Professionals are called upon to increase the value of organizations, with their time, their ingenuity, and their innovation. When the relationship between employee and employer is based on a clear employment brand, with an underlying employee value proposition, performance in these areas can only improve.
With various social media tools at your fingertips, professionals involved in recruiting talent can also convey these elements of the employer experience more quickly, and create a more streamlined, and less costly, recruitment process.
Towers Watson researched the financial implications of programs that support a desired culture, including employee value propositions, and found that HR professionals in over three hundred companies were more than twice as likely to indicate that they had higher financial performance.
And companies such as Hyatt Worldwide were able to realize up to 80 percent savings in recruitment costs over the first few years of their implementation of such tools as search engine optimization. They’ve been seen as leaders in their field, and are often asked to speak at conferences.
So how did Hyatt do it?
Hyatt employee turnover historically averaged about 30 percent but decreased in the past two years, partially due to their embrace of social media in recruiting talent. In 2008, Hyatt’s recruiting team was the first group in the company to reach out to social networks, and it allowed them to have an immediate, positive effect on their employer brand.
They began to use social media as a tool to convey their company culture and brand attributes – the things that make the company unique – and they found that candidates who connected through the company’s social networks tended to be more engaged and interested in a position than those responding to one of the innumerable ads on job boards.
Rather than building an employment funnel, they were beginning to build an employment tunnel. This happens when the people who are entering the pipeline are already aware of what you stand for, and are engaged in your mission and vision.
Recruitment staff found that some job boards weren’t allowing potential employees to apply to Hyatt’s jobs directly, which made it difficult to determine whether the job board was effective. It also made it difficult to control the brand message. So Hyatt used search engine optimization to get applicants to its site, rather than using job boards. Using Taleo Anywhere software, they were able to have job seekers search Hyatt openings in its internal and external career sites, on Facebook, or through an RSS feed.
According to Bersin & Associates’ “Strategic HR and Talent Management: Predictions for 2012”, which studies the spending and resource allocation trends in recruiting, the recruiting market is $124 billion, and 10 percent is spent on social networks already. With LinkedIn’s plans to build out its talent acquisition platform and tools, it is likely that this percentage will increase steadily.
And how can you engage candidates with your employment brand using social media?
An employment combines the customer brand with the company’s culture. It is authentic and meaningful to all employees. It should be unique, but most importantly it should not change frequently. Consistency in your work force will come from consistency in your employment brand, and regardless of whether you have a formal employment brand, employees believe that you do. Make sure that it is positive.
An employee value proposition needs to begin with the business, and authentically align with its business model. In building an EVP, one can use engagement surveys to employees, best-practices research, and a company’s mission and vision to begin to frame out a formal EVP to support the employer brand. Threading the EVP language into policies, performance management systems, engagement surveys and communications can remind employees of the stated EVP.
In order to quickly and effectively convey this brand and EVP to employment candidates, a variety of social media tools can be used. Having a Facebook creates a more personal touch and acts to engage a community of people with similar interests, while LinkedIn is generally used for more traditional recruiting. Again, LinkedIn is planning to build out their tool, so it’s good to get in on the ground floor and build your presence early.
Twitter can be used for advertising job openings and for quick conversations between candidates and recruiters. Hyatt actually found that their twitter handle (the first in the company) received quite a few customer service requests, so a separate Twitter feed was created for that purpose. Finally, you can use YouTube to share employee-produced video and recruiting advertisements.
The easiest start is with LinkedIn, where you can explore and create a formal page for your current and past employees. Facebook is a natural extension from that, but Twitter may be a more intensive project and best saved for later, when you have more experience. YouTube is a great tool if you have ready content, but it may not fit with your brand, or your budget (in terms of video production costs).
The benefits of social media tools are that they’re relatively inexpensive, they have great reach, and naturally great targeting. The cost is mainly the time it takes to manage the accounts. At Hyatt, a large, global company, each social network gets about 30 minutes of attention per day.
A final few tips: Respond right away and ensure that there’s fresh content. And keep learning about the newest and best resources. Know when NOT to jump on the bandwagon with some of these networks.