June 3, 2013

Hiring with Social: A Success Story

Social media concept in tag cloud of thumb up shape Talk about employer branding, social reach and just good, fun business rolled up into one fantastic Instagram sensation. It looks as though ePrize, a fun-loving tech company, is leading the way in getting employers on the social media wagon for the purposes of hiring. Yes, recruiters have been using social media to recruit for a few years now, but ePrize used it for actually hiring in an exciting way.

Recent college grad Samantha Bankey was following ePrize on all of their outlets in pursuit of a post-college position. Following companies on social networks as a method of job seeking has become a common practice for new grads. It allows candidates to get the feel of the company,  culture, and gauge their appreciation (if any) for newer technology.

Because Bankey followed and interacted with ePrize regularly (she was a former intern), she caught their eye. As they followed Bankey back on her social media outlets, namely Instagram, they gained an appreciation for her knowledge, growth and photography skills.

Less than two weeks after her college graduation, Samantha Bankey was offered a prized position at the company of her dream via an Instagram. Her boyfriend follows her Instagram and was the first to find out. Word quickly spread like wildfire to her friends, family and ePrize employees. From the employer’s aspect, ePrize used social media in an optimal way to scout out great talent that also fits into the company culture. Not only did they snag an excited new employee who feels valued DAYS before her first official day, but they got a ton of press just for snapping a fun photo!

Yes, Bankey already had her foot in the door at ePrize as an intern, but that’s not the point. Companies embracing social media in unique and surprising ways to benefit the whole organization is the moral of the story. This is ideal because:

1) Few have ever heard of ePrize outside their geographical location. This got their name out = Branding win.

2) Grads looking at smaller companies may realize they’ll be valued here and explore more = Campus Recruiting win.

3) Loads of media outlets (this one included!) are writing up the tale, driving traffic to both ePrize’s consumer and employer websites = Traffic/SEO win.

4) Samantha Bankey herself is probably flattered and excited to prove herself to her new employers = Engagement win (no pressure Sam!).

Company culture fit has been a big topic in HR lately. We have learned that a good fit leads to more productive interactions at work and higher retention rates. Using social media to scout, recruit and now hire, opens up a natural and easy, two-way dialogue between companies and candidates.

Given the pithy nature of social media, it can be a recruiter or hiring manager’s dream. Quick and constant snapshots of a candidate’s life, personality and professional perspective are optimal for recruiting purposes. The same goes for the candidate’s goals. They get to experience a company before they even set foot in the door and self-select out of the process if they find it’s not their cup of tea.

This particular candidate fit reached even farther than company culture. ePrize found a way to get her family and friends active in the excitement about her hire-on. You can’t buy that kind of employee engagement! This move in social media in hiring got all parties excited for a new professional relationship.

The benefits of using social media throughout the recruiting process are bountiful. Social media in HR simply cannot continue to be an untapped resource. Companies are not only becoming proficient in their use of social media, they are becoming innovators. There are so many engaging ways to use social media, use your think tank!

Newcomers and seasoned social media users alike, simply having a social media presence is no longer enough. Stories like Bankey’s are a call to action for stepping up your game. Get creative with social media and have fun with it. Engage your community, and share things that are worth sharing.

Read more in Employer Branding

Maren Hogan is a seasoned marketer and community builder in the HR and Recruiting industry. She leads Red Branch Media, an agency offering marketing strategy and content development. A consistent advocate of next generation marketing techniques, Hogan has built successful online communities, deployed brand strategies in both the B2B and B2C sectors, and been a prolific contributor of thought leadership in the global recruitment and talent space. Hogan speaks and writes on all career and workforce related subjects. Her clients include Fortune 500 companies and SMBs around the globe. Red Branch Media was formed in 2006 as a simple consultancy. Today, the firm is a full-service B2B Marketing Agency that serves clients in the U.K., Africa, China, Israel, Europe and North America. Primarily focused on the Human Resources and Global Workforce vendors, Red Branch Media handles clients of all shapes and sizes.
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