Social Media in Recruitment 2011 – Conference Posts, Videos and Images

I’m pulling together all the content from the Social Media in Recruitment Conference 2011 (#SMIR). There were lots of very interesting speakers who shared an enormous amount of tips and tricks. I will keep this updated as new content is produced.

Alan Whitford did a fantastic job blogging over at RCEuro’s blog. Here are Alan’s posts:

European Commission Using Social Media to Recruit

Redfox: Social Media Success Story From SMIR

Getting the Most From Using LinkedIn Effectively in Recruitment

Nokia: Using Social Media to Raise Your Employer Image and Build a Talent Pipeline

Measuring Social Media ROI

Plus these posts . . .
Measuring the ROI of social media in recruitment #SMIR

Panel predictions on mobile from #SMIR

Linkedin for recruiting at #SMIR

How the British Army uses social media in recruitment

RedFox – a social media success story at #SMIR

Nokia’s approach to social media and employer branding #SMIR

From Katherine Robinson – Three Stages of Internet Talent Sourcing (which includes Katherine’s presentation)

Katherine Robinson, aka thesourceress also provides a link to Using Wikiopedia as a recruitment tool – something she mentioned in her presentation.

Felix Wetzel‘s very interesting post on 21st century technology vs. 20th century attitudes – or the misuse of Facebook

Sara Headworth has posted some images on the conference Facebook page

And also on Mike Taylor’s Flickr account

Peter Dawes took a mere 200 photos – a fantastic gallery

Audio interviews
Colin Cook talks Army recruiting using Facebook

Max MacGillivray on social media success at Redfox Executive Recruitment

Katherine Robinson talks sourcing tools

Laurent Brouat talks Linkedin and qualified traffic


Steve Evans on how to use Facebook for recruiting

Huw Davies and Julia Levy on social recruiting at the European Personnel Selection Office

Colin Minto talks through the candidate experience at G4S

Katherine Robinson on the three approaches to social media resourcing

Matt Burney and Lisa Scales talk social media, talent community and engagement at G4S

Case Studies
Laurent Brouat’s case study on How a company used social media and Linkedin to recruit

Video: Huw Davies and Julia Levy on Social Recruiting at the European Personnel Selection Office

Measuring the ROI of social media in recruitment #SMIR

Andy Hyatt, head of digital at Bernard Hodes Group, delivered an interesting talk on social media return on investment (ROI). He started by talking about the following social media myths:

  • Social media is free
  • Is easy
  • Is valued by CEOs
  • It doesn’t matter

And then he proceeded to dispel the myths . . .

  • It is not free – Ernst and Young Facebook page (more than 61,000 fan pages) cost in the  region of 1m US dollars (9 full time staff), according to Andy.
  • Not easy – you will have to rework your processes
  • Not valued – Andy used some stats from an Economist Intelligence Unit survey of C-level managers  that showed more than 30% are not interested in social media
  • And it does matter – Andy recounted Dominos Pizza story (see video) – the result: the video was viewed more than half million times and the share price started to fall. CEO dealt with it on social channels and share price went up as a result, but that wasn’t reported much.

The example made the point that social media can be hugely damaging.

Andy then looked at the actual ROI equation, which is:

ROI = gain from investment – cost of investment / cost of investment.

From this Andy got quite passionate about what you need to measure and why. He told delegates to start with a baseline of what you want to achieve and then design some key metrics to measure against the baseline.

He said that there was no silver bullet here. It is more that this whole issue just needs to addressed. A show of hands in the hall revealed half the corporate recruiters present did not know ROI on their recruitment.

Andy then went on to talk about Staples, a client of his with whom he worked to create content in blogs, Youtube, Twitter to attract their core X-Files loving candidates.


  • Typically spends £10,000 on recruitment, now spending £1,000
  • Store opening in Tonbridge 600 applicants for 21 jobs.
  • Used Twitter Youtube and blog around X-files because it was an obsessive type brand. Content did not mention Staples at all
  • After two months, fans were told people that it was Staples content  – this did not cause any problems
  • There is anecdotal evidence that candidates from the socail media pipeline are better candidates. They certainly engage much better with content.

Resources to help with measuring social media ROI

IAB handbook on Social Media Measurement
Social Media Measurement Camp

Conclusion: measuring social media return on investment is incredibly difficult BUT that does not mean it should not be measured. After all, investment is measured in pounds sterling and so should the return on that investment. Set a baseline and then start measuring elements that will show how you are performing against that baseline. Start small – 30mins a day – but start.

How the British Army uses Social Media in Recruitment

Colin Cook, the British Army’s marketing director, provided great insights on how the Army uses Facebook to build engagement.

The Army has the challenge of overcoming 1) engaging with younger people and 2) getting past the gatekeepers (parents)

The Army also has to teach people what it does and the careers it offers – apparently there is a lot of ignorance around this. So, social media is very focussed on training, preparedness and advertising what it does. It has an advertising-led approach.

The approach looks like this:

  • Extend content using Twitter, FB and blogs
  • Decentralise platform
  • Connect people
  • Provide a personalised experience

Colin showed a range of Facebook pages that have been segmented to target candidates. Interestingly, this process helps opt out candidates.

Through FB pages serving soldiers are able to talk to candidates – they also do this on Twitter. These soldiers are part of the Digital Pioneer Programme which enables candidates to ‘Touch the green’ – talk to real soldiers. Soldiers are trained in how to use FB and Twitter so as to not to compromise security.

The Army is also starting to use games on FB to drive engagement. Badges are coming soon – the aim is to plug into candidates’ enjoyment of gaming.

The next steps for the Army are to develop the Pioneer Programme and to set up more job specific blogs such as the Chaplain blog.

Final point: asked about ROI, Colin said you need to know why you are using FB in the first place. If you do not know this you won’t be able to evaluate.

Listen to my interview with Colin Cook.

Photo Montage from 2010 Social Media In Recruitment Conference

Here is a short photo montage from the 2010 Social Media In Recruitment Conference. It doesn’t seem possible that the Conference was over two weeks ago!

I’m now starting work on planning the next Social Media In Recruitment Conference. If you are a user of social media in recruitment, and you would like to share your success with other recruiters, then please please get in touch via the web site.