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Employer Branding through Social Networks Preeti Dave and Amresh Sharma, XIMB ConQuest Online January 2013 Edition www.iims-conquest.in

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Employer Branding, Branding, Atitude



Employer Branding through Social NetworksPreeti Dave and Amresh Sharma, XIMB

ConQuest Online January 2013 Edition

ConQuest, IIM Shillong Consulting Club

Introduction The world is changing fast, with 1.01 billion 1 active users on Facebook (September 2012), 500 million registered users1 as of 2012 on Twitter, generating 340 million tweets1 daily, more than 175 million1 registered users in more than 200 countries(June 2012) on LinkedIn, and the count is increasing faster than the tick of the clock. In a recent Kelly Global Workforce Index survey, it is showed that 53% of the North Americans considers a strong employer brand to be a major force for selecting a particular employer. This growing interest and power of social media, its viral and transparent nature, is being leveraged by the employers for their branding and recruiting prospective employees. Branding in True Sense Brand is not only what others feel about the image of the company but also the emotional quotient that people attach with the company. The brand can be a true competitive differentiator if there is congruence between the message what the employer conveys and the message what the employee, the breathing, living ambassadors of the company, gives. A strong employer brand has several advantages which include: Difference between Organization Brand and Employer Brand Organization Brand is the image how the industry looks at the organization, its products and services. Whereas, the Employer Brand is focused corporate image putting forth the value proposition to its current as well as prospective employees to become an employer of choice. As shown in the below figure, a Strong Employer Brand will lead to attracting better match candidates which further leads to increased market share. It is about delivering an authentic and enriching experience to various stakeholders within and outside the organization, living and breathing the values and the culture of the organization

Increased market shareIncrease in business and referrals Better service =>Satisfied Customers Enhanced job performers Highly engaged employees Higher Quality hires Larger quality applicant pool ATTRACTION OF BETTER MATCH CANDIDAT ES


Source: http://thesocialskinny.com/216-social-media-and-internet-statistics-september-2012/ www.iims-conquest.in

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All organizations want to employ preferably the top 20 % of the talent pool. Therefore HR professionals and strategists have been expending enormous amounts of time, energy and other resources to earn the employer of choice tag for their organizations. It is not about product positioning but employer positioning.

Thus, we can see Employer Brand from 3 dimensions: 1. Value Proposition: Demonstrating clearly what the brand offers. It is the shared basic understanding of the company values, benefits, culture, experience that will be given to its employees. It is the commitment by the employer that value will be delivered and the belief of the employees that the value will be experienced. 2. Internal Marketing: It is changing & reinforcing employee behavior, building a workforce difficult to imitate to gain a sustainable competitive advantage. It provides a consistent experience at every level of the company 3. External Marketing: Putting forth the value proposition to reach out the target audience, allowing the potential candidates to picture themselves in the company for a perfect job fit, person fit and organization fit to acquire distinctive human capital. Social Media Importance: What began as a medium to interact on a social level has evolved to give businesses a place to connect and grow their network, changing the dynamics of the industry.

Usage of Social Media by organizations

Usage of Social Media by industries

Source: http://www.wipro.com/Documents/Social_Media_Report_Feb_2012.pdf


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According to figure above, as per a survey conducted by the HR consulting arm of Wipro, around 63% of the respondents say that they use social media in their business processes, where as 27% say they do not. The usage of social media is maximum in the IT and ITES sector followed by Telecom sector. Even the employees in the organizations feel that utilizing social media makes the employer an employer of choice. 58% of the respondents felt that they would rather work with a company that utilizes social media tools. This can be proved by the below report from APCO Worldwide and Gagen MacDonald, survey on the State of the U.S. Workplace.

There are 6 facets of social media that organizations use for their branding: 1. Collaborative projects: Collaborative projects are the most popular, renowned manifestation of user generated content and allows the joint creation of the content by many end users. For example, WIKIPEDIA. 2. Blogs: It is a form of social media which will provide a channel to express opinions, facts and thoughts. 3. Content communities: These have the main purpose of sharing content between users, including text (Book Crossing), photographs (Flickr), videos (YouTube). 4. Social Networking Sites: It enables users to connect by creating personal information profiles. Emphasis should be laid on consistency and engagement which positions the company as authentic and sought after. 5. Virtual Games: These include platforms that replicate 3- dimensional environment in which users appear as personalized avatars and interact with each other as if in real life. Example: World of Warcraft. 6. Virtual Social Worlds: These are the extensions of Virtual Games wherein the avatars have a little more freedom of action and move without any other restriction. Example: Second Life. Places like Second Life provide opportunities to interact and communicate with users which could not be achieved through the traditional methods. It has been leveraged by Hewlett Packard for screening prospective hires.


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Linking Social Media and Employer Branding All these facets of social media can be linked to the three dimensions of Employer Branding. For example, the following figure illustrates how Social Networking Sites cater to the 3 dimensions of employer branding. Creation of organization profile depicting the culture Knowledge Sharing Building a trustworthy image Formal and informal communication Thereby strengthening ties Represents the company to the outside world Filters information for specific target groups

Value Proposition

Internal Marketing

External Marketing

Implementation Examples 1. Starbucks: 700,000 followers in 2010 to 3317833 followers in 2012 Starbucks on Twitter: Answers questions, re-tweets: open one-one communication Starbucks on Facebook: Uploads videos, photos, blog posts, invites people to events Starbucks on YouTube: Allows people to embed videos anywhere they like on the web Starbucks on Instagram: Interspersed store images with coffee images, images of Baristas who work, images of corporate sponsored promotions. This has helped the company to place themselves in the job market as a place where working is cool and fun. It has its own version of social network, where in employees can give in suggestions about a particular flavor of coffee or a change, and if such changes are implemented, the person is given credit, thus giving a sense of belongingness. 2. Adidas: In 2011, Adidas had an employee strength of 40000 out of which 1/3rd were based in Asia Pacific. They had a goal of creating a talent pool for Asia Pacific. Post job descriptions on Adidas job board and job portals Recruitment Agencieswww.iims-conquest.in

Traditional Practice

Higher recruitment cost Long recruitment cycle

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Social Media helped Adidas to reach out passive candidates. Make direct contact with people, make them engaged and excited about job opportunities Great candidate experience. Better communication of value proposition in areas of career development and training, discussion on company future plans and other benefits Quality candidates with close match to requirements Reduced average time-to-fill from 70 days (2011) to 52 days (2012)2 Slashed hiring costs (HKD1.3 million (US$167,700) to the fraction of same)2 where it recruited 9 employees through social media tool, LinkedIn.2

Source: www.linkedin.com

Applications of successful Employer Branding through Social Media Let us now discuss the applications of a successful employer branding through social networks. Apart from talent acquisition employer branding through social media can be viewed from a different perspective. Successful employer branding should aim at using social media analytics for behavior analytics, HR and customer.

Analysis of pattern and frequency of sharing: Posting, Sharing, Messaging

Personality Dimensions Big 5 Model

Extracting behavior information Selection of Social Network Type like SNSs, Blogs, Virtual Worlds HR Analytics

Motivational Dimensions

Employee Life Cycle: Recruitment, Performance, Development

HR processes: Hiring, Engagement, Branding

Feedbacks and surveyswww.iims-conquest.in

Sentiments and predictive analysis

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Future of Social Media for Employer Branding Current vs. Future Intentions As per the latest review by the Harvard Business Review magazine, organisations are keen on investing on social media for various purposes as shown below.

Source: Harvard Business Review Analytic Services surveyed 2,100 Harvard Business Review magazine Challenges: Although the importance of social media cannot be denied for getting good talent but it has its limitations and it should be recognised as a tool not as a wholesome replacement for every other activity required to attract and retain potential and current employees. Employers should be cautious when reviewing and using information from these sources during the recruiting and hiring process, as it may expose them to claims of discrimination as it contains information about the caste, religion. These claims could seriously tarnish the employers image and can attract legal actions.

Legal Aspect Social media legislations blocking the employer access to employee social media accounts is gaining traction in US. California is the latest state to pass legislation which forbids employers from requiring /requesting employees or job applicants to provide their socialwww.iims-conquest.in

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media user names and passwords (Assembly Bill 1844, sponsored by Nora Campos (D-San Jose)). The bill also states that it is unlawful to threaten, fire or discipline an employee who refuses to disclose this information. From the Indian perspective, employers can take into account the IT Act for framing social media strategy. For Example: Section 499 Indian Penal Code: Defamation: Whoever by words either spoken or meant to be read makes/publishes any imputation concerning any person intending to harm, defame the person Section 66(A) of IT Act Punishment for sending offensive messages via electronic mail message Any electronic mail message that is grossly offensive or is menacing Any false info causing annoyance, insult, danger Causing inconvenience Deceiving or misleading recipient New Guidelines: No less than a police officer of a rank of DCP will be allowed to permit registration of a case under provisions of the Information Technology Act that deals with spreading hatred through electronic messages

Recommendations The emergence of Social Networks has compelled the organisations to redesign the way they communicate their brand to present as well as future employees. Consistency: Convey the same message on all the channels

Authenticity: Being true to the organization and the world Planning: Concrete strategy with tangible and measurable objectives Not an advertising campaign: More than recruitment, emotional quotient in the minds of the people Respond: Two way communication to increase reliability


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Conclusion In our opinion, employer branding through social networks is just one facet of the many. Completely relying on the social networks would be a grave mistake that the organisations may commit. On the contrary, not leveraging social media for the employer branding would not be rosy either. Thus social networks do play a major role in positioning the employer brand to the target audience. References 1. THREE THINGS EVERY EMPLOYER AND EMPLOYEE NEED TO KNOW ABOUT SOCIAL MEDIA. By: Ray, Augie. Baylor Business Review. Fall2012, Vol. 31 Issue 1, p22-23. 2p. 2. How Social Media Can Spur Organizational Transformation. By: Savitz, Eric. Forbes.com. 12/17/2012, p31-31. 1p. 3. FINDERS KEEPERS: SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGIES HELP FIND TOP TALENT. By: Hunt, Kristin Gunderson. Journal of Property Management. Nov/Dec2010, Vol. 75 Issue 6, p36-40. 5p. 4. Social Media Privacy Laws Stymie Financial Firms. By: Mont, Joe. Compliance Week. Dec2012, Vol. 9 Issue 107, p16-17. 2p. 5. Social Media, the Law, and You. By: THOMPSON, MIKE. EContent. Dec2012, Vol. 35 Issue 10, p8-10. 3p. 6. Views on Applying NLRA Principles to Social Media Shared. HR Focus. Dec2012, Vol. 89 Issue 12, p10-11. 2p. 7. http://www.defence.gov.au/pathwaytochange/docs/socialmedia/1.%20Social%20medi a%20and%20its%20origins%20SM.pdf 8. http://www.brandchannel.com/papers_review.asp?sp_id=1269 9. http://www.sas.com/resources/whitepaper/wp_23348.pdf 10. http://www.randstadtechnologies.ca/downloads/072711_Build_your_employer_brand -Technologies.pdf 11. http://www.intel.in/content/www/us/en/legal/intel-social-media-guidelines.html


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The Team

Conquest Online is the online edition of ConQuest which is a student driven Consulting club of IIM Shillong. The ConQuest Team includes Aritra Nayak | [email protected] Arpit V Tripathi | [email protected] Nimesh Nair | [email protected] Pochineni Shalini | [email protected] Rishi Gupta | [email protected] Shirish Prakash Jain | [email protected] Sunayna Agarwal | [email protected] Tarun Gupta | [email protected] Anurag Gupta | [email protected] Ashish Singla | [email protected] Deepanwita Datta | [email protected] Divya Kommi | [email protected] Neha Gupta | [email protected] Ujjwal Shankar | [email protected] Vikash Ranjan | [email protected]

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