Written by Sophia Kenvold who works as Consultant & Project Manager at Mindjumpers.
Strategic HR entails attracting, developing and retaining high-performing candidates to your company. Previously, companies would communicate with employees and candidates via traditional push messages, but now they are required to adapt to the changing consumer and employee behavior, where the tendency is to rely on and trust peer recommendations.
Social media is ultimately about establishing relationships. Integrating it into your company’s current employer branding and recruitment strategy thus provide the company with an opportunity to present itself in a more transparent and credible way by connecting and engaging with employees and candidates.
Using social media for employer branding and recruitment provides the following benefits:
- An opportunity to enter into dialogue and engage/attract potential candidates.
- Creates a common understanding of the company.
- Builds communities and create long-term relationships that in turn will strengthen the pipeline of talented candidates.
- An opportunity to have employees act as ambassadors on behalf of the company and provide a preview of what it is like to work for your company.
- A possibility to reach passive candidates through targeted messages.
- Promotion of the company’s Employer Value Proposition (EVP).
Leverage Employees as ambassadors
Your employees drive your business, and allowing employees to become ambassadors on behalf of the company in social media will have a positive effect on your employer brand. It creates credibility, transparency and provides candidates and other stakeholders with the ability to meet the company at eye level, gather valuable insights about the company’s EVP as well as vacant positions. This is further supported by a study done by the employer branding specialists CORE:WORKERS who found that:
- 59 % of potential applicants say that information from employees is more credible than if from the company.
- 70 % feels that positive posts from employees and fans make them more likely to send an application.
- 57 % of applicants expect that the company interacts with fans and followers.
In turn, the recruitment process is further strengthened by the knowledge and insights companies can gather about potential and current employees from listening to the conversations taking place on the platforms. However, although employees can be a powerful tool in promoting your employer brand it is vital that they are empowered to act as ambassadors. Therefore, it is important to have a social media policy in place, where you communicate your expectations to your employees. You can read more about how to implement a social media policy in our previous blog post.
A successful case: Novo Nordisk
The use of social media has had a positive impact on Novo Nordisk’s employer brand. They chose to shift their strategy of recruiting graduates from a focus on traditional advertisement to almost only communicating through social media using employees as ambassadors. The initiative included a Facebook page, a Twitter account and a company owned blog, which were the primary platforms used to create awareness and engagement. The blog includes current and former graduates (ambassadors), who share their experiences. The Twitter account is managed by Novo Nordisk graduate, Chris Hedquist, who tweets about general news and subjects from the graduate blog.
From these initiatives, Novo Nordisk accomplished to create transparency and credibility by letting current graduates be responsible for distributing and streamlining the communication across its social media platforms, which resulted in:
- Applicants for the Graduate Programme almost tripled since 2008 (1.250 in 2008 to 3.500 in 2011).
- 35.00 unique visits on the website and 7.000 visits on the blog
- More than 3.500 applications, from 92 countries – nearly index 300 compared with 2008
- KPI reached (being that 50 % of applicants should be of international origin).
Have you integrated social media into your current employer branding activities yet, and what are your experiences?