Archive for July, 2012

Recruitment doesn’t stop at Attraction

The current G4S debacle highlights something more than an inability to hire enough security guards for London 2012. It reveals how ‘recruitment’ is the entire application journey from attraction to onboarding (and beyond). There are figures of attracting 100,000 applications, 10,400 being recruiting, 4,000 actually working, 9,000 in training… confused? Imagine if you’re a candidate? Now there are reports of attrition in the numbers reporting to start. That’s no real surprise. It just goes on and on.

Now, to us, attraction has always been just one part of recruitment. The candidate journey is what matters. The whole nine yards. Remember no-one is actually ‘recruited’ until they start on their first day. Until then, they’re still a free agent. As in this situation, poor communication at all stages of this journey means you’re likely to lose people. And probably good people at that. That means at all stages everyone should be pulling together as one ‘recruitment’ or employer brand. It’s not about recruiters saying we’ve got the numbers. Training wailing that they couldn’t cope. Or HR trying to distance itself from these recruiting issues. Everything should be cohesive. Candidates know this. They’re not stupid. And a glance at the 100’s of comments on the G4S Facebook recruitment pages shows exactly what they think.

And when one of the rising topics centred around recruiting at the moment is Candidate Experience – this whole episode highlights, or should, how important it actually is.

Why recruitment is a social experience… for entry-level Effectiveness


The Future Talent of your business. That’s always been a primary focus of recruitment. Until recently, that’s been realised as the focus on recruiting Graduates. Nowadays, Apprenticeships have come to the fore. But what about those at the pre-graduation stage of Uni or even those pupils at pre-A-level. Well, that’s the ITV approach. The attraction of the 14 to 24 year olds. The new generation of TV. The new mobile/social generation, in fact.

That’s why we targeted them all through Social media. For Work Experience. For Apprenticeships. For Internships. The popularity of Facebook. The growth of social TV – incorporating Twitter (think how many TV shows don’t use a hashtag these days). Their constant online, connected lifestyle. It makes complete sense. What better way to reach, talk and engage with them. Even before they’re ready to start a working life.


Involve them on a journey to a career and they’ll want it to be with you when they can start. Keep them engaged in the places they are. Don’t just talk about you as an employer. Talk cheese. Talk Christmas. Talk TV shows. Just keep talking. They use the platforms to keep in touch more than they do to just share content.

Remember that to most of this age group, texting has been second nature – so the progression to social media has been no great leap. Engage with them as they would their peers and you’ll have a friend, if not an employee, for life.

ITV were shortlisted in Recruitment Effectiveness at the CIPD RMAs for the entry-level initiatives of @ITVexperience, @ITVapprentice and @ITVinspiration. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the result we were hoping for in this one last night but we did manage to win Best Diversity Initiative with ITV and Best Employer Brand for EAT.

Why recruitment is a social experience… for Diversity


Can social media be utilised to show the importance of Diversity to an organisation? Why not. For more and more people social media is part of their day. For news. For events. For causes. For business. And for ITV, it’s there for understanding their candidates and viewers – on top of being a platform for promoting themselves as an employer concerned about diversity in all its forms. To enable this, Facebook acts as an information hub and Twitter helps drive the conversations.

On Facebook, not only are there some aspirational and informative pieces from a variety of people of diverse backgrounds, but the page promotes diversity initiatives from the TV industry and specific ITV job opportunities/schemes aimed at various diverse audiences, such as BAME and LGBT.

Twitter is used for social listening, to gather feedback from the TV industry and potential employees and to promote ITV as a diverse employer. This centres around regular twitter chats – #ITVchat – which have covered subjects from Disability, Women in the workplace, Working families and LGB. These chats attract involvement from more than just potential ITV employees – organisations such as Stonewall to other media businesses like the BBC join in. Not surprisingly, they also engage and involve ITV employees. But unexpectedly, these ITVchats almost always make it into the top Trending Topics, such is their popularity.


The discussions are fed back within ITV and are helping the business understand how it connects with their diverse community – not just employees and candidates but viewers as well – all to help future employment and programming.

Another interesting development is that the social media accounts have been used as personal sounding boards by some individuals – from the prejudice shown towards a gay runner to a person with mental issues trying to start a career in TV – all by direct messaging. That’s how personal social media can be – and the importance it can play in diversity.

ITV (aka @Moveonup2ITV on social media) is shortlisted in the Best Diversity Initiative at the CIPD RMAs. Fingers crossed for tonight.

Why recruitment is a social experience… for Employer Branding


Social media, or social recruiting, should be integral to any Employer Brand these days.  It can focus it – by candidate reaction. It can drive it – with employee involvement. It can be a real open window into a business and its people. Take our work with EAT. At its heart, the employer brand actually came from their brand guidelines. Actually, from an almost hidden sentence regarding copywriting: ‘Don’t use 30 words to describe something, when 3 will do’.


From there, the employer brand developed. Employees describing working at EAT. in 3 words on video. Copy for posters, listings and social media biogs written in 3 word sentences. Three word navigations on the video-only careers website (that’s also ideal for the mobile generation). Three word social media Avatars. Using the 3 word technique on Twitter. As well as owning the #in3words hashtag for recruiting. And even 3 word ‘visual’ content on Facebook – from training messages to recently promoted employees hold 3 word signs.


All media linked with a simple employer branded theme. Everything working together. No difference in tone from a poster to a tweet. Employee engagement from the website to Facebook. The results haven’t just been a more coherent message but an increase in candidate quality.

Real recruiting effectiveness – in 3 words.

EAT. are shortlisted in Best Employer Brand category at the CIPD RMAs on Wednesday night. Will it be ‘Hip Hip Hooray’? (in three words, obviously).

Why recruitment is a social experience… for Candidate Engagement


There was much talk at the recent #SRconf about employee involvement and even making them your social media/recruitment ambassadors. That all, of course, goes without saying. What wasn’t really touched on was the part potential employees can play – otherwise known as Candidate Engagement. We talked about it during our case study presentation about the success of the @ITVexperience attraction campaign.

Now the great advantage of Social Media, isn’t just reaching a diverse/targeted/appropriate audience – it’s that age-old, word of mouth. And that doesn’t mean relying on your own people. It’s not even the lucky candidates who have successfully got a position with you. In the case of @ITVexperience, it was even the ones who made it to the assessment stage.

Using the power of the Twitter ReTweet, we were able to share the enjoyment/thanks/wishes of these attendees – to all those interested in Work Experience at ITV, following and waiting for applications to re-open. Such is the engagement with the scheme and ITV (plus the social media accounts) that these applicants wanted to share their thanks/feelings/experience. This created so many reactions like the one above. And this was just to the assessment workshop. Just imagine what happened on Twitter last week when the candidates heard if they were successful or not. (In fact, go to the @ITVexperience and you can see for yourself.)

This is the advantage of an engaged community. An engagement built on conversation not just content. Word spreads. Hopes are raised. And candidates are ready to apply.

@ITVexperience is shortlisted (alongside @I_am_TV) in the Best Use of Social Media and is also part of the shortlisted ITV entry in Recruitment Effectiveness at the CIPD RMAs. We’ll see if the judges were just as engaged in its approach and success on Wednesday night. Here’s hoping.

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