Nine years after the launch of Facebook and 16 years after the first widely available mobile phone, the growth in social and mobile is staggering: some 55% of the world’s cell phone owners say their main source of internet access is their mobile device. Overall, these “just-in-time” users amount to 62 percent of the entire adult population. Facebook reports 751 million monthly active users on its mobile platform.
All this mobile activity means billions of dollars a year in commerce – but it’s also the rapidly evolving backbone of a successful talent acquisition and recruiting strategy. Large companies are allocating big money toward talent recruitment at the nexus of social and mobile – and they’re getting big results.
Savvy recruiting and human resources pros have long seen social networks including LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter as a veritable gold mine of passive candidates. But now, the leading early adopters are building out entire, multi-pronged recruitment campaigns that take advantage of both social media’s high engagement rates, and mobile platforms’ ease of action.
Consider Joe, a 30-year-old engineer. Joe has been with his firm for several years and is happy, however – like many successful people in an uncertain economy – he wonders what other opportunities might be out there. Joe has “liked” several competing firms on Facebook plus signed up for e-mailed job alerts.
Today, it’s possible that the companies Joe is following have used sophisticated software to ferret out information about his employment and identified him as a potential right-fit candidate. Further, they may have noted that Joe frequently accesses Facebook from his mobile phone. Armed with that knowledge, it’s a short step to ask permission to send Joe text updates if they identify a great potential opportunity, complete with a custom-application link so he can quickly apply.
Millions of potential job candidates are connected to coworkers, competitors and colleagues — and the thousands of companies in pursuit of them. Employers that can deliver the opportunity message to the mobile, always-connected candidate in a personal, relevant, real-time way will be the ones with a strategic edge in engaging with candidates and achieving talent acquisition goals.
Telling employment stories with social and mobile
A July 2012 McKinsey&Company report notes that 72 percent of companies are using social technologies in some way, but also indicates there is great opportunity to drive higher returns from social investments. As global talent competition increases, implementing social and mobile strategies can make recruiting processes more efficient, increase candidate engagement and enable organizations to build a sustainable and scalable talent pipeline.
Social networks have become an important way to build the employment brand and showcase job opportunities, culture, and what it’s like to work with a particular organization. Mobile makes it easier for candidates to instantly apply, helping organizations close the talent gap faster. Let’s consider three companies that are successfully leveraging mobile in their recruiting efforts:
UPS – Nailing the candidate experience: Operating in more than 200 countries with approximately 400,000 employees, UPS has high volume hiring needs. Shifting recruiting strategies to focus on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and other social platforms has enabled UPS to build a global source of hire to meet talent acquisition goals. UPS has mastered effectively using social media to showcase their employment value proposition and brand differentiators. For example, to engage diversity hires, UPS created a three-and-a-half minute Women in Transportation video that highlights women in roles from executive leadership to brown van drivers.
Sodexo – Nailing talent attraction: Sodexo is the world’s 20th largest employer and has been serving up social since 2007. Their strategy: Show not just who they are, but what it’s like to work for the company and the different environments they offer. Sodexo has been successful in using social and mobile to drive traffic to its digital properties, including its career site and mobile-specific jobs app where candidates and employees can search and apply jobs from their mobile device. Sodexo has seen a 233% increase in visits to its mobile site and more than 1.5 million page views in 2012. To date, there have been 15,000 downloads for Sodexo’s mobile job app and has resulted in 107 hires. Of those hires, 53% were internal candidates, demonstrating social and mobile helps with internal mobility.
Home Depot – Nailing transparency and candidate communication: One of the biggest gripes from candidates is falling into the recruiting black hole where no status or notification is given in response to their application. Home Depot uses social media to make sure that doesn’t happen and actively communicates with its talent community. The Home Depot Facebook page is peppered with posts from candidates, customers and employees, inquiring about everything from application status to suggestions for policy changes – and nearly every question raised has a response from the company. Candidates and customers are active contributors to page content, whether that’s participating in surveys, revealing what the first day on the job was like or how their local store is performing.
The common thread between these and other leading companies in the social/mobile recruiting space comes down to one word: integration. No cute-but-otherwise-unrelated YouTube videos that aren’t integrated with a broader strategy and no custom apps driven by one department that thought they would be cool without consideration for the entire enterprise. The leaders in social/mobile recruitment take a strategy-first approach, build around existing strengths, and execute against long-term visions. That’s how they stand out in a crowded employment market – and other companies would be smart to emulate them.