Northeast Ohio employers are using Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media sites to enhance marketing, networking, relationship building, and recruiting, reports the Employers Resource Council (ERC) in its recently released survey of how Northeast Ohio organizations are using social media in the workplace. According to the survey, 49% of employers use social media for networking and relationship building, LinkedIn being the most popular site.  A significant industry distinction: non-profits and non-manufacturing companies use social media to a much greater degree than manufacturers.

Not surprisingly, most organizations (60%) are discussing using social media to enhance external operations with customers and fewer (33%) are considering ways of using social media to enhance internal operations with employees. Forty-six percent of employers informally monitor the use of social networking tools by employees and 44% have at least one policy regarding employee use of social media in the workplace.

As we previously blogged, it is imperative that employers have a policy that is reasonable and capable of being monitored and enforced. Employers also need to carefully consider the use of social media in the recruiting and hiring process, where an employers’ net surfing can result in exposure to discrimination claims.

We recommend that employers recognize and accept the use of social media in the workplace and implement a policy that is consistent with company operations, culture and goals.