Tag Archives: Employer Branding / Candidate Experience

Through The Looking-Glassdoor

22 Dec

You may have already heard of Glassdoor, but if you haven’t, then just think of tripadvisor, but for companies.

Glassdoor is a free career community site where users can find and share information (anonymously) relating to their current or former jobs, companies, salaries or interview experiences.   To an extent, as an employer it can help you view your company as others see it.

Through the Looking-Glassdoor VONQ

Users answer a number of simple questions on a scale of 1-5 (1 being very dissatisfied, 5 being very satisfied) which are aggregated to provide an overall score for your company.

Glassdoor Employer Brand VONQ

Users are also able to leave specific comments relating to the Pros & Cons of working for your company in addition to some constructive advice for the management.

Glassdoor Social Media Recruitment VONQ

I personally think this site is fantastic and can really see the value it provides to both employers and job seekers.  On the flip side, I’m sure this must scare the hell out of some employers who don’t think their brand will stack up so well!

For those of you that see the opportunity to leverage the positive aspects of your company to help increase direct hires, let me quickly bring a few of the options to your attention.

Originally when I first started visiting Glassdoor, when you selected a company to read the reviews you could also easily switch to the jobs tab and click through to vacancies at that specific company listed via external aggregators and job sites (and you still can).  However now there are several much more powerful tools for employers to make use of.  Enhanced employer profiles allow you to deliver customised ‘Why Work For Us’ messages, integrate your social media accounts and provide links to your company blogs and news feeds.  Direct job feeds that sync the current job openings on your career site with your Glassdoor profile are available; as are the use of Glassdoor JobAds (Like Google Adwords) to target passive job seekers on the site.

I’d like to end this blog post with a couple of questions for you to consider:

1)     As an HR or Recruitment Manager have you checked out your Company on Glassdoor yet?


Glassdoor Online Recruitment VONQ

2)     Will the converted Glassdoor ‘Best Places to Work – Employers Choice’ Award be one of your recruitment goals next year?

Please feel free to post any comments.

By Jean-Paul Smalls of VONQ UK

The Bucket List – #truNORA

7 Nov

Employment Branding & Bucket Lists

Could ‘bucket lists’ improve employee engagement at your firm?

At the recent #truNORA unconference Alison McCue (European Regional Training Manager) of Hard Rock & Amanda Hite (Founder of Talent Revolution Inc) were on hand to discuss Employment Branding & how Hard Rock has managed to maintain industry busting staff retention levels (we’re talking around half the industry standard which is phenomenal).

Many companies do some form of goal setting with their employees typically focused around career goals, improving industry knowledge and developing role related skills and experience.  I met Amanda back in truManchester and one of the things that stuck in my mind was how she encourages companies during the goal setting process to get their employees thinking about what their life style will be like working at a particular company, rather than the traditional types of goals we’ve all laid out.

You may not see the immediate connection here with Company goals and objectives but stick with me.  At Hard Rock, they encourage this process and ask employees to create ‘Bucket Lists’ (not literally things they want to do before they die by the way, just a list of things you really want to do in general) to imagine how they want their lifestyles to look working at Hard Rock.  This could be anything ranging from having a date night once a week with your other half, to going on a dream holiday to the Maldives.

Increasing Employee Engagement VONQ

What they have discovered is that many employees would link, or identify changes to their work practices that could allow them to achieve their bucket list goals.  So for example someone who feels they are lacking work-life balance, may identify that actually the reason for this is they are not able to delegate work confidently to someone else.  This can then be linked to a business goal of providing relevant training to staff to address a possible skills gap.  You could initially identify the skills gap to begin with using other means but now the employee has an emotional attachment to the business goal. They know that by providing the best possible training to other staff they will be able to enjoy a better work-life balance.

This is one of many alternative methods the likes of Hard Rock use to improve employee engagement, and something that has also appeared to contribute to their impressive employee retention levels.

So rather than a standard personal development plan, would you consider asking your employees to create a bucket list as well?

By Jean-Paul Smalls of VONQ UK

Recruitment, Retention & Kentucky Fried Bloggin

9 Jul

The past four weeks has been a busy time of conferences, tweet up’s and networking events in the HR and Recruitment world.  Now I’ve had a bit of time to reflect I’ve finally managed to get my thoughts down on some of the recruitment tactics/case studies that came from one of the main events, the CIPD Recruitment, Retention & Talent Management Conference 2010.

The conference kicked off with Julian Ladd, National Account Director at Monster displaying some research into the latest recruitment trends, the most notable of which were that online recruitment activity has increased by 15% compared to the last year & that 96% of employers are planning to either maintain or increase their workforce over the next year.  I thought a great quote from Julian that summarised some of the current trends in recruitment was that a “Multigenerational workforce requires a multifaceted approach to attract and retain the best talent”.  Monster’s research also highlighted that less than 50% of companies are using job boards to advertise their vacancies with only 6-7% currently using social media.

Online Recruitment Scotland COSLA VONQThe first of the online recruitment case studies of the day came from Paul Dowie of the Improvement ServiceDouglas Shirlaw from COSLA(Convention of Scottish Local Authorities).  Together they demonstrated the massive efficiencies the public sector can gain by collaborating and sharing their resources.

COSLA is the political voice of 32 local authorities that between them employ approximately 250,000 people.  The Improvement Service started as a partnership between COSLA, SOLCACE & the Scottish Government with the aim of helping all 32 councils to simplify, standardise and develop new shared capacity that leads to efficiency savings.  Once such example demonstrated at the conference was the National Recruitment Portal www.myjobscotland.com (MJS).

MJS brings public sector vacancies from across the various local authorities together in a single user friendly portal.  Previously each council would advertise their jobs via their own methods, whether that was online, on their own website or in print.  This meant from a candidate’s perspective in order to explore public sector jobs there were potentially 32 different sources you would have to visit with potentially 32 different application procedures.

To get MJS perfect a significant amount of research into the candidate experience had been done.  Many of the comments candidates had made regarding the old recruitment processes were negative such as “long delays in feedback”, “applications forms being in different formats” & ”way too much paper work to complete”.  To put this in perspective an application pack sent out to a fire fighter candidate cost £5!

When developing MJS, the portal needed to address all of these issues and be much more than just a job board.  They wanted it to streamline candidate management as well, and thus implemented i-grasp as a back end system to process candidate applications.  Initially 16 councils came onboard; thanks to hard work behind the scenes to ensure senior level buy in.  Many of the early adopters of the system did not have their own e-recruitment processes at all.  Those that did not want to use all aspects of the MJS portal straight away, such as the candidate management module, were still able to post their jobs onto the site.  With an average of 1500 positions advertised on the site each month, they expect to receive approximately 500,000 applications in a year.  A third of all candidate traffic to the councils is now via the portal (equates to about 600,000 unique visitors a month).

Douglas had some impressive ROI figures to share with his audience to illustrate some of the savings made by just a few of the councils (bear in mind there are 32!):

  • Perth & Kinross saved £250K in the first year
  • North Ayrshire saved £220K in the first 18 months
  • Edinburgh council saved £382K in the first year alone.

Online Recruitment Scotland VONQ

Since the system went live COSLA estimates they have made around 22500 direct hires, with a cost per hire of only £3! Douglas hopes to drive this down to below £2.

Other benefits of the portal include the fact it has helped improve the image of local Government careers with candidates reporting vast improvements in site navigation, content & the overall application process.  Currently COSLA still uses some external advertising from leading job sites to drive additional candidate traffic to the MJS portal; however they feel in about a year’s time, the portal will have reached a level where external advertising will no longer be needed, leading to even more cost savings.

Given the current austerity measures and public sector cuts the coalition Government has recently unleashed, I thought this was a fantastic example of how local Government can collaborate and pool resources to make significant cost savings.  I would expect to see more examples like MJS coming out of the public sector in the next few years.

Following on from Douglas was Vanessa Soames, Marketing Manager for KPMG.  Vanessa provided a very insightful presentation with practical examples concerning KPMG’s use of technology and digital media to attract candidates.

Social Media Recruitment KPMG VONQ

KMPG make extensive use of Facebook using a variety of different groups and fan pages targeted at different audiences (Vacation & Graduate hires & Experienced hires) so they can tailor their messages to each segment.  They make the effort to combine fun interactive content whilst simultaneously promoting their jobs.  Vanessa also ensures her team tweet while on campus to make best use of Twitter’s geo-targeting functionality.  Against the thoughts of many doubters KPMG recruitment officers do get approached by grads picking up nearby tweets about KPMG on campus.

Vanessa was keen to stress the importance of 2-way communication when using social media for recruitment in order to build trust, and had clearly put a lot of thought into the candidate experience with regards to what KPMG does once they have attracted candidates from social media.  To emphasise this point KPMG make use of bespoke landing pages for candidates driven to their own site via Twitter and Facebook.  Each individual landing page ensures the brand is reflected in the right context consistent with the message in the original social media platform.  So for example a fun, happy Facebook page, will not lead through to a formal corporate careers web page.

Targeted Facebook ads based on user profiles are also used by KPMG.  This is not necessarily aimed at active job seekers but to encourage more people to get talking about careers at KPMG.  I’ve personally used targeted Facebook ads numerous times with varying results.  One of the key ingredients to success from my experience is to ensure the title of your ad is as relevant as possible to the segment you are targeting.  For example, if you are targeting Marketing graduates, the title “Marketing Graduates Needed” is likely to have a click through rate several 100% higher than if you used the title “Graduates Needed” on the same segment.

Vanessa provided some simple examples of using Linkedin to demonstrate how KPMG leverages their own workforce to encourage more referrals.  Firstly they looked at their own employees and identified those that frequently make referrals.  They then asked these employees to refer jobs via their own Linkedin networks to spread the word.  Simple, effective and most importantly….free.

A few other more innovative uses of digital and mobile technology for recruitment included offering free wi-fi at airports to promote the KPMG brand, and iGoogle widgets that allow users to keep up to date with the latest jobs. To provide something a bit more engaging and interactive for candidates KPMG also develop online games such as The KPMG Audit Business Games Insight & the Mini Mind-Workout.

All of this sounds great but probably you’re wondering how much time a lot of this takes and more importantly what is the ROI involved in all this use of social and digital media? Well, KPMG say it only takes one person about 10 minutes a day to schedule their tweets/messages etc across the various platforms.  In terms of ROI, Vanessa was not able to provide an overall exact figure for cost savings made via online recruitment means, although she did say her current budget for recruitment was around a 1/3rd of what it was in previous years when they were using agencies much more heavily.

Up next was Daniel Hayward, UK Recruitment Manager at KFC UKI.  Daniel illustrated KFC’s online recruitment journey where they literally went from having no online recruitment 3 years ago, to expecting half a million visits to their careers site this year.  Originally KFC’s recruitment was 100% outsourced, they had no internal recruitment team and relied on 20+ agencies for their staff.  Candidates had a fragmented undefined experience, exacerbated by the lack of a careers site.  Daniel summed up this part of their history with a single slide which read “we can’t recruit talent to KFC”.   Never one to dodge a challenge, Daniel set out a HR Vision to help hire, engage and developing the highest calibre talent in order to make KFC a brand of choice.

While planning KFC’s online recruitment strategy, Daniel took stock of contemporary UK consumer expectations and applied these to recruitment.  Namely consumers are:

  • Impatient and eager to live life now
  • Accustomed to and expecting interaction via technology

To sum up the importance of the modern consumer in relation to recruitment Daniel mentioned “Consumers get personalised, branded experiences in many other parts of their life and candidates will expect this from a recruitment site”.  I thought this was a great way to sum up the importance of the candidate experience.

What followed was a complete overhaul of the recruitment process involving the introduction of a new internal team, creation of a defined EVP, alignment between the employer and consumer brand, a new careers site & hiring management system, investment in the use of external job boards and some light use of social media.

KFC’s new careers site has a crisp, clean, uncluttered feel that is consistent with their employer brand and leverages the best things about working for KFC.  Candidates have a plethora of career information to explore and can even keep up to date with the Kentucky fried bloggers!  These guys aren’t even employed by KFC, they just love it so much they blog about it all the time.  You can’t get much better genuine free marketing than that!

KFC Recruitment Blogs

So what was the outcome of such a drastic overhaul of the KFC recruitment process?

Firstly they now have a single unified approach to recruitment which has led to a number of efficiency savings with regards to all the agencies they were previously using.  Over last 12 months they have received over 200,000 applications and advertised over 350 salaried roles.  By 2008 KFC no longer needed to hire team leaders & managers via agencies at all.  Some of the other key ROI stats are below:

  • Cost per hire of Restaurant managers has been reduced from £1367 to £403
  • Cost per hire for head office roles has been reduced from approximately £12,000 in 2008 to £3,193
  • A further £320K of annualised savings has been made via agency removal

The public sector had a strong showing at the conference and Surrey County Council (SCC) was also on hand to demonstrate their extensive use of Search Engine Marketing (SEM) & Cost Per Click (CPC) recruitment campaigns.

To provide a bit of background, in 2007/2008, 54% of SCC’s attraction spend went on traditional print media such as papers, journals etc.  They employ a vast number of people, approximately 23,000, around 6500 of which are social workers, a profession that has significant attraction challenges.   By focusing more of their spend on a combination of job board advertising and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) / SEM, they were able to increase applications by over 100%.   By 2008/2009 SCC’s traditional media spend was down to 26%, with an overall 25% budget saving compared to the previous year.  SSC use a large sophisticated PPC campaign to sponsor targeted key words on search engines such as Google.  The idea is to attract relevant social workers in the Surrey area and have them visit their careers page directly, before they go to job boards or recruitment agencies.  Despite these campaigns only accounting for 3% of their budget, the ROI had bettered that of job boards, whose spend accounts for a higher proportion of their budget.

SCC also use a number of social media platforms to target passive candidates.  Examples include the creation of You Tube videos and targeted Facebook adverts.  The question did arise that it was all good and well increasing the volume of applications via various online methods, but how suitable were they? SCC mentioned that yes there was an increase in unsuitable applications, but overall given the cost savings achieved and the processes in place to filter them out, it was not a problem.

Ultimately SSC have used online recruitment to great effect making significant savings.  By 2009/2010 they had managed to reduce their traditional advertising spend by 55% over the previous 2 years and it now accounts for only 9% of their overall budget.

There were a number of other presentations at this year’s CIPD Recruitment, Retention & Talent Management Conference, I’ve commented on those I felt demonstrated the power of online recruitment in various guises and the ROI that it can generate.  It was great to see so many case studies with measurable results, something which many conferences tend to lack.

By Jean-Paul Smalls of VONQ UK


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 183 other followers

%d bloggers like this: