Recruitment shifting to social media, mobile
05 MARCH 2014 7:11 AM
Human resource professionals are following the next wave of job candidates online by developing social media pages and mobile platforms that expedite the application process.
GLOBAL REPORT—Traditional recruitment routes are by no means defunct, but hotel groups looking to attract a new generation of candidates must explore a range of social media platforms across multiple devices.
“We still need to build strong relations and partnerships with schools and attend forums about employment, education and orientation,” said Philippe Liger, senior VP, corporate marketing of human resources at Accor. “However, today profiles of candidates have changed, and we have to adapt our communication channels and tools to attract new talents.”
Recruitment websites are still central to Accor’s strategy, with the careers section of accor.com and accorjobs.com playing an absolutely core role, according to Liger.
“Developed in 12 languages, we received 6.3 million visitors in 2013 to accorjobs.com; 600,000 applicants applied and 19,000 job offers were posted,” he noted. The company plans to translate the website into Korean and Japanese by the end of 2014.
But diversification into social media has been crucial for Accor, too. The company now uses Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and, most recently, Pinterest as part of its recruitment strategy.
“What we are looking for with social media is obviously interactivity with these different publics and to widen our target source of recruitment,” Liger said.
Accor’s Facebook page, which launched in 2012, already has more than 50,000 fans while the group’s LinkedIn profile boasts 90,000 followers.
“Similar to other technological adoptions in the past, the use of different types of social media has allowed recruiters the ability to tap into a much wider market instantaneously, including both active and passive candidates,” said Robin Erickson, VP of talent acquisition research at HR research firm Bersin by Deloitte.
Marriott International’s social media recruitment strategy also spans several different platforms, primarily Facebook, Weibo in China and LinkedIn.
“We chose these channels for the broad reach they have and the opportunity to engage a wide range of job seekers to match our brands and jobs,” said Kristy Godbold, the company’s head of human resources.
What should be included on an effective social media recruitment page? Above all, it should be social, sources said.
“Social media recruiting should produce pages that are more candidate-focused than company-focused,” said Katherine Jones, VP of HCM technology research at Bersin by Deloitte. “Moreover, like any branding exercise, the ability to portray the company in a compelling fashion is foremost—answering the question, ‘Why would I want to work here?’”
Accor’s Pinterest page, launched in September 2013, was designed to answer this question.
“Through a large choice of visuals, we aim to show the daily tasks within our professions. It is clearly the best way of communicating differently on the diversity of our professions, transmitting our values, and promoting the work of our employees,” Liger said.
My Marriott Hotel, an online game launched by Marriott in 2011, aims to do the same and has been effective particularly in emerging markets.
“We offer a simulation of what it takes to run a hotel kitchen, allowing potential job seekers a realistic job preview,” Godbold said. “It’s a great way to attract potential job seekers and get them excited about a job with Marriott.
“Of course, any kind of innovation is risky—especially if you are a first mover,” she said. “However, it’s part of Marriott’s heritage. You can’t be in business for 87 years without continual innovation.”
That doesn’t make it easy to stay ahead of the curve, though, Liger admitted, stressing the speed with which the HR department at Accor now has to move. “We need to be even more reactive. A question or a comment has to be addressed within a few hours.
“It clearly changes the way we work and impacts the way traditional human resources are handled. What has become absolutely crucial today is to integrate a community manager in the HR department.”
Moving to mobile
Looking forward, candidates will want the job application process itself to be faster and faster—literally, at their fingertips.
“For both hourly and professional applicants, the long laborious online job application has become passé,” Jones said. “Good candidates fly in the face of such an application—into the arms of a competitive hiring company.”
Mobile application is the next natural step, sources said.
“(Marriott’s) recent launch of mobile apply gives job seekers the ability to actually apply to many of our job openings through their phone or tablet,” Godbold said.
This step will not only attract millennials, but it will also serve to make Marriott more competitive in emerging markets, she said.
“While we think about the U.S. as being advanced from a technology perspective, other markets are actually developing mobile habits more quickly than us,” she said. “Many countries in emerging markets are considered ‘mobile-only,’ where Web users never or infrequently use computers, and we have to be easily accessible to these potential job candidates.”
Accor isn’t far behind. Accorjobs.com already provides real-time access to job vacancies from a smartphone, and the site’s mobile functionality will be expanded soon.
“By the end of the year, candidates will be able to apply directly from their smartphones,” Liger said.