Employer Branding with Web2.0 & Social Media

Leveraging Social Networks at Affiliate Summit...

If your company's HR department is not already utilizing Web 2.0 tools and Social Media to market the company to job seekers, it should be. A new report by Gartner, Inc., shows that even though corporate marketing and web strategies are embracing social media, HR departments are generally slow to align with those efforts for the purpose of employer branding.

Job seekers today research companies the same way recruiters research job seekers. They look at what other people are saying about them on social media, blogs, and other Web 2.0 outlets. HR Organizations who don't attempt to control their employer brands online are missing a great opportunity and run the risk of missing the most sought after job candidates.

A recent study by Potentialpark Communications, a Swedish-based research and consulting firm, surveyed 1,800 U.S. students and recent graduates in an effort to identify the leading corporate careers sites. Rusty Weston wrote an article about the study, Checking Out the Best Corporate Careers Sites, that states:

"about one third of the rated companies use videos to present possible future colleagues, a walk through the office or the day-to-day work,” says Potentialpark’s Magdalena Knott. “The use of blogs, pod casts and web casts has not advanced too far until now, but the importance is rising."

The Top 10 U.S. Corporate Career Websites

by Potentialpark Communications

  1. Deutsche Bank

  2. Microsoft

  3. BCG (Boston Consulting Group)

  4. Merrill Lynch

  5. Accenture

  6. Charles Schwab

  7. UBS

  8. Booz Allen Hamilton

  9. Intel

  10. Bertelsmann

The Gartner report concludes that "By 2011, Organizations That Do Not Manage Their Employer Brands Effectively Will Fail to Attract Key Talent.

"Organizations are investing significantly in adopting marketing and sales strategies for social software, and Gartner predicts that by 2010, more than 60 percent of Fortune 1000 companies with Web sites will have some form of community that can be used for marketing purposes. Although many organizations hasten to adopt and exploit social computing in marketing, sales and customer support roles, Gartner has found that HR tends to lag behind."

According to Gartner, the first step that organizations need to take is to understand what is being said about them on social networks and informally benchmark this against competitors and peers, as well as companies that tend to lead in this area. They need to be prepared for candidates to enter the recruitment process with a much-deeper understanding of the organization than would have been expected previously. The organization must also look at new ways of improving its image online."

So where is an HR organization to start? UK-based Web 2.0 development firm, Organic Development, offers these suggestions.

5 ways social media can benefit an Employer brand

1) Blogging is a great way of building up your online presence and generating awareness of what it is like to be employed ‘on the ground’ within a company. They help the business engage with candidate and employee audiences directly. Moreover, with blogging comes the opportunity to ‘comment’, where readers can actually speak back to the business, giving their opinions and input: free market research.

2) Engage and respond to feedback. Responding to your candidate and staff opinions makes for a stronger relationship, gaining your customer’s trust and understanding. If people say good things about you, say thanks. This shows that they are genuinely being considered and their opinion matters.

3) Recruitment and HR Managers should welcome social networking sites such as Facebook, Linkedin and Myspace into the workplace. Not only are they tools for colleagues to recruit, promote HR policies, interact with employees and build relationships with each other but having them viewable by the public makes the company seem more approachable and engaging. Many companies are now using these sites already to recruit new members of staff, search for new business or to induct new team members.

4) Advanced search facilities allow people of all interests and niches to find and target what they are looking for quickly and easily. New and evolving audiences can be identified and reached without spending a penny.

5) If you create media that people enjoy and find useful in some way, they are likely to pass it on. Therefore, it is worthwhile seriously thinking about how social media could be incorporated into your business. The beauty of the concept is that through processes such as word of mouth, making a success of social media means sooner or later your audience will start to do the work for you. "

Blogger beware! Corporate blogging has its pitfalls. In an article written by Forrester Research analyst, and co-author of the book, Groundswell, Josh Bernoff comments on the recent Forrester survey that showed Only 16% of online consumers who read corporate blogs say they trust them. Bernhoff says, "This means that if you blog, your goal should be to create a blog about which people say “I like that – I don’t think of it as a company blog.” For the most part, that’s a hurdle you need to jump to gain their trust. I don’t mean to hide who is writing the blog. I mean it has to be more about your customers than it is about you."

The survey, and Bernoff's comments, are geared more toward corporate marketing efforts than employer branding. But the lesson is good for both. The job candidates you are seeking are savvy. They do read blogs and utilize social media. So relying solely on a blog for your HR and employer branding is not advised. Nor is posting the usual HR propaganda. Get your real employees involved and make your message transparent and believable. And use that content in conjunction with social media to create an organic source of top job candidates. Give them a real face to associate with your Employer Brand.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Views: 192

Comment by Michael Hanson on December 16, 2008 at 5:42pm
Great article - I think this can go a step further however ... if candidates are not FINDING your individual jobs as they are using Web 2.0 tools like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google, etc. then you will find your talent pipeline lacking in years to come. If you can ensure that passive and active candidates have the opportunity to interact (Web 2.0) with your jobs then you have taken the first step in marketing your brand and your jobs to canidates throughout the full cycle: active, casually looking, passively looking, and not looking.
Comment by Jim Durbin on December 22, 2008 at 5:52pm
An excellent point Michael. It's not just about joining social media, it's about understanding where you future employee spend time online, and making sure you're serving up regular content to them.

Job postings are a part of that content, but only part.

What this means is that recruiters are going to have to slowly morph into marketers as well as salespeople. And they'll have to do so in a way that still brings results. Having a Facebook Group but not tracking hires to it isn't acceptable.

So the question is what companies are doing this right? And can third party firms step in or fill that gap if corporations don't move fast enough?


You need to be a member of RecruitingBlogs to add comments!

Join RecruitingBlogs


All the recruiting news you see here, delivered straight to your inbox.

Just enter your e-mail address below


RecruitingBlogs on Twitter

© 2024   All Rights Reserved   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Privacy Policy  |  Terms of Service