This Guide is about social media risks and the employment lifecycle. While plenty of guidance exists relative to social media marketing, strategic planning, business development and other related topics, very little has been done to address social media-related risks and human resources. As this Guide will demonstrate, social media risks relative to human resources activities are growing. This Guide will assist human resources professionals in identifying and mitigating social media-related risks before they manifest into damaging events that can take a toll on an organization’s reputation and profitability. A common historical response to social media has been to deny its existence within the organizational walls. As this Guide will show, it is no longer possible for organizations to bury their heads in the sand and ignore social media’s presence. Social media is not only here, it’s there, and there, and everywhere. Organizations no longer have the luxury of escaping social media’s influence in the workplace. In fact, the risks posed by social media are greatest within organizations that fail to acknowledge its existence. The goal of this Guide is to make the case that all organizations, regardless of their involvement in social media activities, are subject to social media risks in the workplace. As such, a desired outcome of this Guide is to assist organizations in implementing social media guidance related to human resources management. This guidance, in the form of policies and procedures, will protect organizations against the risks posed by social media, and in some cases, will provide organizations with the confidence to accept social media as a strategic objective.

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