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New Study from HCI and Cornerstone OnDemand Reveals Corporate Social Networking Trends in Talent Management

Key findings and insight into best practices for corporate implementation of Web 2.0 applications to be unveiled during December 10 Webcast

Washington, D.C., December 9, 2008 – While the formal implementation of social networks and Web 2.0 tools within corporate intranets is still in the early adopter phase, new research shows that an increasing number of organizations are informally experimenting with and benefiting from the use of these tools for business purposes. The study, conducted by global professional association and think tank Human Capital Institute (HCI), along with leading integrated talent management software provider Cornerstone OnDemand Inc., revealed that more than half of the companies surveyed use communities of practice/groups and chat/instant messaging (IM), with other popular applications including corporate social networks (49 percent) and blogs and/or wikis (39 percent).

For the comprehensive report, "Leveraging Social Networking & Web 2.0 Collaboration Tools in Enterprises," HCI polled nearly 200 of its senior human resources (HR) membership in September 2008 regarding their use of corporate social networks and Web 2.0 applications for business purposes. Research also included in-depth interviews with senior HR executives to reveal emerging best practices and early indications of the value and challenges of using these tools in the enterprise – particularly for learning and talent management.

Detailed study findings will be presented during an HCI Webcast titled “Best Practices in Integrated Corporate Social Networking” on Wednesday, December 10 from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. ET. Allan Schweyer, Executive Director of HCI, and Charles Coy, Director, Product Marketing for Cornerstone OnDemand, will share key research findings and insights into the successful use of corporate social networks and Web 2.0 applications for managing and developing workforces. To register for the Webcast, visit www.humancapitalinstitute.org or call 1-866-538-1909.

"Corporate social networks and Web 2.0 tools can have profound implications around the talent lifecycle, employee productivity and engagement, and channel effectiveness, as well as brand and product awareness, which affects the bottom line," said Allan Schweyer, HCI Executive Director and Senior Vice President, Research. "These new technologies are likely to be among the high-demand applications of the next generation of employees."

According to HCI research, there is a heightened awareness among HR and talent management professionals regarding the benefits of these collaboration and knowledge-sharing technologies for acquiring, onboarding, managing, developing and motivating employees. This includes allowing for better informal training by using communities of practice (29 percent) and threaded discussion boards (29 percent), improved communications via communities of practice (42 percent), and faster knowledge transfer via wikis and blogs (26 percent). Respondents also believe that implementing these tools will allow them to access and retain corporate memory and tacit information that could provide significant organizational benefits.

Despite the increased experimentation and perceived benefits of leveraging Web 2.0 applications in the enterprise, organizations included in the research felt that user adoption (37 percent) was among their greatest barriers in using these tools for business purposes, with lack of integration with corporate networks or other business applications identified by some as an inhibitor to employee usage. Creating a compelling business case for the tools (34 percent) also was seen as one of the greatest barriers to corporate usage.

“It is essential for organizations to get beyond the hype of these new technologies and to develop practical implementation strategies that support real business goals,” said Charles Coy, Director, Product Marketing, Cornerstone OnDemand. “Integrating social networking and collaboration tools with existing applications for learning and performance regularly used by employees will increase the chances for engagement and participation.”

Cornerstone recently launched a new platform, Cornerstone Connect, that takes a contextually relevant approach to corporate social networks based on specific use cases, such as employee onboarding, social learning, workforce planning and alumni engagement.

“By rethinking the way we approach talent management and integrating Web 2.0 tools such as communities and wikis into our overall solution, our clients are better positioned to succeed when dealing with modern workforce challenges,” added Coy.

To request a copy of "Leveraging Social Networking & Web 2.0 Collaboration Tools in Enterprises," please visit www.humancapitalinstitute.org.

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