Employees twice as likely to use social media to leave their job than to collaborate with colleagues

Workers in the UK have given their employers a thumbs down when it comes to social media. Despite 61% saying that their employer has a social media presence, over two thirds want to see them become more active.

As well as experiencing a lack of engagement with their employer, office workers in the UK are twice as likely to utilise social networks to find a new job as they are to use it to collaborate with their current colleagues, according to research undertaken by Taleo Corporation, a global leader of SaaS-based Talent Management solutions, recently acquired by Oracle.

The “UK Social Talent Management Report” found that just 10% of office workers in the UK use social networks to discuss work internally with colleagues, despite 72% using social media at least once a month. Meanwhile, twice as many (20%) are planning to use the technology to help find a new job this year.

The research, which surveyed 1000 office workers in the UK, found that two thirds of employees would like their companies to be more active in social media channels. 61% of respondents say that their company has a social networking presence of some kind – LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter, for example – but 37% would like to receive more news from their employer through this medium.

Furthermore, just one in four UK workers thinks that their employer is leveraging the industry contacts and relationships that they have personally forged or nurtured through social media, suggesting that 75% of employees may have connections that could be of value to the business, but which are being overlooked.

Dave Wilkins, Vice President of Taleo Research, said, “Businesses are much more externally focussed when it comes to social technologies. Whilst this is undoubtedly helpful from a hiring perspective, many are missing a golden opportunity to engage with their staff through a medium that they are already using regularly. ”

“This lack of internal investment in social talent management and overall lack of talent intelligence can cause unnecessary turnover and lead to additional spending and investment in recruitment. In other words, if companies adjusted their social and talent awareness efforts to be more internally focussed, they may find that they could reduce their hiring requirements by better connecting with their internal talent.”

Internally focussed social talent practices can help to create a more engaged workforce and collaborative working environment and can help businesses to fully realise their employees’ potential through improved talent mobility and better job fit. Employers stand to benefit directly by increasing their social and talent focussed efforts internally, particularly when it comes to discovering and leveraging previously hidden employee skills and connections.