Social Recruiting the Unisys Way

Disruptive IT Trends5 minutes readNov 16th, 2010

Social computing tools are transforming how companies find, source, and recruit promising job candidates. At Unisys, our use of social media recruiting has dramatically reduced our recruiting costs and enhanced our overall pool of potential candidates on a global basis.

Social media recruiting makes sense for Unisys not only from a cost perspective, but from a numbers perspective. The talented people who engage in social networking number in the millions, if not billions. These social tools are what they’re using to find and engage with us.

Our own recruiting transformation didn’t happen overnight. It is an ongoing transition from traditional recruiting channels to new social computing channels. Most of all, it requires a willingness to think differently about how our company manages our outreach to potential candidates.

Our recruiting team started investigating social media about two years ago. One of our team members, a passionate blogger with thousands of followers, was having some success in finding candidates through the use of social media. Seeing his success, following the trends and gauging the level of involvement that our team had with social media in their personal lives, we decided to put a formal social media recruiting strategy in place.

We worked in partnership with the Unisys corporate communications and digital strategy teams to do so. And that has been a key part of our success. They had done much of the necessary leg work around creating a workable social media policy for the company and establishing a corporate presence on key social media sites. That made it easier for us to ramp up quickly and be effective with social media for recruiting.

In aligning with our corporate strategy, there were four main social networks that we wanted to focus on for our recruiting effort: YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Nearly everyone who is in the job market has a presence on one or more of these networks, and the user base of each network is growing rapidly.

In addition to these big name online communities, we worked closely with Unisys regional operations around the world to identify niche social recruiting sites that worked well for their regions, such as Orkut in India and Brazil. Facebook, for example, was not allowed in China, so we are exploring alternative social media outlets there.

Unisys uses each social media outlet differently. YouTube serves as a one-stop source for all of our recruiting videos. Facebook and Twitter are used to educate prospective candidates about who we are in a way that builds trust and encourages interaction. We post various articles and share information, but also post specific and strategic job openings.

That said, Facebook and Twitter are not our dumping ground for job postings. We respect the fact that they are networks where people can interact, post comments, and engage in conversations. We don’t talk “all Unisys all the time,” but instead share general information, answer questions, and add value to joining the Unisys network.

LinkedIn, on the other hand, is a network whose members are looking for information about and opportunities for professional growth. As such, it’s become a powerful and cross-promotional part of our social media strategy. Our recruiters across the globe use LinkedIn to source, identify, and connect with candidates regularly.

In addition, we ask managers to post job opportunities to their individual LinkedIn status updates, so as to let their connections know that there are opportunities within Unisys. After all, hiring the right talent is a business objective, not simply an HR objective.

Each of our recruiters around the world leverage LinkedIn, which has a database of over 75 million resumes. Our recruiters have learned how to sort through candidates and identify the most qualified candidates for a given position. Leveraging LinkedIn as a recruiting tool has saved a substantial amount of money on executive searches for senior-level talent, in particular.

As part of our social recruiting effort, we have been working with Talent Reef to create job-related landing pages that integrate video and social networking tools. Here is a sample of a page we’ve created.

The landing pages engage candidates by connecting them directly with hiring managers, who describe what they’re looking for via video. The pages also serve as a portal where it’s easy to find or ask for more information. The pages tie in to our career site, so an online job application is just a few clicks away. Lastly, the pages can be shared through various social networks.

In essence, these pages compete with Monster, Dice, and other job boards to help us attract qualified candidates. But because these landing pages are so heavily stacked with multimedia and social networking capabilities, they rank very high in search engines and are easy for candidates to find. They are also an easy way for our recruiters and existing employees to share our job opportunities with potential candidates and highlight our social media presence and information about Unisys.

The productivity and cost-efficiencies gained through social media recruiting have made it a staple of our larger recruiting efforts. And with each passing year, it’s replaced more of the traditional methods used to identify candidates.

We’ve cut what was once a significant spend on job boards by leveraging social media tools to source and connect with candidates. We are also making less usage of expensive retained executive searches globally. And by making it easier for candidates to find us, we’ve reduced the man hours spent hunting talent down.

We are constantly reviewing our use of social channels and tools for our recruiting efforts and exploring new options. It has been an interesting journey thus far and we are committed to continuing this commitment to leveraging social media in ways that improve the recruiting function for the business moving forward.