Do you know how many times in the past 12 months I’ve heard someone say – “I’m looking for a social media position”? Enough to know that we don’t need that many Social Media HR people!
Let me give some HR job seekers a little tip – You don’t want a position in HR that is created around social media! This is a dead-end HR job. (Oh boy, as I just wrote that I could hear people that I know losing their f’ing minds!) Take a minute and let yourself really think about it, before you respond. Social Media is sexy and fun, and you can add some value to your organization, and even some to HR – but if you really want to be in HR – taking the path of social media isn’t going to move you up in HR. I run into too many HR Social Media folks who have really no clue about HR – but they LOVE their jobs. Many of these folks seem to be out of those jobs very quickly – job after job after job.
You see it doesn’t take an organization long to understand that social media isn’t a position – it’s a tool. A tool that can be used by everyone in HR, without a ton of effort, once you get the train going down the tracks. That’s why you see HR Social Media positions crop up, then get cut in a 6th month window. Organizations want results, they want to measure productivity – and while social media has a ton of things you can measure – it’s really hard for a HR Social Media Pro to prove their value.
“But Tim – I LOVE social media and HR – what am I suppose to do?” Employment Branding is probably the best fit. But you need more than social media chops for this – you need some marketing chops, some creativity, some business sense and networking ability to make this work. Employment branding isn’t building a facebook page and using the term “Talent Community” in every meeting you attend. It’s your ability to share your organizations story, while at the same time not losing the look and feel of what your actual brand is – that’s much harder than it looks! You can be this highly conservative established brand, and try and sell your employment brand is young hip come-as-you-are party – it’s not authentic and it will fail. Thus, you have to find a way to share the value and positives of what you actually do have. I know so many employment branding folks who fail, for the simple fact that they “try” to establish an employment brand, this isn’t their brand. “But we want a cool brand like Google!” Well, you’re not Google – you’re GM – you’ll never be Google – but you have some cool stuff of your own – share that.
Look I get it – Social Media is exciting and sexy – but don’t confuse that with your ability to create a career path using it. There are about 15 people in the world that have been able to do that, for longer than 6 months, and there are about 500,000 HR positions. Love Social Media in HR, just don’t LOVE it. Integrate the tools, have real HR chops – look to last past 6 months.