Spiga

Corporate Social Networking, HRM and Performance Measurement

In India specifically, the demand for people, especially in the IT industry, is so great that most HR departments end up focusing almost entirely on recruitment. In such a scenario, their success is often, at the end of the year or quarter, measured by the number of people they were able to bring in. My ex-company, for instance, went from hiring about 20 people a month, to 200 a month over the course of 3 years. So as such, the management were happy that HR were doing a good job.

At the same time, I could see that the quality of the people hired was going down and it was difficult to find anybody suitable for projects within the company resource pool.

Surely, there are organizations where the performance of HR, or hiring managers, is part measured by the performance of the people they hire? So if a hiring manager recruits 10 people that perform very well, then his own performance must be seen to be higher than the norm.

At the same time, I have seen that project managers with a higher level of interaction with HR departments, usually end up gaining a lot more that project managers that do not interact with the HR department so much.

For instance, if two department heads in a company, need to hire 10 guys each, then the probability that the department head, who has more 'friends' or connections in the HR department, would get his/her needs satisfied earlier and with better quality. This is probably a sweeping generalisation even for an Indian scenario but is probably true as HR managers, by virtue of their role, are more people-oriented and therefore thrive working in interactive environments.

At the same time, if, going back to my original point of measuring HR's performance partly by the performance of their hires, the line managers are well connected to the Hiring (HR) managers, then there is probably a good chance that they will rate their hires higher than they would rate others.

In a social networking context (this is where my idea comes in), it could be very beneficial for organisations (especially large ones) to build a virtual social network of all its employees. A platform where employees can share fun, gossip and even do work would mean that organisations are able to 'monitor' the number and strength of their employee webs. Companies , however, do not need to provide a social networking platform in order to get this data. A simple network web, created by data from who calls whom, or who emails who, can be created by data thats already tracked and stored in many large organisations.

Not sure if my idea was delivered very eloquently, but what I am really suggesting are two things,
(a) That performance of HR managers be part-measured by the performance of their hires
(b) That corporate social networking implementations, have a number of benefits for companies but most of all for HR.

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