“I only have 90 connections, I know but I was only connected to LinkedIn about a year ago.”

Yes, I did look her up on LinkedIn and I thought “ ‘how you could be the head of HR and only have 32 connections?’ ”

These statements came from people I spoke with last week concerning the use of LinkedIn.

It seems that a lot of folks (professionals) have been asleep at the switch. The use of social media has transformed the landscape. I know of people that are dissatisfied with their career but they spend all their free time on Facebook instead of Linkedin. These same folks basically set up a page at one time on LinkedIn but never really went back to it.

Social media: THE most important tool for HR

Over the past couple of weeks, LinkedIn has slowly uncovered some new tools coming our way: Linked Classmates and LinkedIn Talent Pipeline. I can only image that what we see now from Linkedin will look nothing like what it will be in the future.

How could this be?

Social Media has changed the landscape of not only corporate America but our personal lives as well. Organizations are struggling with social media policy and how to integrate it within the cocoon of their organizations.

Our personal lives have been transformed with the likes of Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr. I often wonder sometimes what it was like before the onslaught of these tools. I call them tools because that is the way that I view each of them.

Their use allows each of us to connect with people that we could not in a thousand years ever connect to. It allows us to connect and keep in touch in ways that snail mail, or phones for that matter, never could.

Are you kidding me?

But in my sphere, LinkedIn is by far the most important tool for HR. Where else can you get a glimpse of a person or eavesdrop on someone’s profile in a legitimate way? This is what talent scouting is about. But when you look at senior leaders in the HR profiles it sometimes makes you shake your head, because there seems to be no real use of it.

My daughter told me an incredible story of a senior executive of her firm that refuses to use the computer. He writes out everything longhand and gives them to his assistant to type. All senior executives were given iPads to use in the sales calls and he flat out refuses to use one, saying it is a waste of time.

I recall a senior level executive who everyone assumed was way in over their head in their new role. This was confirmed when the executive had to prepare a presentation and he did not know how to put a deck together. He finally had to admit that he had never had to assemble one, not only from the technology vantage point, but even from just composing the slides.

Yes, one of the main competencies going forward for will be the use of HR technology.

The intersection of technology and analytics

HR technology and analytics is helping to transform HR into a decision science with a measurable impact on business. The expanded use of the Internet for the delivery of HR applications, especially on a service basis, is also emphasizing the importance of HRIS for organizations of all sizes. This creates new roles for HR professionals and the imperative to develop strong HR technology competencies.

Technology is fully embedded in so many aspects of business, so much so that understanding the use of technology in all areas of the business, and particularly in relation to human and organizational capital, enables HR professionals to speak the language of business in an environment that is increasingly technology-driven.

The use of social media leads to new ways of collaborating, organizing work, building teams and developing new knowledge and skills, and this can help further build organizational and human capital.

High Performance HR

Research indicates that companies with the most high-performing HR function behave differently when it comes to the use of HR technology in efficiency and effectiveness metrics. And, they also operated with 16 percent fewer HR staff.

So yes, the landscape of HR technology revolves not only around HRIS, SaaS and Talent Management systems, but also their new brethren of Linkedin, Twitter and Facebook on the other end of the spectrum.

Eventually all this technology will all collaborate for the greater good of the organization, so let’s all get on board.

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