Elizabeth Harmon

October 24
Hero understanding-the-benefits-of-internal-social-networks

As we all know, social media has a multitude of uses, from helping us stay connected with friends and searching for jobs, to marketing, customer service, sales and recruitment. However, one area that is often overlooked is how businesses can use social networks internally.

Internal social networks, also known as enterprise social networks (ESNs), can help to create a sense of community online and are particularly useful for businesses that are moving to mobile or are spread across multiple offices. If you’ve not considered how ESNs could benefit your business, take a look at some of the advantages below:

  1. Improved communication

    In an increasingly mobile workplace, gone are the days of chatting by the water cooler or being able to simply walk to the other side of the office to speak to a colleague. Enterprise social networks can therefore help colleagues come together and easily engage in conversations, regardless of geograhic barriers.

  2. Improved collaboration

    It can be difficult working as part of a team when you’re not all in the same room. However, enterprise social networks provide a number of features that make it easier, from being able to effectively manange project progress, share files and much more.

  3. Transparency

    A problem many businesses can have is understanding what other teams are working on. If you add a mobile workforce into the equation then this can become even harder. Different teams may each be working on similar projects (doubling up on time and money), or projects where if efforts were combined, could be even better. Enterprise social networks can help reduce these issues, by providing more transparency to the mix. For example, employees can share projects they are working on, along with their progress. Some managers may be concerned by complete transpareny, but it is often possible to keep certain information private where required.

  4. Find internal expertise

    Running a project that needs specific expertise? It can be difficult knowing if anyone has the required skills, particularly in a larger business. You may therefore turn to someone who is underskilled, or hire a consultant which can be costly. Enterprise social networks can help you see what talent is already available in-house. Employees can create their own profiles and add their professional experiences and skills. This is then easily searchable, so next time you have a project, you can find the best people for the job.

  5. Share ideas

    Two heads are better than one, but if you struggle to get your team together for a brainstorming session, consider getting everyone to contribute via your enterprise social network. You can open this up to your wider business and unlike a brainstorming session where you allocate a time, ideas can be shared online 24/7. This can mean more people and more ideas, which can help your business stay on its toes, be more innovative and keep moving forward

  6. Develop relationships

    Enteprise social networks are much more than just a platform to communicate, they can also be used to help colleagues build stronger relationships with their co-workers. This can help employees feel happier in their role and it can make the business run smoother, with fewer conflicts.

  7. Increased productivity

    Enterprise social networks can help to create a more open and innovative culture. Employees can also feel more engaged, which can boost productivity and also improve employee rentention.

If you’re interested in enterprise social networks for your company, then there are a number of solutions to consider. Here are 3 suggestions:

  1. Yammer

    Founded in 2008, Yammer is a freemium enterprise social network owned by Microsoft. Users can start groups, share ideas, collaborate, upload documents, create public groups and much more.

(Screenshot from Yammer website)

2. Chatter

Created by Salesforce, Chatter can help employees share knowledge, track projects, collaborate and ultimately stay connected whenever and from wherever. Take a look here to find out more.

(Screenshot from Chatter website)

  1. Workplace

    The most recent and exciting development in enterprise social networks is Workplace. Created by Facebook, it aims to help you do work, without getting distracted by your friend’s holiday pictures, getting caught up in a chat or coming across adverts. You therefore have a separate log-in to your personal Facebook account. Employees can still enjoy many of the standard Facebook features, such as a newsfeed, groups, messages, events, Facebook Live, reactions and search. However, there are also some other features that have been specifically built for Workplace. These include a dashboard with analytics, shared spaces and much more.

(Screenshot from Workplace by Facebook website)

Author Bio

Elizabeth Harmon is a writer for Open Colleges, one of Australia’s leading online education providers. She is a Freelance Social Media Consultant with a number of years experience in the field. She has worked with a growing list of clients around the world, helping to build successful social media strategies, create effective content and much more. Follow her on Twitter @Liz_Harmon.

Read More
July 20
Hero should-you-be-screening-applicants-social-media-profiles

More and more job candidates are using social media in their hunt to find the perfect job, with LinkedIn taking the clear lead. But as an employer, are you taking full advantage of social media to find the perfect employee?

According to Michael Page, 77% of employers already use social media to find job candidates. If you haven’t started yet though, we have 5 simple tips to help you. However, could social media be used for more than just promotion and searching?

Social media screening involves digging deeper and researching candidates through sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Google+. The process allows employers to find out more about a candidate, beyond their standard 2-page resume and covering letter. 

What are the advantages of social media screening?

Social media is a key platform for communication today with more than 2 billion social media users. Although much of the content that is shared on social media is public, only 20% of employers are looking at this during their recruitment process.

  • Hiring a new employee can be both expensive and time-consuming. Picking the wrong employee will just add to the money and time spent. Social screening can therefore help businesses get it right first time, by providing information which allows more informed decisions to be made. In fact, research from Jobvite shows that 55% of recruiters have reconsidered a candidate based on the information they found in their social media profiles.

  • 61% of reconsiderations are due to negative reasons, for example, a candidate may have lied about their skills on their application, posted something inappropriate, made negative comments about their previous employers, shared confidential information about their employer, posted about drinking and drugs, or may display poor communication skills.

  • Social media screening isn’t just to pick out the negatives though. It can also be used in the candidates’ favour, by revealing things that may not have been included on a CV. This could be to their advantage during the decision process. For example, they may have carried out charity work, display strong writing skills or be very creative.

  • Beyond checking a candidate’s skills to ensure they can do the job proficiently, social media screening can also be used to help decide if a candidate would be a good fit within your team and company culture.

What are the concerns of social media screening?

Before starting social media screening within your business, there are a number of things that you should take some time to consider:

  • Social media screening raises a number of ethical questions, such as whether employers really should be snooping into a candidate’s personal life and if so, where to draw the line before it becomes an invasion of privacy?

  • Although vetting a candidate’s online presence is not unlawful, discrimination laws still apply, in the same way as screening a printed CV for example. Recruitment decisions should therefore not be affected by factors such as age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation and political beliefs.

  • Information online may not always be accurate and doesn’t necessarily show the whole picture. It’s therefore important for businesses to be careful about believing everything they read about a candidate via their social media profiles, as it may not be a true or complete reflection of them.


For further advice to help minimise your concerns, the Chartered Institute of Professional Development have created a helpful guide, sharing good practices for businesses to follow when conducting pre-employment checks on applicants.

The answer to whether to carry out social media screening or not seems to be a split one. At the end of the day, the decision is up to you. There are many benefits to your business, but it’s also important to proceed with care, consideration to people’s privacy and caution to possible legal implications.


Do you use social media screening in your business, or do you plan to in the near future? We’d love to know your thoughts on the subject. Leave us a comment in the box below, or tweet us @jobcastnet.



Elizabeth Harmon is a writer for Open Colleges, one of Australia’s leading online education providers. She is a Social Media Consultant with a number of years’ experience in the field. She has worked with a growing list of clients around the world, helping to build successful social media strategies, create effective content and much more. Follow her on Twitter @Liz_Harmon.

Google+: https://plus.google.com/+opencolleges

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/OpenColleges/?fref=ts

Website: www.opencolleges.edu.au/careers

Read More