Last week I visited the Social Recruitment Conference in London. The line-up promised a glimpse into the international world of social media and recruitment. With companies like Unilever (global resourcing director), Accenture (UK), Intel (Europe), Pepsico (UK, Ireland, South Africa) and Societe Generale Group (France) I hoped to see some of the international developments in the field.

The short summary of the whole thing is that it was a slight disappointment. Perhaps the most positive surprise is “the challenge group”. The corporates, however, did not really amount to much and had hardly any concepts we have not seen in the Netherlands. We are certainly not running behind as Dutch, although there are slight differences are great and there are a few ‘ah ha’ moments for me were.

My take-aways from # srconf

Unilever in China did an online / offline combination gradutate recruitment campaign. A business course that uses the Facebook to enroll graduates from a university in Shanghai. They did the campagin with their biggest Chinese customer (Tesco). It involved a certain brand of toothpaste and the had to promote it at Tesco. Let’s see how good you are as future marketers. During these two weeks turnover was up by 40%.

Brilliant campaign, which turned recruitment into profit. No discussion about budget (which is in marketing at Unilever), it helped marketing. Incidentally, this is something that one of the panelists, Matthew Jeffery, was talking about later. Recruitment needs to become a profit center, because the talentpools and communities that we are building have great value to the entire organization.

Accenture gave the quote of the day. If you have nothing to say, just shut up. Social media is not about communicating, but communicating relevant stuff.

Accenture also saw an interesting problem. Social media is global, your brand is global, but your recruitment is local. Although we in the Netherlands at this point have little issues with it, since nobody reads Dutch except for us, but for English speakers that is of course different. With future developments in language technology (everything automatically translated properly) this problem will arise a lot more.

Intel indicated that they had to learn a new language: English. They speak because Intellisch at Intel. What she actually said is something I have been saying for years: every company is a conspiracy against the outside world. Each company has its own language, that’s a problem. Intel is aware of this and you need to be aware before you can do something about it.

Something else interesting from Intel was that Facebook fan pages were not branded career or jobs. Not everyone is looking for a job, but everyone is a potential candidate. So they have student spots. Another thing that Intel does very well is that it policy is that every question, no matter how strange, is answered within 24 hours.

Some numbers from Intel: in Poland, they have 30% of the hire trough GoldenLine (Polish Hyves), Romania 80% through Linkedin personal messages and in Kenya and Morocco 100% of recruitment through Linkedin.

Pepsico then spoke mainly about mobile. Now I am skeptical about Mobile and the first blazing story of all the top bananas gave me the shivers. The usual “everything is mobile, mobile, the world ‘. Indeed, sites like RecTec read on mobile, but apply?

That was also what Pepsico does. It provides content, but no job opportunities. Now I wonder how many people find that interesting, the answer is 3500 downloads of the app PepsiCo in the U.S. (so very few people). Who do have created 2100 job agent (that’s a lot) and there are 2 hires released and there are still 10 people in the pipeline. However, not directly, because you can not apply to the app. But they used tracking to know these people also used the app.

It was certainly a down to earth, nuanced story about mobile. Make you careersite suitable for the mobile, on that I am agree. She told me later at lunch that the idea of seveeral ​​people that using Linkedin to actually apply on mobile could remove the barrier to actually apply. I share that opinion.

Finally, there was still the challenge network, a sort of charity organization that each year hundreds of people and takes just after the summer reduces to 6. They showed how, with minimal budget (cost was £ 230 per hire) you can do well. Simply by communicating with people, not using too much processes and stuff. Also for example the alumni should be involved, only time alumni networks were mentioned during the conference. Alsos, they set up a small private community on their own (something I normally never suggest, always use and existing platform) with 103 members. However, there were 40 referrals that resulted in 38 hires out.

Disappointments

My primairy disappointment was that there was no real succes story, no case I hadn’t heard before that was properly explained.

The fact that nobody, except for the Challenge group, mentioned  alumni networks was a negative suprise as well. This just shows me it’s not just the Netherlands trowing this human capital away.

Perhaps the most disappointing of all however was that nobody mentioned crowdsourcing or co creation. Everybody was talking about building communities. Everybody was saying that not all candidates are looking, but they are all valuable. However, nobody dared to say the role of the recruiter was changing from ‘finding a new employee’ to ‘solving a human capital problem’. This might be with a new hire, but sometimes you can co create (and you don’t need a new hire) or even crowdsource a problem. There is always less talent working for you then there is not working for you, since there are always more people working elsewhere.

Over de Auteur

Bas van de Haterd Bas van de Haterd is professioneel bemoeial. Hij helpt organisaties met het begrijpen van social media en de gedragsveranderingen die dit met zich meebrengt op het gebied van de arbeidsmarkt. Organisaties huren hem in voor het verzorgen van inspirerende lezingen over de toekomst van de arbeidsmarkt, trainingen over het gebruik van social media voor recruitment of het opzetten van een recruitmentsite. Hij is tevens co-auteur van Personal Brand.nl en auteur van Werken Nieuwe Stijl. Hij is te bereiken op bas@vandehaterd.nl


142 views | Reageer (10 reacties)
  • Anoniem

    Thanks Bas again for attending #SRCONF and the review above. You are an industry expert and must have followed the stories of all these major brands before the conference. However, what struck me was how each company approached Social Recruiting in different ways, albeit with varying levels of budgets and unique end goals in mind.

    You are right – The Challenge came accross as a small organisation with limited budget, but with insights on specific numbers and stats on how they have fared. And of course, the use of alumni and referals has been invaluable for them. Maybe we shall see more corporate cases with other creative ways of using Social Media & internal/external Talent Communities.

  • Anoniem

    Thanks Bas again for attending #SRCONF and the review above. You are an industry expert and must have followed the stories of all these major brands before the conference. However, what struck me was how each company approached Social Recruiting in different ways, albeit with varying levels of budgets and unique end goals in mind.

    You are right – The Challenge came accross as a small organisation with limited budget, but with insights on specific numbers and stats on how they have fared. And of course, the use of alumni and referals has been invaluable for them. Maybe we shall see more corporate cases with other creative ways of using Social Media & internal/external Talent Communities.

  • Hi Vic,

    Well, no, I don’t know what these companies are doing to be honest since I don’t follow that many international social media stuff. There is enough going on in my own country. Hence my slight disappointment to find out that even though there was only one speaker I knew, I heard little news. 

    What I missed was indeed what you say: the creative ways of using it, like the Challenge group does, without much budget for example. And if you do have budget, how can you use it better? 

  • Great comments and glad you liked the results from The Challenge. Hopefully this will change your mind on recommending private social networks, even for small organisations on a restricted budget.

  • Hi Hugh, 

    Well, the question still remains, will it expand and couldn’t it have been more effective and cheaper build on for example Facebook. The connections they have are crucials, but I’d still build my communities on the places where people are already.

  • The Challenge have a presence on Facebook as well as their private network. We don’t see one as an alternative to the other. A public social network is great for the initial attraction but once you want to engage deeply with people, let them do and see things “because you trust them” and maybe communicate in a more confidential fashion then owning your own network offers a seamless social process for candidates and a safe space for employees/alumni. 

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