The Role of Social Media in Human Resource Management. A case study of organizations in Barbados

Forschungsarbeit, 2012

29 Seiten


Table of Contents

1.1 Introduction
1.2 Impact on Recruitment
1.3 Impact on Innovation and Knowledge Creation
1.4 Impact on Employee Engagement
1.5 Impact on Talent Development
1.6 The Overall Operational Efficiency

2.1 Research Design
2.2 Primary Sources
2.3 Mixed Research Methods
2.3.1 Qualitative Research
2.3.2 Quantitative Research
2.4 Sample
2.4.1 Sample Size
2.4.2 Sampling Method
2.5 Survey Interviews
2.6 Questionnaire
2.7 Literature Search
2.8 Validity and Reliability
2.8.1 Validity and Reliability of Survey Interviews
2.8.2 Validity and Reliability of Questionnaires
2.9 Ethical Consideration



1.1 Introduction

Over the last few years, social media tools – including blogs, wikis, social networks, video sharing, and community sites, among others – have changed the landscape of the Internet, becoming key tools for network building, collaboration, and knowledge sharing. Now, for those very same purposes, these tools are increasingly being used in the workplace. The benefits of social media have gone as far as being appreciated in human resources circles, and business organizations in Barbados can no longer pass on the creation of networks via social media. As a tremendous form of extensive communication and the development of social relationships, organizations across the globe have counted on social media much more than ever before. They use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and their very own internal social networking sites to reach out to diverse demographics in obtaining top talent and retaining tacit knowledge.

Business organizations have used social media to enhance innovation and knowledge creation, which has in turn proved to be highly beneficial in driving effective change and improving performance. The impacts that the use of social media has had on employees’ engagement and job satisfaction cannot be ignored. The basis of this impact is the fact that social media is not just something that employees need; it is something that organizations have to take up for the sake of the future. It is also highly important to evaluate the extent to which social media can be beneficial to organizations and employees in terms of talent development. The combination of these impacts results in increased overall operational efficiency. This literature review seeks to evaluate the various impacts that social media has had on the recruitment processes, innovation and knowledge creation, talent development, employee engagement, and the overall operational efficiency.

1.2 Impact on Recruitment

Recruitment via social media is currently a very hot topic with multiple articles being released daily. These tend to swing between polar opposites regarding the usefulness of social media to recruitment. The reality lies somewhere in the middle. The use of social media such as blogs, networking sites and micro-blogging is on the rise through the enterprise environment. Benefits have been seen particularly in the areas of recruitment and brand awareness with some companies reporting increased sales after initiating a targeted online strategy. Not only did it have a positive impact, but it is also inexpensive. Amid the current economic hardships plaguing organizations across the globe, HR professionals are challenged to do more with less and for this very reason using social media as a tool for recruitment are a cost effective way. Remember, when business conditions change, company strategies need an equal and corresponding change just to stay even. With recruiting, this is equally as relevant. Agility and flexibility are important to coincide with fluctuating economic conditions and this is when having a clearly defined social networking strategy will pay dividends, both from a candidate generation and employment brand perspective. The speed at which social media tools could grasp the attention of the targeted compared to traditional methods is zero to none. Thanks to the Web 2.0, business organizations have seen high response rates for their job ads, increased quality of candidates and high viability of applicants.

For example, uses social networking sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn to keep in touch with potential hires between the recruiting cycle and their day of work after graduation by engaging in conversation via blogging. They have stated that social media has enhanced their recruitment process as they believe “it is more sincere, genuine recruitment strategy,” (Jue, Marr & Kassotakis, p.102). The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) also uses social media networking sites to recruit candidates as they believe that these sites are able to produce the best and brightest candidates. Such proclamation proves to be true as social media is bound to overtake “job boards and employment fairs”, which have proved inadequate in a market that is quite flooded (Madia, 2011, p.19). The world is full of professionals that have to be reached out to in the easiest of ways, and social media has provided just that.

Social networking sites afford potential candidates the opportunity to create a solid profile subsequently assisting greatly with the recruitment process, in particular the sourcing process, by giving the employer an impression of a candidate’s overall cultural fit as well as their technical competence. As a result, LinkedIn remains the most useful of the social media sites for identification of candidates as the most pertinent details are generally available. Often, taking a LinkedIn profile as a base and searching alternate media allows for a well rounded profile to be created. Since social media channels have this amazing capability, some organizations are embracing its usage with the expected result of targeting potential employees. They are also tapping into active blogs, such as those on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn as well as online communities so that they can capture the attention of good candidates seeking employment, especially for openings that are difficult to fill. For example, Madia (2011, p.21) stated that over 10,000 recruiters are using twitter as a recruiting tool. A simple tweet or blog post on these social media sites goes a very long way. “Effective social media talent sourcing centers on ‘networking the networks’ in ways that provide entryways for talent across communities and platforms,” (Madia, 2011, p.21). By actively keeping touch with the online communities, an organization can create an online talent supply chain, where they keep in touch with previous job applicants, internal applicants, applicants resulting from employee referrals as well as previous employees of that organization.

Perhaps the most important use of social media for recruitment at this stage is the opportunity to increase brand awareness as stated earlier. Through the use of multiple channels, it is possible to bring an organization’s brand to the eyes of people who would not normally have considered it as an option for employment and these people can be nudged toward the organization’s website to explore opportunities. Although the trend of using social media tools is dawdling, quite a few of employers in recent times have developed a profound and strong presence in online communities. It is in these communities that employers can tap into existing talent in the future by constant interacting via blogs, podcasts or wiki posts.

Further, many researchers stated that with advancement of online and social media technologies, they are having a great impact on the recruitment strategies of the professional employers and jobseekers alike (Shepherd, 2011, p.3). Some others have predicted that online recruitment is expanding at the very speedy pace which indicated that it will replace the traditional methods of attracting and recruiting the employees such as through newspaper ads, job fairs, campus recruiting and word of mouth (Tulgan, 2007, p. 3). According to the Verhoeven & Williams (2008) that with increasing advancement of internet and social media, practice of online recruitment is not just limited to one or two countries but has not spread across the world and majority of employers are now more effectively taking advantages of this trend. According to their survey, majority of employers believe that social media provides them much quicker turn-around as compared to traditional recruitment channels that has now resulted in increased number of qualified applicants around the world and much easier hiring process overall. The employers in their study also narrated that they are now more able to identify the number of unqualified applicants that were greatly impacting their recruitment practices. Not only that using social media is inexpensive but the key to grasp the attention of the targeted audience is to have an iterative approach by using different social media channels along with traditional recruitment tactics to reach out to a larger demographics. Moreover, (Rai, 2012, p.257) reveals in their study that social media networks allows the candidate pool to look for the potential employers that geographically farther and they cannot travel to them due to practical and financial difficulties to approach the employers. Further, their study revealed that while social media does not guarantee to consistently cut the costs and retrieved talented and quality employees, it is significant for certain job types and levels.

1.3 Impact on Innovation and Knowledge Creation

“Social networking advances a whole new frontier of organizational dialogue, setting the stage for continuous knowledge creation and organizational agility,” (Jue, Marr & Kassotakis, p.105). The fact that social networking sites are internet-based makes it accessible to the entire world, which holds an amazingly diverse pool of talents and capabilities. As a result, various persons can access and exchange information that users generate, in the most convenient of ways. This exchange of information facilitates the development of ideas by conversing users as they become socially connected.

An example of a company that uses social media networking sites to enhance innovation and knowledge creation is Geek Squad. This company was founded in 1994 and is now entirely owned by Best Buy. Geek Squad placed a huge amount of importance on social media as they have learned to leverage social media capabilities for knowledge creation and innovation. In fact, “the employees at Geek Squad use wikis, video games and all other kinds of unorthodox collaboration technologies to brainstorm new ideas. They have even used wikis to design and implement an entire new product line,” (Jue, Marr & Kassotakis, p.105).

Knowledge creation can further be advanced via social networks using on-demand work-based learning. This is learning which takes place at the point of need. Business organizations engage their employees in on-demand learning in order to deal with their needs, which they can hardly satisfy through giving information on top-down basis (Shepherd, 2011, p. 5). Social networks can be used by employees in sourcing expertise or even providing their expertise to others, much like what Oracle, an enterprise software giant, currently do. The employees at Oracle use wikis as one of their working tools to collaborate with their colleagues across the globe and to develop products, (Jue, Marr & Kassotakis, p.107). They strongly believe that using this social media tool enables their employees to generate innovative, and ground breaking products by collaborating with the brightest minds.

Various researchers stated that it is imperative for companies to encourage their young employees to use social media for knowledge creation and innovation (Shepherd, 2011, p.3; Tulgan, 2007, p. 3; Rai, 2012, p.257). Rai (2012, p.257) stated that today majority of employees are represent the first generation that have grown in the midst of the high-technology. These people working for companies have spent most part of their lives surrounded with technology such as digital music players, video games, video cameras, newer version of mobile phones and now internet and social networking websites. Today, these employees are digital immigrants who believe in knowledge creation and innovation from the technologies.

Researchers also found that organizational social media websites are time-efficient, inexpensive and customizable which significantly increases the efficiency of recruitment of employees. They can easily analyze the thousands of resumes and applications through the system where they could be able to filter and view the information in more meaningful way.


Ende der Leseprobe aus 29 Seiten


The Role of Social Media in Human Resource Management. A case study of organizations in Barbados
University of Sheffield
ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Buch)
645 KB
role, social, media, human, resource, management-a, barbados
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Angela Moore (Autor:in), 2012, The Role of Social Media in Human Resource Management. A case study of organizations in Barbados, München, GRIN Verlag,


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