The Importance of a Social Media Policy in the Onboarding Process

Social media are computer-mediated technologies that facilitate the creation and sharing of information, ideas, career interests and other forms of expression via virtual communities and networks. The evolution and growth of social media has been exponential in the last few years and most organizations are still trying to catch up with how to handle the numerous issues arising out of this. Social media has impacted not only the way we communicate with each other but has now become a storehouse of information about an individual. In fact recent trends have seen social media have a voice in recruitment, hiring, onboarding promotion and litigation strategies of a company. Recently we have heard of a number of lawsuits against employers for mishandling social media or for breaking the privacy barriers of their employees. In fact the realm of social media is being likened to walking on shifting sand unless employers are careful can land themselves in painful litigation process.

Research from statista shows that the number of worldwide users in Social media is expected to reach 2.95 billion by 2020. An estimated 650 million of these users are expected to be from China alone and approximately a third of a million from India. The region with the highest penetration rate of social networks is North America, where around 60 percent of the population has at least one social account. As of 2016, 78 percent of the United States population had a social networking profile. Facebook is the most preferred social networking channel followed by Whatsapp, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.

Leading social networks usually boast a high number of user accounts or strong user engagement metrics. For example, Facebook is the first social network having surpassed the 1 billion monthly active user mark and as of the first quarter of 2017, has more than 1.94 billion users worldwide.

How Social media can positively impact the onboarding process

  • Social channels like Facebook and Whatsapp can help the new hire in building ┬ástrong relationships withing the organisation and fascilitate the effective integration of the new hire into the organisational setup.
  • Access to information from social media channels in compliance with the laws of the land and the organization helps the organisation to build a customized onboarding plan for the new hire keeping in mind his/her likes and dislikes, value systems, mental makeup and background.
  • Encourage new hires to share their work, through blogs and other social media channels. This can contribute to their learning and growth.
  • Blog postings in Company website assists the new hire to clearly understand the company culture and familiarize himself with the Organisation’s Mission, Vision and Goals.
  • Inviting your new hire to join online social community of new hires helps him/her to know what to expect at the workplace and helps in solving complex problems or contingencies that may arise at the work place. He/She can ask questions, seek counsel and get advice whenever required. They can get tips from other employees who went through a similar experience to theirs and how they overcame the challenges.
  • A forum based on skillset and profession is a good platform for the new hire to tap into expert advice and get needed job related training.