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Businesses are out of touch with a new generation of staff through failure to engage with social media, reports Hyphen


UK businesses are failing to engage with the workforce through social media channels, damaging their reputation as an employer of choice and their ability to attract talent, according to recruitment process outsourcing provider Hyphen.

The poll of 1,000 workers shows nearly two thirds (60%) of UK workers do not, or are unable to engage with their employer on social media channels, such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

A fifth (17%) say that their organisation does not communicate via social media channels at all.

The survey shows that the reputation of businesses is increasingly forged online, with more than half (51%) of UK employees saying that an active social media presence is an important factor in determining an organisation's overall reputation as an employer.

Members of so-called generation Y (25-34 year olds) draw the strongest link between corporate reputation and social media presence, the research shows.

Over two thirds (69%) of Gen Y employees think an active social media presence is important for an organisation's reputation as an employer. A fifth (19%) of Gen Y-ers look at an organisation's Twitter feed to find out more about the organisation they are applying to - compared to just 5% of 45-54 year olds - and half (50%) follow their employer's activity on social media channels.

Separate research from Hyphen's parent organisation, Adecco Group, showed that UK business is out-of-touch with the integration and importance of social media in the workplace.

A poll of 1,500 workers and 500 employers showed that well over half (59%) of employers think that access to social media at work is impacting on productivity. Meanwhile, only a third (36%) of workers subscribe to this view.

Zain Wadee, MD at Hyphen, said: "Used effectively, social media has the power to engage, attract and retain talent, foster new business opportunities and bolster reputation - online and offline.

"Our research shows that businesses are out of touch with a new generation of employees that communicate and engage with organisations online more often than they do offline. Businesses and brands that invest in digital and extend their communications to social networks will ultimately strengthen their talent and profit pipelines.

"UK business must now reassess their engagement and communication strategies; failure to do so could alienate a whole range of stakeholders - including current and potential clients, future consumers and, importantly, employees."