In-house recruitment and social media - Event Notes


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A follow up to the \'How in-house recruitment professionals use social media to aid their recruitment strategies\'. Key points and observations

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In-house recruitment and social media - Event Notes

  1. 1. ‘How in-house recruitment professionals use social media to aid theirrecruitment strategies’ - September 13th 2012A follow up and some observations by Marcus Panton, event organiserFirst of all let me say a quick thank you to; Anne Carrigan (Director of Resourcing, Balfour Beatty),Colin Minto (Global Head of Resourcing, G4S), Charly Stephenson (Talent and Resourcing ProjectManager, KCOM), Katrina Collier (Founder, Winning Impression) and Rebecca Drew (EnterpriseAccount Executive, LinkedIn) for giving up their time to help make the event such a success. Also,thank you to James Kerr (Recruitment Practice Leader, Lockton) for providing such a great venue andkeeping everyone fed and watered. Introducing the panel GusanoLtd - Recruitment Training
  2. 2. For those of you that couldn’t make it…A quick overview:In the panellists we had a real depth and breadth of in-house, social media and recruitmentexperience and I am sure people would have turned up just to hear them speak. However I wasreally keen that the event focused on what the delegates wanted to talk about rather than what thepanellists wanted to say. To enable this, I encouraged everyone who registered to post questionsand topics to me before the night with a view that the most popular would be the focal point for theevening. From the questions and topics I received, 5 themes arose; so on the night the room wasdivided into 5 tables with each one being allocated a topic and a panellist. After the introductions,delegates were asked to sit at the table of most interest, whereupon the panellist facilitated adiscussion around the questions everyone had relating to the tables topic. We played a couple ofgames of musical chairs and everyone got to sit at 3 different tables.The 5 topics were:1 – Using social media to engage: sharing insights, creating talking points, blogs, news and events2 – Using social media on an international level3 – Utilising LinkedIn’s free applications4 – Using social media to position your brand5 – Fears about using social media Table Discussions GusanoLtd - Recruitment Training
  3. 3. Here are some of my observations from the night:Keeping up with the Jones’sA common theme coming from one of the tables was the sense that there is an element of peerpressure surrounding the use of social media in recruitment, almost as if one of the main reasons forusing social media is, ‘because everyone else is’. There is a lot of hype surrounding social media inrecruitment, and it’s moving very quickly, and there is a feeling that you’ve got to keep up. Onemight say there is a fear of being left behind.I was talking to Colin Minto about this, and he points out that this mind set is not the right place tostart any social media strategy or campaign. Colin noted that if this is a key motivator that triggersan action, then you will probably face resistance from senior management when you pitch your planto them, and then if they do give you sign off, you risk not generating the results that you hope for.Colin rightly says that the starting point has to be ‘why are we doing this, and what value will it addto the business’? Ask the following questions ‘Who is my audience? Are they on social media? Howare they using Social Media? Why are they using Social Media? What are they talking about andwhat do they want to get from using social media? Talk to the various platforms and gather the data.There is more to social media recruitment than LinkedInOk, so we know this already. One of the criticisms of the event was that it felt a little bit ‘LinkedIncentric’ with not enough emphasis on other channels – Twitter, Facebook, Google+ etc., etc. I takethis on board and agree it would’ve be interesting to have a relevant someone there from one of theother platforms, or perhaps someone from the in-house profession who has specifically used otherchannels in various campaigns they’ve run. As I write this, I think to myself ‘if this had been one ofthe 5 tables, it would have been the one I’d have picked to sit at first! Perhaps I could do an eventspecifically on this topic?However, LinkedIn are the ‘go to’ site when it comes to recruitment and there were someinteresting observations made by Rebecca Drew who facilitated the popular ‘Utilising LinkedIn’s freeapplications’ table. Number 1 – don’t underestimate the importance of your personal profile, and doinvest time getting it to 100% completeness; get your picture taken (you are 7 times more likely tobe contacted if you have a photo), complete your summary, and fill in the skills and expertisesections. Number 2 - Join relevant groups, they’re free to join and you can start engaging with targetcandidate communities straight away. Number 3 – Get your company page to 100% completenessand Number 4 - Keep your status updates on your company page fresh with news stories, events andawards. People are selective when it comes to the companies they chose to follow, so if they chooseto follow your company, make sure you communicate with them. GusanoLtd - Recruitment Training
  4. 4. People don’t work for you for the same reasons they buy your goods and servicesOK, something else we already know, but there were some interesting debates around this point onAnne Carrigan’s table, and the question of how to position an employer brand on social media was apopular one. The key thing here is separate out your employer brand from your company brand,Coca Cola’s wish to ‘refresh the world - in mind, body and spirit‘ isn’t a reason people decide to workfor them, and people don’t work for Nike because they want to ‘Bring inspiration and innovation toevery athlete in the World’. If you feel like this is a topic you are battling with, take some solace inthe knowledge that you are in good company; many people haven’t really started developing theiremployer brand within social media spaces yet.Tapping into stakeholders to build your networkOn the ‘Using Social Media to Engage’ table, Charly Stephenson noticed that a common threadamongst companies with well-developed social media strategies is how the in-house teams areworking closely with the various internal stakeholders. For example, partnering with the PR andMarketing teams so they can piggy back onto any events they are attending/hosting, as well ascoordinating the distribution of event information across the relevant social sites. Charly alsohighlights the importance of engaging with your employees and getting them to join groups, buildtheir networks and talk about relevant topics/get involved with discussions, after all potentialrecruits are more likely to be connected to your employees than to you.A question I picked up on that was being asked in various ways across each of the tables was the‘should I post all my jobs onto social media sites’? This isn’t a yes or no question, the important thinghere is to mix it up a bit and in-between posting jobs, you should share articles, updates and newsand ensure that you are engaging with your audience in a way that they will appreciate. Social mediais all about engaging with and helping others, it isn’t a jobs board and you’ll risk seeing your numberof follows shrink if all you do is focus on what you want.Have a plan in place…So you know who your audience is and you know where they hang out in social media land, you’veworked out what they want and with a bit of social media knowhow you begin to engrain yourselvesinto your target candidate communities and engage with them. However, what happens when theystart talking back? and what do you do if you don’t like what they have to say? Do you have a planfor this? Have you put rules in place? And, do you have the resources to follow your plan through?There is a lot of hype around social media and perhaps rightly so, never before have in-houserecruitment teams had such direct access to talent (take a look at all the companies cueing up tohelp you tap into this resource), however, Katrina Collier noted on her table a number of interestingquestions about the drawbacks of direct sourcing, the main one being ‘how to deal with the deluge ofapplications’? (especially in the current economic climate). This brings us neatly back to the earlierquestions to consider when thinking about how social media can aid your recruitment strategy, ‘why are GusanoLtd - Recruitment Training
  5. 5. we doing this? What value will it add to the business’? And, ‘Do we have the resources in place tofollow it through’?Here’s what some of the delegates said about the evening:Kelly Barrett, Resourcing Consultant at Talk Talk: ‘’A good evening and a great panel, it was good tobe able to choose the topics that we talked about’’Abi Agyeman, Internal Recruiter at Amoria Bond: ‘’I thought it was run well and size wise verymanageable. The pre-question idea was good and the structure worked really well, it was not what Iwas expecting. It was good to get so close to the panel and have the option of which 3 tables to sit at(although I would have liked the opportunity to sit at all 5 tables and ask the other panellists myquestions)’’Chris Gillham, Senior Recruitment Partner, Mahle Powertrain: ‘’It was a really good event and I feelI’ve learnt a lot about other ways of using social media. As a result of the event, we have purchasedsome social media listening software, we are talking to a media company about our careers page,we’ve changed our Facebook pages and have signed up for an official twitter account’’Kate Ball, Recruiter at Hotwire (part of Expedia): ‘’I really liked not being talked at! Charly wasfantastic, she spent time understanding everyone at the table and gave personalised feedback andadvice’’Thank you to everyone that gave me feedback, I’ve not been able to include everyone’s in this followup, but I do invite you to post feedback onto the ‘Modern day, best in class, in-house recruitment’and/or the ‘Institute of Recruiters (IOR) – Recruitment and HR Network’ groups on LinkedIn. and, youMarcus GusanoLtd - Recruitment Training