It’s a well known (annoying) fact that many candidates don’t really trust us recruiters. They think we’re strange little people intent on ripping them from their cosy jobs and their current workplace friends and placing them somewhere they won’t like or be happy in, all for our own financial gain. So, how do you attract potential employees to come and work for your company when they are naturally suspicious of our motives for doing so?
You get your current employees to attract them for you, of course!
Potential employees trust current employees. And why shouldn’t they? After all, these are the people on the ground floor of your company, experiencing the daily grind as it really happens and living the company lifestyle as it really is. If candidates are interested in working for your company or are prompted to check out a company after a recruiter’s approach, they will be especially curious to find out more about the job and the company from the people who know the most about it: the employees.
So why not get those candidates talking to your staff and why not encourage your staff to put themselves out there and talk about or even document their experiences with your company?
“In an age when people are more connected than ever before, your standard employees can be a tremendous asset in acquiring fresh faces around the office,” say the team at OnRec. “From the minimum wage janitor to the upper-level manager, everybody on your team can help bring in new talent”.
And we very much agree, which is why we’ve put together a list of 6 clever ways companies around the world are empowering their current employees to go forth and be the best representatives they can be:
“A Day In The Life” Videos
“How does a person know if they have the skills and the passion to do the advertised job? Sure, there is a job description that paints a relatively general outline of the position, but it doesn’t really give someone a clear idea of what his or her day-to-day life will be like,” says LinkedIn Influencer, Paul Petrone. And you have to admit he has a point. It’s all well and good telling a candidate what they’ll be doing, but wouldn’t it be so much better if you could show them?
That’s exactly what Marvin Li, an engineering manager at LinkedIn, did. He decided to wear a GoPro on his head throughout an entire day of work, in order to give any potential candidates a very clear insight into exactly what he does throughout the day:
Now, just imagine if someone who was applying for a job like Li’s saw that video. They’d immediately know if this job was a good fit for them or not, wouldn’t they? Would a code mad engineer have realised from a written job description that Li’s job primarily involves managing people? Maybe not. Or would a great people manager be put off because she thought there was lots of hands on coding involved? Maybe so. By being able to see the job play out as it happens, each of those potential applicants gets a true picture of what will be expected of them in the role and whether or not it’s for them. A decision that will save you, the recruiter, a lot of time.
PathMotion Live Q&A Sessions
In order to leverage the power of an organisation’s staff members as brand ambassadors, PathMotion created a platform which allows a company’s employees to centrally answer questions from their potential candidates and interested parties. The platform allows potential candidates to gain real insights into the inner-workings of the company by letting them explore various aspects of the staffs’ jobs and ask questions regarding their position and their experience.
One of the most recent Q&As held on the platform, was a career panel for students centred on audit and included several employees from finance giants; Deloitte, KPMG and PwC. Throughout the panel students were encouraged ask any and all questions they had relating to a career in audit including; “What choices do you offer for international students into your firm?“, “Does having an ACA increase salary for a career in audit?“, “What makes an Audit Candidate stand out in applications?”, “What does your typical day look like in audit?” and “What’s the work life balance working for professional services networks?“, while the staff ambassadors were encouraged to speak freely and openly about their careers, the business, their motives and provide any advice they felt was relevant:
For the students, the opportunity to interact with employees whose career intrigues them or inspires them, is priceless. Not only do they get to have a conversation with real people with real experience of the career they want, but they also get a unique insight into life at and processes within the companies they’re thinking of applying to.
On the flip side, this is a fantastic employer brand building exercise for Deloitte, KPMG and PwC to be part of. Not only are they being given the opportunity to put their brand out there as a great place to work in the audit industry, but by taking part in this career panel they’re also showing students that they care about their career journey and will find ways to help them on that journey every step of the way.
“If it doesn’t scare you, it’s not worth trying. That’s the approach we took as the Cisco Talent Brand team in our latest social media endeavour,” says Cisco’s Carmen Collins in an article for EREMedia.com. Yes, the pioneering talent team have just launched their WeAreCisco Snapchat channel and, in an even more brave and daring move, have handed the keys straight over to their employees.
Their reasoning for taking this bold step? Not knowing “what in the world could a Talent Brand team post that anyone would care about?”.
“Over the past year, our Talent Brand story has really gelled around the idea of the personal connections we can make with our current employees and technology and future employees. It has definitely become a rallying cry with our employees — #WeAreCisco! We decided that if we were going to really do this, a WeAreCisco account wasn’t what the Talent Brand team would post. It would have to be about our employees,” Collins continued.
How did they decide which employees to entrust? “While growing our talent brand in social we noticed that we had a core group of employees that were our “super” ambassadors. We decided to put out the “Bat Signal” to these employees and create a group, which was so awesome that we gave them the code name: Kitten Rainbow Unicorns. Everyone we asked was excited to be a part of this elite group, so much so that they started Snapping on their own accounts pictures from the meeting that we had to announce the program. They started calling themselves “secret agents for Cisco.”
But, as you can imagine, launching and sharing a Snapchat channel with 30+ people is a bit of a logistical nightmare, which is why Cisco decided to create a content calendar for their channel in order to create some structure around the process. The calendar allowed each person in the selected group to sign up for a particular day and list what topics/subjects they’d be covering in their snaps. The first two weeks of the calendar were full within 24 hours.
“Seeing the content calendar come to life at launch, however, was an experience like no other. The Kitten Rainbow Unicorns exceeded all expectations. It made me, personally, a little emotional. I get to see our employees and how amazing they are every day as I create content about their life at Cisco to share with the world. Now, an entirely new audience gets to experience it, and that makes me feel like a proud social-media momma,” Collins gushed about the new social media departure.
Not only has the WeAreCisco Snapchat channel assisted in their hiring efforts, but it has also helped to boost employee morale and engagement. “As a global employee, I absolutely loved it, and especially loved seeing the office in San Jose and seeing some of the execs!!!” said one overseas employee.
Despite the channel’s success so far, Carmen Collins made it clear that the WeAreCisco Snapchat channel was an ongoing project, with many questions still hanging over its existence. “We’re still figuring it out as a team,” says said. “Snapchat is a mystery to brands now the way Instagram was a year ago and the way Facebook was in it’s early days. How will we grow it to a bigger group of employees? How will we measure it? What will we do when we make the inevitable mistake? All this doesn’t matter. The WeAreCisco story is so strong, and our employees are so amazing, if we don’t tell it on Snapchat, that would be the mistake.”
Back in September 2015, I went on my two weeks holidays. But, being the only member of the now 6 strong Marketing team at the time, in order to keep up the Social Talent blog while I was away, I needed a little help! So, it was decided that we’d do a two week blog takeover which required each member of the Sales team to write a blog.
And although there were a few grumblings when the task was brought up, the reaction we got to the takeover was sensational! Not only did the blog itself benefit from a fresh set of ideas and perspectives, but our customers were delighted to read material written by the people they were dealing with over email and over the phone. The other benefit? The opportunity to write a blog and have it published to a large audience was very appealing to our job applicants. One of those applicants was Brian, who now works with our Sales team. Check out his blog entitled “What Recruiters Can Learn from Leicester City” here.
Alternatively, but in a similar vein, Andy Headworth suggests creating a blog based on your employees career paths. “Start a blog with employee profile features—these are still very popular and give great insight into your company culture. By sharing the journeys and successes of recent new employees, you’ll provide opportunities for potential applicants to relate to your current talent, while demonstrating different career paths and opportunities in your company”.
“If your employees are big on Twitter, why not add them all to a list?” says Lauren Dugan from Adweek.com. “This way they can network together, and you can show off your employee’s social media savvy to potential clients or customers”, or in your case potential candidates.
The idea has definitely worked for Sprout Social: “At Sprout, we’ve curated a list of Twitter handles for everyone on the team (entitled Team Sprout). This way, we can all follow each other and continue forming the company culture by encouraging interaction. It also allows customers to see the people behind the product and develop a deeper connection with our brand.”
Not only does it help their current employees (81 in total) to have a staff directory on Twitter, but Sprout Social also use the list to showcase the staff they’re obviously very proud of to any potential candidates that come looking. They use their staff as a living, breathing advertisement for how vibrant and exciting a company Sprout Social is. Furthermore, “sharing employee generated content is a great way to your support and encourage advocacy”, says Audra Knight. “Employees can be a fantastic asset to your recruitment efforts. You will miss those tweets in your stream if you simply follow your brand advocates without adding them to a list”.
Our final suggestion for how you can involve your employees in the hiring process, relates to onboarding and a rather novel approach used by the folks at Lever, a tech recruiting company. In fact, it’s one of the most unique ways of onboarding new hires we’ve ever seen and certainly one that everyone in the Lever team likes to get on board with!
Jennifer Kim, Chief of Staff at Lever, says that in her experience at previous companies hiring managers “oftentimes miss the opportunity to reaffirm the new team member’s decision and celebrate with them”. She wanted things to be different at Lever. “We want candidates to know that the enthusiasm they felt during the interview process didn’t only exist to get them to join the team and fill a seat. We’re seriously stoked to be working with them and can’t wait for them to start”.
That’s why when a candidate decides to formally accept an offer, they get one of these in their emails:
That’s right! Jennifer ensures that EVERY new hire receives their very own personalised GIF when they make the decision to join the team. “We have so. much. fun. creating these GIFs. The hiring manager or recruiter will let out a “whoo!” from their desk and yell out “GIF Time!”. The team gathers and there’s a flurry of ‘I’m so excited about Sean’s and ‘Congrats Paolo!’s and ‘When is she starting???’ as well as, ‘What’s the choreography?’”
“We know it’s all worth it when recent hires are invited to join in on their first GIF-making and say things like, ‘Oh my gosh I loved my GIF so much!’ and ‘I was in a Lyft when I saw my GIF and totally freaked out!’” Kim continued.
But the GIF madness doesn’t end there. The hiring manager then cc’s the entire team on an email thread containing the “welcome gift,” where each employee then adds their own personal welcomes – which of course, includes more GIFs:
We love each and every one of these brilliantly novel and creative ideas for involving your most important asset (your people) in the hiring process! And we really hope that after viewing some of the ideas here, that more and more of you might be inspired to adopt a similar process in your organisation.
Alternatively, if you already have an incredible process, why don’t you tell us all about it in the comments below or hit us up in Twitter @SocialTalent.