September 25, 2011

Who Owns your Company for Good Strategy?

Company for GoodTooting your company’s horn can be a good thing. A great thing, if your company is doing something above and beyond turning a nickel.

LinkedIn is a great example of how a company can get some good out of doing good. They regularly post about how their employees give back on their company blog. There is of course a dual function to these posts: to show their employees how valuable their contributions are to the world and to make LinkedIn look like the coolest company in the world to work for.

More than just an uncoordinated charity event, however, LinkedIn has made giving back a real systematic program. Their “LinkedIn for Good” program is an internal company campaign that even has its own LinkedIn group.

Who internally owns this LinkedIn for Good plan? It appears to be their Manager of Social Media, Employment brand, & Community, who from her profile seems to be an expert, having managed a very similar program at Yahoo!.

These “Company for Good” programs are a great example of how to combine talent acquisition and social media. Thinking about talent acquisition in terms of employee attraction and retention can reshape the typical responsibilities of corporate recruiting. When you think about talent acquisition professionals as essential brand ambassadors for your company, it’s very easy to see how employment branding and acquisition efforts more often resemble PR and marketing than Human Resources. It makes sense that as PR and marketing became more “human” with the advent of social media, Human Resources has picked up the torch for many companies as advocates of social media’s utility for the workforce.

Not every company has formalized their community outreach and charity efforts into an official “Company for Good” strategy. However, if you have an organized program, it’s a good idea to externalize it; make it an outreach and social effort, rather than a simple internal plan. For example, the LinkedIn for Good Foundation is only “Currently limited to LinkedIn employees,” suggesting a movement instead of a limited internal employee motivation effort.

Who can better externalize and publicize the efforts your employees than employment branding or corporate recruitment specialists? If you do have a formal company charity or program for doing good, who owns it? Is it marketing, PR, or operations? Or is it Human Resources? Is social good the next logical function of Human Resources?

Read more in Social Responsibility

Marie is a writer for covering career advice, recruitment topics, and HR issues. She has an educational background in languages and literature as well as corporate experience in Human Resources.