Social Recruiting Adoption: Who Are the Champions?

Social Recruiting, or its praxis has been in recruitment conversations in the last few years, with some companies getting it right, and others having a go. I recall being asked 3 years ago, who should champion Social Recruiting in an organisation? Should it be Marketing, HR, Recruitment Managers – and the answer back then has been, anyone. It is still the same.

After attending a few useful events, and having a chance to run the Social Recruiting Conference, I have witnessed and been overwhelmed by diverse case studies from a wide range of companies, each with their own unique story and social recruiting journey. What is even more remarkable is that often times, these case studies came about as a result of just 1 person championing the adoption of social media in recruitment.

This reality is not restricted to recruiting alone. Having flirted with running other “Socially” themed events, the same scenario applies. This post will focus on the Recruiting space. It will highlight 5 key Social Recruiting champions in glocal companies.

Executive Level Buy-In: In this case, and it is probably the most ideal circumstance (but rarely happens), a very Senior Executive, at Director or Board Level takes it upon themselve to research Social Recruiting and how their organisation can take advantage of the concept to enhance their Recruitment experience.

A very strong case from my experience, is that of Deloitte France, where Jean-Marc Mickeler, Partner and Head of Employer Branding is leading their Social Recruiting strategy. Jean-Marc spoke at SRCONF Paris last December, and presented a case about Deloitte in France is hiring socially-savy professionals, but also growing an in-house social media brand ambassadors to assist their exisiting (albeit conservative) employees to be socially-ready.

I am delighted that Jean-Marc will be speaking at #SRCONF London conference on June 28th to share some results from their journey.

Early Adopters / Savvy Recruiters: Recruiters in this case covers Heads of Recruitment and Global Recruitment Professionals, who have always excelled within the corporate recruiting function. These guys have always been early adopters of technology and/or new ways to recruit. They challenge the status-quo and propose exciting but realistic recruitment strategies.

I have had the pleasure of knowing the likes of Matthew Jeffery, Head EMEA Talent Acquisition and Global Talent Brand and Ted Meulenkamp, Global Program Manager Employer Branding and Social Media at Roche, who have been (often times) the driving force behind their organisations (both current and previous) Social Recruiting strategy implementation. They both spoke at our first Social Recruiting Conference in 2010, and have continued to evangelise this subject both in words and deeds. Matthew is doing some fantastic stuffs at Autodesk (he is also speaking at SRCONF 2012 London), and Ted continues to promote Roche’s Employer Brand with active engagements on Social Media.

Exceptional HR Professionals: You always read/hear debates about how HR holds back, and not a champion of change. Some people even question why Recruitment (which has a stronger relationship with Marketing and Employer Branding) should be under and/or report into a HR function. The perception is that HR spends too much time with process, paperwork and a lot less on ‘passionate’ projects. However, I have seen cases of HR professionals influencing Social Media adoption in large and small businesses. I remember Damien Joliot’s presentation at SRCONF Paris. He is HR Manager at a small IT Consultancy company in France. Damien influenced their employees to be brand ambassadors and used Social networks and employee referrals to hire key and hard to find talent for their business.

Just one non-recruitment instance (and I promised not to digress) is that of Laurie Hibbs, HR Director of LexisNexis who is also their Social Communications champion. Laurie is a big Yammer advocate, and was the key person who introduced this social employee platform and uniquely drove the wider adoption across the enterprise.

External Resource / Consultants: Let’s face it – Social Media has created a whole new market for Independent consultants (myself included) who have made a bit, from advising companies on how to implement Social into their business.

Within recruiting, you will see a large army of able and willing Social Recruiting consultants who can and are assisting companies adopt Social Media in Recruitment. These guys write great blogs, share knowledge, speak at events and even work as short term consultants within organisations. Most times they work with a wide range of teams – HR, Recruiting, TA, Marketing, to create campaigns, manage profiles and enable engagements across the social media channels in order to attract talent.

Entry Level Social Media Interns: This seems to be a popular route for a lot of companies into testing out Social Media in Recruitment. I have seen a lot of our previous events delegates go back to their companies and create a role for an intern to manage their Facebook pages / Twitter profiles etc. For some, this seems to be working as it allows them to gradually build an engaging presence on these platforms and test the interactions theirin.

I know GE Europe are doing this quite well, and am sure there are a host of other companies who are introducing Social media into Recruiting by the wonderful support of Interns.

However you choose to adopt Social Media into Recruitment / Employer Branding, what matters most is that it is done right and you are getting value from the overall time (and money) spent.

We can continue to explore Social Recruiting strategy and adoption at #SRCONF 2012 London, and our weekly #SRCHAT. Hopefully, you’d join us at any of these.