Human Resources (HR) is at a crossroads, never before has the HR department been at the central to the way an organisation needs to act.  Now and in the future.

The old way of working is dead.  Let me explain.  In the past, I put my product under your nose, through cold calling , through advertising, through email marketing.  At which point, advertising agencies say "the magic happens" I get a feeling that I want to buy your product.

We all know it does not work like that anymore.  In fact, you put your product in front of me, through cold calling, advertising or via email and it pisses me off.

I head of a company that is using inmails (so cold calling but on a social network) and they are taking "corporate content".  So content that tells you about your products and services and putting this under the noses of people.  They are getting a 7% response rate.  So of 100 people they (spam) with inmails and corporate content, only 7% reply.

They didn't say how many of this low percentage actually buy.

I'm amazed that the marketers in this case with such a low response rate haven't just decided to go home.  People ignoring you seems to be business as usual (BAU).

Nobody cares about your products and services and we are just pissed off with you interrupting us.  Of course it's the same message as everybody else.  We are the best, we are number one, we are the biggest.

Here is where HR come in.

Your company has one unique selling point (USP), which is your people.  Your people are unique, what they do, what they think, their experiences.

The trick is to activate them to talk on social.

Better still, with activated networks, they will get you access to talent.  People will see what an amazing culture you have ands will want to work.  We have a client that now spends nothing on recruitment, they do all the hiring through social.

The business case for this is simple.

If we take IBM they have 547,100 followers on Twitter is a great following.

They have 366,000 employees.

If they activated 50% of them to talk on social and they only had 100 followers each, that would give IBM a reach of 18 million.  Those 100 followers, know and love the employees so are far more likely to share and amplify what the IBM employees have written.

Even if you only empower 25% of employees and they have 500 followers (which is the average on LinkedIn) that would give a reach of 45 million.

NB: This is not stuffing employees with the crappy corporate content nobody reads through advertising, email and cold calling.  This is getting HR to empower people to talk with their own voice.  

It's time to change.