How Social HR Help Startups to Scale up Incorporating technology in the HR processes will help startups to compete with MNCs both in terms of attracting and retaining talent.

By Madhur Ramani

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With the increase in competition, locally or globally, organisations must become more adaptable and employee friendly to succeed. Incorporating technology in the HR processes will help startups to compete with MNCs both in terms of attracting and retaining talent.

One of the emerging technologies in HR space is Enterprise Social Networks (ESNs). FMBs (Family Businesses) and Startups are yet to recognise the importance of ESNs whereas MNCs are already deriving benefits from them.

Emergence of Social Media

In less than a decade, social media has become an indispensable part of our society by integrating itself in our personal and professional lives. McKinsey Global Institute states that "while 72 per cent of companies use social technologies in some way, very few are anywhere near to achieving the full potential benefit." Gradually, organisations have begun to recognise the importance of integrating social technologies into their businesses to offer a better experience to their employees and customers and how social media practices can be implemented to contribute to business goals.

Companies like IBM, Nokia, PwC and many others have already started embracing Enterprise Social Networks to amplify and enhance communication within their organisations. These channels not only help in communication at different levels of the organisation but also empower them to self-organise their functional operations.

New Ways to Retain Talent

Additionally, innovation through peer-to-peer knowledge sharing can be enhanced via social networking practices that will help in better decision making within the organisations. It is important for SMEs and FMBs to connect with their employees and bridge the gap between senior and mid-level management. Founders should be in touch with the new employees in a fast growing set-up where the strength of the organisation is continuously increasing.

Once employees feel connected to the organisation, they become more participative and responsive towards their work as well as what other teams are doing. Engaged employees can offer solutions across locations within the organisation.

For instance, if the Delhi team of an organisation needs some ideas/solutions for a project, employees sitting in the Mumbai office can offer them via knowledge sharing platforms. These mediums can also be used to post job openings internally and help in finding the right talent within the organisation before looking outside.

These days, organisations are also employing social media tools to engage new recruits in the pre-joining phase to create excitement about their new employment. During the induction and orientation of new employees, learning and engagement aspects are given equal importance along with training and monitoring.

Today, financial incentives aren't the only way to retain employees and motivate them to work hard. Employees should feel valued in the organisation with the flexibility to contribute meaningful work regardless of their role. Public recognition makes a huge difference in employee engagement as rewards and appreciation can boost a person's confidence to a great extent.

This plays a significant role in the growth of the organisation since high levels of employee engagement reduces employee turnover and increases employee loyalty.

The Road Ahead

Social media is also giving organisations an opportunity to bring the employer brand to life, promoting the organization's values and culture to potential candidates. It is also helping an organisation to showcase its work culture and map it against competition and make their presence felt in the market. Employer branding becomes imperative in retaining the hired talent as well attracting new talent.

Overall, HR has evolved through social media by shifting from an administrative function to an integral strategic business partner that adds value to the organisation's workforce and its ability to deliver against key goals of the organisation.

Good organisations are already leveraging social media to engage employees and using it for collaboration, learning, training and development of the employees as well as accelerate business growth. It is about time that other organisations also start recognising the benefits of such practices.

Madhur Ramani

Co-founder and Managing Partner, Stratum Consulting

Madhur Ramani is Co-founder and Managing Partner at Stratum Consulting. The firm designs and builds social business HR systems for FMBs, SMEs, start-ups and other businesses. 

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