More than 60 percent of organizations today are currently using some form of social networking tools. Yet, less than 2 percent of human resources professionals are familiar with the term “social network analysis” (SNA), which is the mapping and measuring of flows of knowledge between people, groups, organizations or other components. These statistics emerged in research sponsored by Saba Software and the Human Capital Institute (HCI). According to the study, that gap in knowledge should be of major concern to enterprises investing in social networking tools according to the authors.
“Social network analysis is the foundation for successful corporate social networking initiatives,” says Allan Schweyer, executive director of HCI. “SNA reveals an organization’s information flow and true knowledge hierarchy. By knowingly applying SNA to its own social networking, organizations can begin to both improve existing networks and build new ones that will improve both talent management and overall organizational performance.”
According to the study, organizations are more than likely to be using social networking to improve onboarding (71 percent) as well as support recruiting (62 percent) and mentoring/leadership development (61 percent).
The study notes that organizations need to become aware of the importance of looking at their networks analytically. SNA can be an organization’s most effective tool to understand how information flows and to identify its most active, valuable employee hubs and connectors. A single, enterprise-wide platform for social networking can complement SNA as an actionable means for organizations to both improve their networks and consolidate knowledge flow to drive better performance around the talent lifecycle.