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Social Media and the Employee Life Cycle

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The employee life cycle is something that is a hot topic for management gurus.  Google it and you’ll see.  There are articles upon articles out there that tell you the steps of the employee life cycle (the 4 steps, the 12 phases, and so on, and so on).  I don’t want to discuss or debate that.  What interests me is how social media can potentially affect an employee all the way through the employee’s life cycle.


Of all the professions using social media for work purposes,  recruiters are ten steps ahead of the rest of the world in terms of their effectiveness.  They have mastered sites like LinkedIn, Twitter, FaceBook, and blogs to be able to creatively source candidates.  They have found ways to search large amounts of information to identify candidates for hard-to-fill positions.  They are still posting positions on the traditional job boards and on company websites, but they are using the social media sites to get position information to go viral.  For more information on what top recruiters are doing in the social media space, check out

From a candidate perspective, they have more sites than ever in which to find jobs.  They are using key word searches, just like the recruiters, to find positions that may not be readily available anywhere else.  Candidates are getting to know recruiters directly on Twitter and LinkedIn for example, where they can actually establish a relationship before a position is necessarily even open.  The networking opportunities for both the recruiter and the potential candidates are abundant.


In many organizations, onboarding is not given much thought.  New employees are given an employee manual, their new stapler and tape dispenser, and shown where the bathroom is.  End of onboarding.  Ok, maybe that is a bit of an exaggeration.  But, I don’t think I’m far off base when I say that companies could use social media as a way to bolster the onboarding process.

One way is to point out the company’s stance on social media during the onboarding process.  This could involve encouraging new employees to check out any social media site the company uses.  If the company has a FaceBook fan page, tell the new employee to consider becoming a fan.  Maybe you have a special page for training, tell them about that.  Does the company use Twitter?  Share the information with employees.  Does your company have videos on You Tube?  Point the new employees there as well.  This will position the company as forward-thinking because they are embracing a form of communication that is becoming more popular with all generations in the workforce.

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