Leveraging Social Media for Human Resources

Steven Cesare, Ph.D.

A business owner from Illinois called me the other day to discuss her company’s under-performing recruitment efforts. During that discussion, social media naturally came up, at which time I informed her that in today’s competitive, information-rich environment, every company must have a disciplined social media strategy spanning multiple business goals.

It is all too clear to successful business owners that social media has moved quickly from being a mere cosmetic aspect of the company into a vital determinant of capitalistic advantage. Today’s social media is far more aggressive than its passive predecessors in that unique resources and ongoing attention must be devoted to it, just as resources and attention are allocated to horticulture quality, customer service, gross margin, and revenue growth. With that premise in mind, here are some of the fundamentals I shared with the Illinois business owner.

To remain current, visible, and sustainable, astute companies frequently have a presence on at least the following four platforms: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Extending that thought, social media postings should occur bi-weekly on each of the platforms, with appropriate costs, results, and tracking metrics being monitored accordingly for effectiveness.

Beyond social media platforms, there are four common information topics routinely included within a well-developed, targeted, and successful social media strategy:

Recruitment: In conjunction with its own website, the company should consistently populate, refresh, and publicize all vacant positions. Job descriptions, salary ranges, training opportunities, career path information, available benefits, and the like represent standard social media content.

Employees: This topic fuels the company’s Rewards and Recognition Program by highlighting new employees, tenured employee work anniversaries, recent achievements, successful performance, employee commendations and promotions, as well as biographical sketches that personalize each employee’s distinct contributions to the company.

Educational: Supporting customer service, these social media postings frequently include useful information to improve viewers’ awareness, initiative, and competence through topics like how to trim a rose bush, plant health care, fertilization tips, proper application of bark or mulch, irrigation improvements, and installing new plants or trees, etc.

Job Quality: It’s always beneficial to highlight successes, by sharing before and after photos or videos of new installation, enhancements, or tree service work, especially when accompanied by the Manager’s and Foreman’s names to document their accountability. People’s memories may lapse with time; photos and videos permanently improve those memories.

Building upon social media platforms and content categories, it is important to note the current mode of presentation is far more elaborate than it was just a few short years ago. Long-winded, drab, static PDF postings are from a bygone era; dynamic information transfer is the new standard.

There is an increased emphasis on 30-60 second video presentations rather than 2-3 still photographs. Aerial captures of drones flying over new construction projects, documenting yard departure routines, or detecting invasive tree hazards, actively engage the viewer across topography, sense, and imagination. Likewise, the migration from placid to progressive information can also be seen in company websites that contain an embedded audio-visual thumbnail of the company President verbally escorting the viewer across and through the various sections of the company website (e.g., who we are, project gallery, careers, customer testimonials).

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Steve Cesare Ph.D.

has more than 25 years of Human Resources experience. Prior to joining The Harvest Group, Steve worked with Bemus Landscape, Jack in the Box, the County of San Diego, Citicorp, and NASA. Steve earned his Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Old Dominion University, and has authored 68 human resources journal articles. As a member of The Harvest Group, Steve’s areas of expertise include: staffing, legal compliance, wage and hour issues, training, and employee safety.  Read Steve's full bio.