79 per cent of employees in UK mid-market businesses believe social media integration with back-office solutions is essential to improving productivity, employee collaboration, supplier engagement and streamlining recruitment processes. These are key findings of research carried out by Source for Consulting in partnership with Advanced Business Solutions (Advanced).
The report is based on a survey of finance, HR and IT staff from 160 mid-market UK organisations, carried out to examine changing attitudes to the use of social media as a means of improving productivity.
The survey reveals that 86 per cent of organisations currently use social media to market themselves externally and 75 per cent to understand what is being said about them in the public domain. 69 per cent also respond to queries and comments from existing customers, potential prospects and suppliers who are using these communication channels.
In contrast, just 17 per cent of organisations surveyed in the report are using social media tools such as enterprise social network systems and intranets to collaborate, share information sources and receive answers to queries internally.
However, almost two-thirds of respondents believe that their organisations should be doing more with internal social networks in order to drive employee collaboration. 69 per cent also feel that using internal social networks can help to cut down on unnecessary email.
Simon Fowler, Managing Director, Advanced Business Solutions (Commercial division), comments: “Although social media is widely used for sales, marketing and customer services, it is not as well established as a means of optimising productivity by improving employee collaboration.
“People are an organisation’s most valuable asset and social technologies enable them to collaborate and share their knowledge quickly and easily from wherever they are working. This technology is ideal for bringing disparate teams closer together, enabling them to share their expertise and build on their combined knowledge.”
The research revealed that only 13 per cent admitted that they use social media to engage with suppliers but 58 per cent stated their organisation should be doing more to leverage mutually beneficial opportunities and gain greater visibility of potential supply chain issues.
Just 21 per cent of mid-market organisations have an established approach to using it for recruitment and to engage with potential employees.
Social media can transform recruitment by enabling organisations to engage directly with potential employees via LinkedIn and online recruitment websites. Solutions such as OpenHR from Advanced include dedicated e-recruitment functionality that enables HR staff to manage online recruitment processes and record candidate information, eliminating the need to employ recruitment consultants.
“e-recruitment helps organisations identify the most suitably experienced and highly qualified potential employees and begin talking to them immediately. This reduces the time it takes to recruit new staff and the reliance on recruitment agencies which can help organisations save substantial amounts of money,” concludes Fowler.