Nov 23, 2008

Steps to transform HR to HR2.0



So there I was talking to some of my friends, who are HR professionals, who always look at me at bewilderment  when the topic turns towards social media and networking.

One of them shook his head and said "Why do you even bother? How is it going to help anyone in HR?"

The conversation meandered along. I tried explaining the Cluetrain manifesto , the Long Tail , the Wisdom of the Crowds , Swarm Intelligence and Emergence , the move from Control to Collaboration and Transparency.

However I realised looking at their glazed expressions that they were not really listening or understanding, probably because I wasn't presenting in a coherent manner.

So here's my steps of what an organization should do, to transform their HR to HR2.0 - for all my friends :-)


  1. Employment Branding and Recruiting - Get onto Facebook, Orkut , Linkedin, discover if there are any communities about your firm, alumni groups, or your products. Identify 2-3 tech savvy young recruiters and encourage them to start or join conversations. Encourage them to also start communities of joining employees and keep in touch with them.Of course there is lots of material about how to find candidates using social networks and blogging. The other thing is to get your recruiters (like Microsoft , Accenture  and Oracle ) and also your employees to blog. The third option would be to get some of your HR communications folks to blog.
  2. Employee Engagement and Communication - Having internal blogs and wikis to brainstorm and facilitating conversations is one of the ways you can get employees spread across various countries to connect and share knowledge. For example, I "met" people like Stan and Bruce online internally in an organization. And we've never met offline. Some more ideas would be to use Yammer , and enterprise wide Twitter tool. Suitable for large as well as micro-sized environments. Would be great to connect employees who normally would not come in touch with each other. Might help in tearing down organizational silos too. 
  3. Learning and Development - Learning in the digital age (as JSB says ) is going to be a lot different that your parent's 'training classroom'. Organizations have experimented with virtual classrooms, blended learning and virtual worlds too. However I would vote for people learning through serendipity by connections and content  they make via blogging and wikis. And using by using collaborative simulations as close and real as possible. At the very basic level, using YouTube or an internal site to share and rate videos and commenting on them would be a great way for people to pick up conceptual knowledge.
  4. Defining Processes and Policies - Using internal and external social media, to have employees co-create and have a say about processes and policies being designed for them would be an incredibly powerful way to have organizational democracy. Any organization actually doing something on that front?
These are my thoughts right now on HR2.0. Let the conversation begin!