RTT – Using Social Media to Strengthen Employer Branding and Promote Careers Pages

These are the thoughts and takeaways from the latest Singapore Resourcing Think Tank (RTT) held on Tuesday 9th April 2013 hosted by Mercer’s Leesa Rawlings (Regional Talent Acquisition Leader) , titled ‘Using Social Media to Strengthen Employer Branding and Promote Careers Pages’.

The following summary has been prepared to reflect a segment of the discussion held amongst senior HR and Resourcing professionals from leading international businesses. Specific company details, experiences and examples have been omitted from this summary as all discussions are held under ‘Chatham House Rules’.

Social Media has been described as causing a fundamental seismic shift to the recruitment landscape, according to the seemingly ever growing body of ‘experts’ that have sprung up since its arrival. This Resourcing Think specifically focused on sharing best practice around building engagement with online communities and forums to strengthen employer brand and drive talent to their career websites.

LinkedIn for work and Facebook for home

Generation Y are traditionally more associated with Facebook but now LinkedIn are moving into this space. The fastest growing demographic on LinkedIn Asia are graduates. As the “Facebookers” start to mature it will be interesting to see how they develop their use of the tool. Will they still post what they are eating or will that evolve into more business focused conversations?

LinkedIn Licenses – Are they worth it?

One of the Singapore Resourcing Think Tank members reported that their organisation invested in corporate seats in Sept 2012 and now 25% of roles have been sourced through it! It could even surpass 25% based on the fact that they still have candidates in the recruitment process.

But can you effectively pipeline talent on LinkedIn? Good success has been reported with regards to niche top talent from a search perspective. These prospective candidates are then engaged and transferred into the ATS when they have been met by the business.

Create Original Content

Creating original content is key when looking for social media success. Encouraging line-managers to share content from their profiles is a great way of raising engagement and building a strong employer brand.

Where it can Unravel

You need on-going investment. You cannot do this as a one off. Make sure you have access to on-going resources before dabbling with social media. If possible, look at employing Social Community Managers to solely focus on driving engagement and building the brand online.

Big Bang or Targeted Approach

Do you have the right brief? You need to know why you are targeting a group of candidates and consider the consequences. If you use a ‘big bang’ approach and engage with a large number of candidates, you need to round off all of the relationships created. If a potential candidate or indeed a customer of your business receives a message and or sees that their profile has been viewed, you need to mange this new relationship and not leave a wake behind you.  As internal recruitment functions are run so lean these days the danger is that they are unable to do this and it starts to have a negative effect on your employer brand. So do you talent pool or just use social media to identify them and then approach when needed? Remember that you don’t need to boil the ocean.

Keep your Alumni Engaged

Build a strategy to keep in touch with your alumni and keep them engaged. Start small and use an individual department, like Resourcing, as a case study before transferring the success to the wider business. Look to build a community platform; providers such as Yammer / Jive / LinkedIn / Tripad are reported as being effective.

What is your ROI?

When embarking on a social media strategy it’s important to be able to demonstrate ROI from your activity, look at tagging your jobs with source codes through your ATS to monitor where response comes from. You can also add a self selection multiple-choice question such as ‘where did you find us’ to get to the bottom of job response traffic. One member reported success of 22 hires from Facebook sourcing at a cost of $250 – a great return on investment!

Another example of success concerns a member who needed to hire 100 new members of staff in the hospitality industry. This business invested $250 dollars to run targeted Facebook adverts specifically focused on geographic location, age and the key words in peoples’ profiles e.g. hospitality.  They were able to track response and see that the adverts had been seen by three million people. As a consequence, 7,000 people ‘liked’ them on Facebook, 1,000 clicked through to read about the job, 140 applications were submitted and they made 22 hires. That’s $11.3 a hire.  Great ROI!

Making Twitter Three Dimensional

An example shared during the Think Tank referenced Mars and their innovative use of  Twitter to engage graduates and build a wider graduate community. They took their graduate vending machine onto campus and automatically vended students a surprise gift if they ‘followed’ and tweeted Mars on Twitter. It increased awareness of all Mars products and generated good engagement amongst their target audience.

Strategic Workforce Planning

In 5 -7 years time Strategic Workforce Panning will be central to all HR functions. If an HR function is able to link potential talent to business development it’s likely to generate greater interest from the business. Why not consider charging the business a fee if they suddenly change their resourcing requirements and plant roles on you out of the blue?  This is common in a shared service environment – if capacity suddenly spikes you cross charge it to the business, so why not do it with recruitment?  The simple message to the business is: you need to tell me what product we need on the shelf so we can have it ready for you – simple supply and demand.

Talent Magnets

How can you effectively utilise key influential people to channel engagement and feed individuals into talent pools? Target employees who are top of their game and advocates of the business to spread the word, all the while ensuring they have a good online presence. We all know they get approached a lot, so you should be able to channel this potential talent and utilise it.

Use LinkedIn as a data mining tool.  Your top talent will be connected to other great talent within their sector. Give them the tools and information to have online conversations and ultimately win more business. The good news is there are specialist agencies that can help, for example Eversheds engaged eSocialMedia to show them how they can become more predominant online, be viewed as thought-leaders within their sector and build their credibility, which in turn led to them increasing their billable hours.  Suddenly the business becomes interested!

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