Whenever you hire a new employee, you essentially incorporate their social network into the networking reach of your business. With this reality in mind (along with the measurable influence of an employee’s use of social media) you have to ask yourself, “Is a connected employee more valuable than a non-connected employee?”

Old and New Tools Used to Measure an Employee’s Network
Due to the prevalence of social media, this may seem like a new issue for businesses to consider, but long before Facebook, networking was always an essential part of doing business. The Facebook of our Dads was the Rolodex. This was a handy tool that sat on a desk and organized the contact information of everybody and every company in one’s network. The value of the Rolodex can be seen in old spy movies where a thief would break into an office to steal index cards out of the Rolodex. In our opinion, the computer hacking methods of today make for less dramatic movies.

Another tool that businesses use to calculate the worth of a potential employee is the resume. Resumes have a section for references, which can be used to determine how deep the network of a potential hire runs. Also, it has become standard practice in today’s hiring process for an employer to investigate a potential hire’s web presence and social media connections before hiring them.

One of things an employer is looking for when they Google a potential hire is, “How influential is their online presence?” If the names on a potential hire’s resume reference page and the connections on their social media accounts communicate a valuable network to an employer, then the candidate will more likely be hired. Why? Because the employer will believe that their business can take advantage of the new employee’s connections.

Does this Mean that Non-Connected Employees are Less Valuable?
The answer to this question depends on the position. For entry-level positions where the only thing required is to show up and put in 40 hours of work that requires little social interaction, the sharing of one’s social network with the company may not be that big of a deal. The value of a non-connected employee is completely determined by their job performance, and if an employee is really good at their job, then it won’t matter how many friends they have on Facebook and what they post about.

More Connections = More Influence = More Value
For employees that view their job as a career, and hold positions where their social networks can be an asset for your business (like a job in sales or marketing) their willingness to utilize their social networks to advance the cause of your business makes them extra valuable. An employee that uses their social networks to the company’s advantage may do things like brag about how great their job is. This will generate positive buzz about your business in the local community, which will direct new people to your website. Or, a connected employee may even go so far as to directly hit up the people in their social network for sales. Think for a moment how much money you would have to spend on marketing to achieve this kind and quality of reach and you will begin to understand why a connected employee is so valuable.

In the past, it was difficult to quantify the extent of a connected employee’s networking value. You could maybe give a bonus to the employee with the biggest Rolodex, but giving a bonus like this would be hard to justify because an employee with better quality contacts in their Rolodex may actually possess the more valuable network. With all the different ways to connect to the world through social media, there actually exists ranking systems that can quantify a person’s networking value.

Solutions to Quantify an Employee’s Networking Value
One such quantitative system is called a Klout Score. This score is a number between 1-100 that represents a person’s online influence. This score takes into account a complex and always-changing algorithm that uses 400 signals from eight different social networks. Klout.com defines influence as “the ability to drive action.” In regards to your business, hiring an influential employee with a high Klout Score could lead to people acting on their social media posts in order to generate more leads for your business.

Giving out bonuses and raises based on an employee’s Klout Score may still be flawed because it’s difficult to measure hard results from this score, but looking at something like a Klout Score is a good place to start. There are other business solutions that you can take advantage of to determine an employee’s networking value, like establishing an internal social network for your own company via your intranet and encouraging employees to use it to communicate and post ideas. If you had such a network for your business, you could then use analytics tools to extract specific data that you would need in order to determine an employee’s influence and value.

Solutions like these are revolutionizing the workplace by helping employers shine the light on employees whose online influence is influencing the company’s bottom line. To equip your organization with business solutions such as these, give Think Tank NTG a call at 800-501-DATA.

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