January 31, 2008

Opportunities for "new media" in HR

From time to time, emails from job sites that I subscribed to when I was looking for work three years ago appear in my inbox. Back at the beginning of the month one such email came into my inbox and caught my attention. It was for a Campus Manager position with NBC Universal.

A part of public relations is internal communications and HR. So from time to time I read such emails to see how other businesses are explaining the job duties of their current openings. This helps so that if a client needs HR support from the agency I work for, I am up to date with how other organizations are describing similar positions that a client may be looking at recruiting for in the future.

Anyway's, when I read the description for GE's campus manager I figured I'd blog about how social media could be adapted to this position.

First, the position requires that the campus manager manage 1500 interns from the United State's east and west coast. HR being my primary interest, I pondered how to facilitate seamless communication efforts at low company costs, and lower the stress level for the campus management team who may now be fielding hundreds of daily emails, and traveling from coast to coast.

The campus manager could develop a podcast that each of the interns could subscribe too. The campus management team could produce a 30 or 45 minute update, once or twice a week, depending on how much information needs to be disseminated to the interns. The podcast could be posted to a private corporate blog where interns could comment, ask questions and offer advice to fellow interns. Plus it would gather a nice historical account of what an NBC intern may have asked in the past so that a new intern could first search the blog before asking an already answered question.

Secondly, the blog would begin to create an online community that would allow other interns to connect with each other from coast to coast. Comradery is what HR is all about, isn't it? ;)

It may seem like that it would take a lot of money and effort to create a podcast, but in actuality, podcasting equipment could be purchased for under $200 and if a corporate blog did not need to be developed (for privacy reasons one may want to consider a private, secure blog) it would cost next to nothing. 

As for the time involved in production, the campus management team would be able to shift how they are currently spending time and spend less time managing emails and focus more on managing a blog where the whole intern community could also pitch in to answer questions (if an intern saw a post that they already know the answer too.)

NBC universal is not the only business that could adopt such a strategy to manage internal communities, and there is more than just blogging and podcasting that could be implemented. I am just on a podcasting kick this week and decided not to address the many other new and social media opportunities that a campus management type position could adopt to facilitate communication and education. I will save that for another day since I am meeting friends out for dinner, and already running late.

Just my two cents.

P.S: Feel free to comment or add to this by telling fellow NMO readers what other businesses can do or are doing to adopt new and social media into their workplace culture. Oh and NBC, if you have something like this we would love to hear about how it is working...  

Cheers, JJ 

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