Is HR really embracing social networking within companies? While it seems HR departments and other talent management professionals are actively using external social media technologies to recruit and research their candidates, they aren’t as accepting and/or understanding of their employees using the same technologies for internal use.

According to an April 2012 online study, State of Social Technology and Talent Management, commissioned by SilkRoad and delivered to professionals in human resources and other talent management disciplines, 75 percent of the 290 respondents feel their company is behind the curve when embracing and implementing internal and external social networking technology. The overarching goal of the study was to find out how organizations were using (or not using) social technology and how they were managing talent through this function.

The study reviewed both internal and external technologies – internal referring to the use of collaboration tools, and external referring to sites that exist outside the company, specifically Facebook and Twitter. The study found that 67 percent of the companies surveyed have adopted some form of the technology, or plan to adopt in the near future.

So why did most of the respondents feel their company was behind the curve even with a 67 percent adoption?

A deeper look into the study reveals that companies are using these technologies for the following processes: recruiting and hiring (64 percent); learning and development (54 percent); onboarding and offboarding (43 percent); innovation (37 percent); performance management (34 percent); and don’t know/other (21 percent). This shows that recruiting and hiring is the main function of HR social technology, and that using social technology internally for performance management has some room for growth. Also, top management is the main objective of internal social networking technology. The goal is to “drive new, innovative ideas through collaboration.”

The downfall of these technologies and the willingness of HR to comply with use is that they are finding barriers to entry (and effective implementation and execution) due to the worry that employees will misuse time on the system (46 percent); upper management is not perceiving a clear need (44 percent); there is a lack of budget (42 percent); and there are concerns about system security (42 percent). Because of these constraints, companies are noticing that social technology efforts are non-existent, not well-organized and/or poorly explained to facilitate proper and effective use.

So overall, HR is somewhat embracing social networking technology, but are lacking in the execution and implementation, which could be due to the barriers put in place by the C-Suite or because funds are unavailable.

Below is an infographic, created by Compliance and Safety, to help understand the key findings of this study.