A human capital strategy for social mediaorganized around defining
talent needs, discovering sources of talent, developing talent for
ongoing high performance, and deploying talent to the most
appropriate areas of the businessis critical to a companys ability
to effectively embrace and benefit from social media.
Just as consumers today can define and create their own content
using YouTube or Wikipedia, employees now can define and create
their own people practices without any centrally defined limits,
choices, or policies designed to serve particular employee
segments. With employee-defined personalization, for example,
individuals can define the learning they need through wikis, blogs,
YouTube or Facebooklike applications, and on-the-job experience.
To encourage employees to learn new attitudes, behaviors, and
skills, companies must review talent development programs and
incorporate advanced learning methods. Ironically, social media
provides a superior platform for training that transforms culture,
even if the nature of the culture transformation is social media
adoption. Companies are experiencing significantly greater return
on investment from interactive and collaborative learning compared
with traditional instructor-led classroom training.
Defining the Components of Learning 2.0
Learning 2.0, as Accenture calls it, combines innovative approaches
and technologies in Web 2.0 learning, knowledge management, and
real-time performance support. These capabilities and technologies
help companies deliver learning at the point of need and in formats
that can adapt to the requirements, working environment, and
learning styles of individual learners. As a result, employees
report they are more competent and confident in doing their jobs.
And confidence is a proven predictor of success.
Components of a Learning 2.0 approach that drive higher performance
in corporate learning include:
- Accessible across multiple channels, allowing for
learner-centric distribution modes, including instructor-led
training, e-learning, podcasts, wikis, and blogs.
- Flexible, to allow for content reuse, allowing for multipurpose
learning assets available online, in the classroom and in
- Modular, to enable learners to find and consume just the
portion of the content that is relevant to them and to the task at
- Collaborative, so learners can easily contribute content, share
lessons learned, and add to both their personal and the
organizational knowledge base.
- Engaging, such that learners want to participate in consuming
and creating content because it holds their attention and interest
and they are recognized for their participation.
- Personalized, meaning learning experiences are relevant to an
employees role and work context and are delivered at the point of
- Measured, so the impact of learning on job performance is
tracked, and learners can be more accountable for contributing and
consuming knowledge related to their jobs and their organization.
- User-generated, meaning more content will be provided by users,
increasing the relevance of learning to actual performance needs
and driving down overall training costs.
Social Media Adoption at HOK
Several companies are aggressively moving down the path of
integrating social media into their talent management strategy. One
example is HOK, a global architecture firm that has aggressively
adopted social networking applications since its corporate
communications team began trying them out in spring of 2008.
The corporate communications team manages various social media
applications that serve the internal and external audiences and
serve as in indirect marketing, recruitment, and retention tool.
Internally, HOKs employees have been extremely receptive to these
applications, and many have become highly engaged, especially with
the Life at HOK blog.
- Life at HOK was established to help change the external
perception from HOK the big company to HOK the creative people
helping with recruitment and retention, appealing to the future
business partners and clients, connecting with traditional and new
media members, and even strengthening the firms internal design
culture. The blog received dozens of inquiries from people looking
for jobs. Online friendships and conversations are better
connecting HOKs people around the firm and, as people get to know
each other, fostering true collaboration.
- The HOK Network YouTube channel, houses several formal and
informal videos of HOK professionals talking about projects, ideas,
and events. The HOKLife YouTube channel, features videos by the
Life at HOK bloggers. This applications allows an external audience
to see the intimate culture of HOKs global offices and disproves
the notion that HOK is a large, inaccessible company.
- The HOK Careers page on Facebook was designed to give potential
recruits an opportunity to be a part of HOKs Facebook community and
to ask questions about what its like to work at the firm. Fans of
the page have posted numerous comments and inquiries. HOK uses
LinkedIn as a secondary tool to the HOK Careers page on Facebook.
The company profile page on LinkedIn simply offers a quick snapshot
of the firm and indicates HOK employees who are on the network.
VisualCV is a supplementary recruiting tool to the firms
traditional careers homepage at www.HOK.com/careers. Although
recruits must officially apply for positions at hok.com/careers,
VisualCV allows them to submit interactive, multimedia resumes and
view HOKs own VisualCV, which contains videos and office
information and directs them to other social media applications.
This tool allows HOK to reach a new audience that otherwise might
not have applied for a position at HOK and shows that HOK is on the
leading edge of technology and new recruitment methods.
Business outcomes, business capabilities, and competencies can be
used to define job profiles, develop new learning strategies, guide
business performance scorecards and rewards and incentives
programs, and identify skill gaps in the existing employee
population. Only through a careful evaluation of role-specific
business outcomes, business capabilities, and competencies can an
organization anticipate the roles that social media must play in
its human capital strategy as it seeks to recruit, develop, and
retain a high performing workforce.
Reprinted by permission of the publisher, John Wiley & Sons,
Inc., from The Social Media Management Handbook by Wollan,
Smith, and Zhou. Copyright 2011. All rights reserved.