream behind us)

Compared to the first TRU London in November 09, it was a much more social affair which you can see clearly from some of the many pictures that have already been uploaded (see some on our facebook page here).  Bill Boorman and Geoff Webb have created a strong community and that is also very evident from the chatter that’s been going on Twitter (find a summary here).

To some it seemed that Unconferences was  a little bit disorganised and yes it was a shame that some of the tracks were delayed where rooms weren’t booked.  But to me this added to the spirit of the Unconference.  I mean the organisers even arranged for us to have an UN-lunch!   That said people soon seemed to warm to the theme of participation and flexibility and conversation both on and offline was plain to see.

There was much that I took away from the event and I thought I’d outline a few of my observations/reflections:

  • There’s a lot of people talking about Recruitment and Social Media, but what they’re talking about isn’t new. Some of the strategies discussed I’ve observed in businesses and teams I’ve managed for years – for instance engaging with marketing if you run a recruitment team in-house, considering talent pipelines for possible future jobs etc.  That said, I was particularly interested in The Red Recruiter ‘s outline of his project with Rackspace in the Employer Branding track I co-led with Sarah White and Nick Price.
  • Common sense strategies work and always have – apply the same logic to Social Media.  Use it to communicate about things people want to hear about.
  • Social Media consumers are human beings with human needs – we live to breathe, eat and all that other good stuff… That sounds rather obvious but this basic fact seems to have been forgotten by many. The UN-Lunch was a good example – if it doesn’t arrive, go hunt-and-gather, go get a sandwich from Pret!
  • This leads on to perhaps one of my more controversial moments at TRU when I made the observation that FACT (or is that twact) a human isn’t by nature monogomous yet why in recruitment advertising and HR Management do so many take a short term view on how too hook the person.  Look to a longterm strategy to truly engage the person.  Just because they leave you at some point, doesn’t mean they won’t return.
  • People like to see, feel and hear about things to engage with them. On Twitter we follow, on a blog we engage and on Facebook we become friends with someone (thanks for that one Bill), generally because we like what they have to say.
  • We’re not robots yet we’ve designed the world in which we live to be highly automated – help people engage with the experience that they’re involved in – it is a reflection of the world you have created in your business.
  • Recruitment is one facet of a business’s overall business ambition yet most of the discussions I observed seemed to refer to recruitment as a tactic rather than aligned strategy.

Presenting Bill Boorman with his prize

At the Unconference I was also able to present Bill with his prize, voucher for a bottle of champagne, for contributing to the Social Media & Recruitment Report which we published recently.

Sadly I could only make it to Thursday’s session as I had to be back in time for Love Balls, the event we ran in aid of Orchid – the Male Cancer Charity on Friday night.  From what I saw of the Twitter chat though, the rest of the event inspired further debate and I’m still trying to catch up now!

Thanks again Bill Boorman, Geoff Webb and the rest of the TRU team for organising the Unconference.  Can’t wait for TRU London 3!

Social Media & Recruitment Report

2 02 2010

Well, Linda and I have finally completed the report and you can download from the website to read at your leisure. It threw up some very interesting findings as well and certainly lays down a challenge to the Recruitment industry about how they could (or is that should) be taking the opportunities that seem to be developing around Social Media far more seriously than they may well be doing.

That is not to say, of course, that in some quarters a lot of ground is already being gained by those innovative enough to take the plunge and embrace the changes that are taking place.

Some of the main findings included:

  • Despite the vast amounts of money spent on advertising the availability of radio for recruitment – only 3% of our respondents had used in the last 12 months
  • Social media was 6% MORE popular than traditional advertising
  • Almost 70% of the respondents reported that their cost per hire was less than £1000
  • Unsurprisingly perhaps, this reflects the reduced costs were cited as the biggest drivers towards the use of Social Media

I hope that’s given you an appetite for more, and if so why not download the complete Social Media in Recruitment Report now

Best wishes

Michelle & Linda

Am I the only person in the world who hasn’t discovered Wordle???

29 01 2010

Today a question was answered.

For a while now I’ve seen these really wonderful word pictures and always thought to myself, “Wow! Aren’t they cool!”

Today I finally found where they come from! Here’s a Wordle taster of our Social Media and Recruitment report which will be published in early Feb.

Wordle: Social Recruitment Research

Isn’t it funny how simple things make us smile!

New to Social Media and want to know which sites to use?

24 01 2010

Over the past few months a lot of people have asked me “I have no idea what to do when it comes to Social Media or which Social Media sites to subscribe to – what do you recommend?”

Generally, after an initial conversation about what they’re looking to achieve from Social Media, what it is and what it isn’t, I’ve pointed them in the direction of the usual suspects – Linked In, Facebook etc and one or two others and encouraged them to explore for themselves the evolving world of online networking and communication that is Web 2.

So, for those of you who have the same question too, here’s some very general recommendations of which sites you might find useful and which I’ve encountered on my own journey with Social Media.

Social Media the very basics

The Social Networking site for business networking.  A place to showcase your experience; what you’ve done, do and are interested in and all with regards to the world of work.  Also offers employers/clients the opportunity to recommend your work and for recruiters to post jobs.  I particularly like the Q&A section for finding out relevant answers to questions I have.

Most people use this site for informal social networking, however increasingly it’s being used by businesses both small and large, to promote their products, network, market events etc.

The ultimate social conversation site arguably and a great way to see what’s going on In the world.  Follow and be followed, tweets, #, twibes … both your vocabulary and the way you think about “chatting” to other people will change once you start getting into Twitter.

Again, once confined to the arena of informal social networking, this is increasingly being used by businesses and professionals alike as a place to meet and communicate with others.  Particularly associated with music and film media.

Next Steps

Once you’ve started communicating, here are some tools to help you manage this communication, and also to help you listen.

Create your very own Blog for free, where you can communicate with the world whenever you want and about whatever you want.

Manage all your social media networks in one place.  Stream conversations, search # links and cross post to Facebook and Twitter at the same time.

Ning Networks are online communities created by individuals or organisations who wish to create their very own social platforms, a bit like personalised Facebook or Linked In Groups.  Great for SEO (search engine optimisation) there are more and more groups popping up every day.

Claims to be the most advanced Twitter Analytic System in the world and will let you view details on what you and other people are doing on Twitter including what you’re talking about, your popularity, followers etc.

This useful site feeds almost 1 million feeds (Jan 2010) from blogs to Facebook and Twitter and also provides stats too.

Increasingly SM sites are requiring new members to sign up using more secure OpenID log ins and passwords.  You benefit from not just enhanced security, but one log in and one set of passwords.

You can upload and share your PowerPoint presentations, Word documents and Adobe PDF Portfolios on SlideShare either publicly or privately.  If you add audio this turns it into a “webinar”.  Also link your SlideShare account to Linked In too.  Very useful tool!

Digg is a place where people share what they consider to be the best content from anywhere on the world.  A community collaboration, essentially people collectively determine the value of content, changing the way people consume information online.

There is so much to do with Google once you’ve set up your account via

As a very minimum I recommend:

1)    Alerts – set these up for your name/company/keywords…the list is endless…and decide how often you want to know who’s talking about what you’ve searched for.

2)    Reader – great for when you see something interesting but don’t have time to read it, or if you want to follow updates from particular blogs and the like.  Simply save these to Google Reader and come back to it at your leisure.  It’s almost like a daily newspaper subscription.

3)    Wave – relatively new to the Google suite and currently in Beta form and “by invite only” as the early adopters try it out and feedback glitches to Google and suggest new functionality.  Wave is a real time conversation where you must be invited to join a conversation and then can communicate anything you want to and in real time.

4)   Analytics – useful for those with websites to enable a better understanding of what’s being read, by whom and when.

As I mentioned, this is basic list of sites I think you may enjoy exploring.  As you progress on your Social Media journey you’ll find plenty more!  Indeed almost every day a new site is launched – see if you like this sort of thing.  I encourage you to play with the technology for yourself and post more links here that you think might be useful to others.

And the winner is…

22 01 2010

After some delay thanks mainly to busy diaries and the snow prohibiting travel between Poundbury and Poole in Dorset, Linda Parkinson-Hardman and I are thrilled to announce the winner of the Champagne draw for contributors to our Social Media & Recruitment Survey

We wanted to make sure that it was fairly drawn and and so to enable this we took it to an event we both attend regularly – Business Exchange, Dorset’s brilliant multi-sector networking club.  Today, over 60 people witnessed Laura McHarrie, the event organiser, pull the winners’ name out of our hat (AKA the brown envelope)!  Thank you Laura!

So, we’re thrilled to announce that the winner is….

Drum Roll please….

Bill Boorman, AKA @BillBoorman and organiser of TRU – the Recruitment Unconference!  Bill, a bottle of champagne will be winging it’s way to you at Tru London 2

Linda and I would like to thank all those of you who contributed again.  Your input has been invaluable.

For those interested in the research findings, you’ll be glad to know that we’re just putting the finishing touches to our report which we will publish in early February and in advance of TRU 2.  If you’re interested in receiving a copy of these then please get in touch.