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Marketing vs HR – Who Owns the Social Media Accounts?

Written by Holly Watson | May 27, 2014 | 1 Comment
social recruitmentCompany social media accounts are just for the marketing team, right?
That’s the assumption that many businesses make. However, whilst social media is undoubtedly a great marketing tool, it can also be extremely valuable in other areas of your company.
Take HR, for example. More and more statistics are emerging to support the case that HR should be more involved in social media activity.
71% of candidates have used LinkedIn to search for jobs or research a company, according to Webrecruit’s own candidate survey.
However, despite a growing number of candidates using social media to look for jobs, less than half of employers are using social media to recruit, as a 2013 XpertHR survey cited (source).
With stats such as this, any HR department that hasn’t considered using social media as part of its recruitment advertising mix could be missing out on new ways to engage with job seekers.
Take Twitter, for instance. In recent years, Twitter has become an increasingly more important tool for recruitment companies and other businesses throughout the world.
However, the effective use of social media is often seen as something that only marketing departments within businesses should be using. This is further supported by some people suggesting that human resources professionals are late adopters when it comes to anything technology-related, specifically, social media.
The tide is changing, however. 60.3% of HR professionals say that their social media usage will rise in 2014, according to this infographic from The Undercover Recruiter.

The case for HR to be involved in social media

HR and marketing are often viewed as two completely separate areas; however, they actually have a great deal in common.
Marketing departments use social media (or indeed a number of tools) for many reasons, from customer engagement and increasing awareness of the company’s brand, to promoting content marketing and ultimately, finding new ways to attract and satisfy its customers.
If you look at HR departments with responsibility for recruitment, you could argue it has similar needs to that of marketing. It’s focused on finding new ways to attract new applicants. (Perhaps this is recruitment ‘marketing’?)
The art of attracting candidates to your business (as the marketing team would do for customers) involves showcasing your culture, your ethos and your opportunities. So what better tool is there for this than social media?
Again, let’s use Twitter to put it into context.  Allowing you to post photos of your team, share your latest vacancies and retweet comments that relate to your company’s vision, Twitter is a fantastic resource for any HR professional.
The recruitment process as a whole should be focused on the candidate journey and Twitter allows you to interact directly with candidates as well as potentially screening them (obviously if their feed is full of bad language and risqué photos, you might be weary).

And the case against

However, with many marketing departments already having an active social media presence, concerns might be raised about having more users controlling what updates and interactions are posted.
It could be argued that allowing more people access to social media accounts could result in inconsistencies in updates, as well as potentially diluting your company’s voice.
Having a clear social media strategy in place should prevent this, however many companies also have separate accounts for social recruitment purposes. For instance, businesses will often have Twitter feeds with the handle @XXX for their marketing purposes and @XXXcareers for their HR/recruitment purposes.

Conclusion

Although some HR professionals might take the view that selected marketing methods are too commercial for HR, in reality, the two go hand-in-hand. It comes down to putting your target audience first and finding the best tools to access them and communicate with them.
Social media platforms are a great way to not only attract more candidates to your business but to engage with them as well.
Find out more about how you can source your talent faster and more efficiently with Webrecruit’s Managed Solutions, offering you bespoke in-house solutions to reduce your time and cost to hire. Click here for more information.

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