Event management and HR / Recruitment are two of my favourite topics. Indeed, in the last five years business networks like linkedin, xing or viadeo revolutionized the recruitment industry. It gave every professional the ability to better market themselve, increase their visibility, and create a trusted personal brand online. And thanks to social media (twitter, facebook, youtube, blogs), anyone can do it without being internet savvy.
In the last couple of years, more and more HR departments in banking, financial services, insurance, have started to engage on those channels hoping to improve brand perception, identify the best candidates, retain their best leaders, and stay in touch with their ex-employees. Every financial institution also aim to recruit better candidates, more quickly, and reduce their hiring costs.
Linkedin 1 - Internal Directory 0 Don't get me started on a few other important topics in HR within your organization such as the broken internal directory, the lack of background information on your colleagues, and the inability for most companies to fully leverage the skills and previous work experience of their employees.
For instance, I've been actively using linkedin since 2004. I think it is the best business network out there, and a fantastic tool to identify and get in touch with the right person in virtual every single company all over the world.
I find it disturbing that I could always find ten times more information, and better and more actionable insights, on linkedin than on the consistently poor internal directories at my employers. Would you agree?
It is Critical to Build your Social Media Expertise Internally I am a big advocate for building your social media expertise internally, and outsourcing content creation and community management as less as possible. Indeed, as a company it is critical to make sure your workforce understands where and how to engage with your clients, and meet the higher and higher level of expectations from your market(s). The sooner you start leveraging social media, the more significantly you increase your ability to adapt as a business.
So it is important to source social media internally, but what are the skills required? Which employees could be potential candidates? Shall you recruit externally? And how big should the team be?
Scope of Responsibilities This post is not meant to respond to all the questions about resources, team structure and social media. But let me clarify a few things.
Based on my experience, even the largest financial institutions don't necesseraly need a big team. They need to: * understand where the opportunity is, * find out about the best and worst practices in the industry, * start listening to online conversations asap, * define a content strategy (including distribution of existing content) and a response / outreach strategy, * focus on identifying their key influencers and know who their followers / fans are (KYF).
Size of the Team: Ownership vs Content With social media, it is important to distinguish ownership vs content. Indeed you can give the trendy title of 'Head of Social Media' to one of your employees whose responsibilities will include monitoring your online reputation, evangelizing social media internally and training your employees, defining the company guidelines, producing your editorial line, but it is critical to identify a network of contributors all across your organization.
Once your processes are in place and your contributors identified and trained, your (small) dedicated team can focus on guidance, strategy and planning.
5 Ways to Recruit your Social Media Team Please find below five ways financial institutions use to build their social media team.
5. Internally - Identify your Savviest Employees & Potential Contributors Identify your most social media savvy employees. Invite them to declare themselves on your intranet for instance, or identify the most connected on linkedin or the most active ones on twitter. Assess the ability and the willingness of your employees to contribute and produce some content periodically. You could start with checking who are your most active contributors on your intranet.
And even though the bank has a dedicated social media team, led by Ed Terpening who reports to Tim Collins, SVP Experiential Marketing, the genius of Wells Fargo is to urge its employees to contribute wherever they sit in the organization.
And like Societe Generale did with Frank La Pinta, who established the bank as one of the most engaging French employers thanks to social media, give your Senior Managers the opportunity to implement their vision (as long as they articulate it well). After all, we musn't forget that social media is all about 'live and learn'!
4. Externally - Promote your Open Positions on your Career Site & Traditional Job Boards You could use the 'good old-fashioned way': produce a comprehensive, very corporate, job description and post it on your career site and on all the usual job boards online. After all not every single HR group aims to be innovative, they don't all understand the potential of social media, and also we are in the Finance industry, right? ;) Having said that, if you are recruiting a lot of people, it could still be an efficient way to fill your positions.
2. Leverage your Own Social Media Assets You want to recruit social media savvy people, right? Make the job posting avaiable only on your social media assets, and only invite social networkers to apply.
CIMB Malaysia, one of the most followed pages on our Visible Banking Facebook Watch (over 620 pages, groups, applications in 55+ countries) is looking to hire someone who will 'spend all day on Facebook and get paid for it'.
Financial institutions can also use their twitter accounts to push the job posting to their followers. As part of our Visible Banking Twitter Watch series, we are currently tracking over 30 twitter accounts dedicated to recruitment and HR in 8 countries.
1. Be Innovative, Organize a Contest! The most successful way to find your best candidates and demonstrate your commitment to social media is ro organize a recurrent competition. It requires a bit more time, resources and planning, but the results can be outstanding.
Aman Narain's Breeze team were looking to hire an intern to help promote the bank's new iPhone mobile banking application using social media and in particular their blog, youtube and twitter.
Instead of using traditional recruitment methods such as posting a job opening on the Standard Chartered website or asking a recruitment agency to search for suitable candidates, Aman decided to experiment and try something different. And after all, the new recruit would focus on social media right?
The results are outstanding: over 1,000 social media enthusiasts from all over the world entered the contest! As a matter of fact, the results are so overwehlming that chances are we will see more similar contests from Standard Chartered in the near future. ;)
I wouldn't be surprised if the bank was planning to use the same approach to find a replacement to the winner, a la 'Young & Free Alberta' where Severus Credit Union invites young graduates to submit their application to become their spokeperson for 12 month. The most popular candidate (highest number of votes from the public) wins the contest.
All the contestants showed so much energy and creativity overall. Congratulations to the winner, Katherine Liew! She did a great job, and I must admit that for me she is the candidate who stood out the most. Katherine reached out to me via email, on twitter, and on facebook (a special mention to another candidate who didn't make the top 10, Audrey Ooi, who left a comprehensive comment on my post). I liked her style and her drive, and obviously I wasn't the only one. ;)
Please find below a quote from Aman: “The number and quality of applications for the World’s Coolest Intern have completely surpassed our expectations. There is a massive pool of untapped social media talent and it was definitely not easy picking our winner. Katherine wowed us with her creativity and originality, showcased through a variety of social media channels. She cleared demonstrated he skills we were looking for from the winning candidate – the ability to think out of the box and engage with others, as well as the knowledge and capability with social media platforms to propel Breeze’s online customer engagement to a whole new level.”
Indeed, WCI not only delivered on Standard Chartered's underline objectives such as social search (helping with SEO and optimizing social media platforms), but softer matrix such as humanizing the brand not just at community level but even at individual level.
Benefits to Standard Chartered * innovate once again in the conservative banking industry * generate a lot of buzz on their Breeze mobile banking suite * free press coverage on leading online industry manazines as well as on the blogosphere * improve brand perception not only as a bank but also as an employer * generate traffic to the Breeze site * improved recruitment -> the bank knows more about the successful applicant, her enthusiasm, writting skills, creativity, which will almost guarantee a productive and successul internship Benefits to the Winner * working for one of the most innovative teams in the banking industry * worldwide visibility and blog coverage * amazing welcome: everybody at the bank not only will know Katherine (surely the CEO is aware of this initiative), but is expecting her! Benefits to all the Participants * visibility, especially for the top 20 * great experience to mention on a cv * create opportunities for other jobs at Standard Chartered or at any digital agencies
It is great to be part of this initiative. Thanks to the Breeze Team for the tweet they sent earlier today!
In my previous post, I mentioned the fun and refreshing video with the Head of HR. The Breeze team did it again! This time, they recorded an awesome video to congratulate and welcome Katherine:
Wouldn't it feel great if your next employer did the same? So who said that banks couldn't be cool?
As you know, I am currently tracking over 1,150 accounts from financial institutions in 60 countries on my Visible Banking Twitter Watch. I identified 23 accounts dedicated to HR (brand and recruitment) in 7 countries: Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Netherlands, UK and US.
Today, I would like to focus on three of those twitter accounts which basically just push job postings on the popular micro-blogging site: CitiJobs, CIBCcareers, and AllStateCareers.
I would like to mention that most of those companies have also launched interesting and more relevant social media initiatives in other parts of the Business.
In this post, I will take the risk to look a bit hypocretical. Indeed I am the first in line to claim that it is better to have a presence on popular social media sites than not being there at all, even if you don't contribute regularly or if you just recycle content which is not always relevant. After all, to eventually be "successful" in social media, and manage to engage with your audience and build trusted relationships with people online, you will have to start trying as soon as possible. you will make mistakes, and yes you will have to deal with bad comments. Live and learn. And there will be a huge premium to the early adopters.
Nevertheless, companies must always make sure to constantly increase their level of understanding of social media and appreciate the specifities of every single channels such as facebook, blogs or twitter. More importantly, they must understand the expectations from different groups and types of users.
By essence, twitter is a great tool to listen and better understand people's expectations, questions, and personal opinions in real-time. It is also a outstanding tool to share valuable insights and "start conversations". Basically, it took to the next level the phenomenon blogs had started seven years ago. (it always reminds me of Loic Lemeur, Seesmic Founder, old tag line on his popular blog.)
My Take I have nothing against the TweetmyJobs service which surely fill a gap on the market. It the easiest option for recruiters to tell their management: "yes, we are on twitter. And it doesn't require any internal resources". It is very much a tick box approach. Why not... but it is a shame though to use twitter just as another RSS feed push mechanism. Twitter has so much more to offer...
Let me share a few thoughts with you about such an automated approach: * limited/no engagement: such dedicated accounts usually follow just a handful of other accounts, and rarely engage with tweeple or join any conversation * poor content & syntax: the syntax of those tweets are rarely optimized and the content is not appealing. Remember that people need to somehow find your tweets. Use the right hashtags and keywords, and don't abuse of them in your tweets. Make your message as insightful as possible * low/no advocacy: no engagement, poor syntax and content generally means no conversation and no RT. * jobs not available anymore: twitter exacerbates the challenge of uptodate information. Don't point tweeple to a page which doesn't exist or a job posting which has expired * no differentation: I find that the frequency of updates is not great, and the Tweetmyjob bot would basically send all the updates by batch at the same time. A job seeker following the three accounts I am covering today would receive their updates pretty much at the same time, all the time
Let me illustrate my points with a few examples below from CitiJobs (no conversation, no RT) or CIBCCareers (2 out of those three job postings had expired):
Put yourself into the job seekers' mind: what are they looking for on twitter? Which keywords are they tracking? In the above tweet, why would you need three hashtags about CIBC? And don't forget to make your tweets RTable!
Please note that a large company like Citi has several twitter accounts dedicated to HR and recruitment (by the way, the HR group at Citi tends to outsource most of its twitter accounts to an agency which I think is a mistake). Nevertheless, some of their other accounts are more proactive and tend to follow more tweeps, create better tweets and occasionnally participate to conversations. And it shows on the stats: @CitiGroupsJobs counts 3,500+ followers and is listed over 130 times.
Your Twitter Account is far more than just a RSS Feed: think Brand Advocacy OK, there is a value posting your jobs on twitter, but as often as possible try to make your updates more personal and relevant. Twitter is meant to create discussions and connect people with content.
You want to change your brand perception as an employer and differentiate yourself from the rest of your competition, I advise you to check out Societe Generale's own account dedicated to their HR brand @CareersSocGen, created by Franck La Pinta, SocGen's Brand Marketing Manager HR: Franck's approach is spot on, his team rarely advertise job opportunities per say, but they share valuable insights and tips for job seekers. It is all about increasing brand advocacy and putting an emphasis on the brand values with a human tone and manual updates. More people will start connecting with some aspects of your brand they were not aware of. This approach will lead to an increase in the number of qualified job applications and number of new recruits via twitter.
Recruiters on Twitter, Would You Agree with me? or Prove me Wrong? Those are my thoughts, and I would love to be proven wrong. Recruiters using a smilar approach on twitter, please feel free to leave your comment and share some of your successes on this post: click through rates, number of applications sent, number of positions fullfilled via from twitter, amount of cost savings.
I plan to organize a #VBBuzz (1h-conversation on twitter) in the near future. I invite you all to participate!
Social Media & Finance Workshops June 2010 (Paris, Madrid, London, Frankfurt): Join US to Find Out More about Recruitment & HR on Twitter I invite you to check my recent post about the series of workshops on social media in banking, finance, insurance, I will deliver in June 2010 in four countries.
This year, I have improved the format and the content of my 1-day workshops. I will still share some of the unique insights from my Visible Banking Social Media Watch Series (2,000+ initiatives tracked on twitter, facebook, youtube and blogs in 60 countries) and adopt a hands-on approach with lots of case studies (successes and failures) from banks, financial services companies, investment and insurance firms.
This time around, I will also invite some of our most experienced and passionate industry peers to participate and share their experience on social media at their organization. I am glad to be in a position to confirm a few special guests from the following financial institutions: Barclaycard, BBVA, BNP Paribas, Caja Navarra, Credit Agricole, Financialred.com, Saffron Building Society, Societe Generale.
“Christophe's book is really the must-have synopsis of the current state-of-play in social media in banking. Christophe has taken a deep passion for the topic, and turned it into an account of the landscape valuable to anyone who has social media responsibilities in financial services” James Gardner, General Manager at Spigit
“Christophe is extremely well informed about the banking and financial services industries. He's at all the right conferences, and digs deep with his interviews of all the influencers and innovators. He's also a tremendously nice guy :-)” Aaron Patzer, Founder & CEO at Mint Software
“Christophe seems to have his finger on the pulse of the financial services industry. Visible Banking has become "the" source of information for innovations in the financial services industry.” Tim Collins, SVP-Experiential Marketing at Wells Fargo