Human resources are the people finders and keepers. Responsible for more than just hiring and exiting employees, they are often chartered with creating innovative projects to shape organizational culture. And while social media initiatives are usually welcomed, they can also disrupt the organization on a number of fronts.

For example, effective intranet projects often help bubble up overlooked go-to people within the organizational network, which can create additional burdens on star staff. Hiring managers sometimes use the social channels to research and recruit employees and contractors to fill difficult positions. It is not uncommon for job dissatisfaction to "leak out" on social media sites, especially those where personal and professional disclosure is often intermingled -- think Facebook and Twitter.

Organizations usually benefit when there are multiple intersections among staffers through social media. Human resources is in a position to facilitate these efforts and create useful applications and adoption of social media best practices throughout the organization. To succeed, HR managers should ask themselves:
  1. Does HR have access to and understand the social media policies created by legal? Even more important, did HR participate in creating the policies?
  2. Have HR staff undergone a proper immersion and education program about social media so that they can answer questions and support productive uses of social media within the organization?
  3. Are social media programs within the organization's different departments -- marketing, tech support, supply chain collaboration -- clearly explained to HR so that they can reinforce best practice within the organization?
  4. Is your organization using social channels such as LinkedIn to recruit the best people for the open positions?
  5. Are social media disclosure guidelines integrated into your organization's exit interviews and procedures to ensure departing employees conduct themselves appropriately online?
This is the next installment of our series of posts on Social Business Readiness. To access previous installments, please see the 5 strategic wins of social media, 5 questions for social sales executives, and 5 questions for social legal executives. Your comments, suggestions and examples will be most welcome.