Employer Branding Ideas
London, UK
Employer Branding Ideas
London, UK
How Unilever Uses Social Media to Recruit [CASE STUDY]
Written by:

paul maxin

Unilever is an Anglo–Dutch multinational consumer goods company, comprised of 400 powerhouse brands, and found in seven out of 10 households worldwide. Founded in 1930, the company has over 171,000 employees (2012), and annual sales of €46.5 billion.

Jorgen went along to interview Global Resourcing Director for Unilever, Paul Maxin in May of 2013. You can watch the interview below:

Careers Website

The Unilever Global Careers website (unilever.com/careers) has the same branding as the Facebook page and lists two main sections for the categories of applicants – ‘Graduates & Students‘ and ‘Professionals‘. It is interesting to see the language used when talking to certain groups: graduates and students are asked whether they want to view the opportunities available whereas professionals are asked whether they want to browse vacancies. It really shows the difference between how Unilever deal with the types of applicants – they expect graduates and students to stay with the company and ‘develop’ themselves in an opportunity with Unilever, whereas professionals can come and go to fill the vacancy. Split down further, the careers site links to the ‘Unilever Future Leaders Programme’ and ‘Internships’ under Graduates & Students, and ‘Current Job Listings’ under Professionals. The careers site also links to the Unilever Facebook page (facebook.com/unilever), Twitter feed and LinkedIn Company page (linkedin.com/company/unilever), and is region specific, changing when viewed in a different country.

LinkedIn

With over half a million followers, Unilever are the ninth highest followed company in the world in terms of their LinkedIn Company Page. In an interview with the LinkedIn Talent Blog in August 2012, Paul stated that they increased the number of followers on their LinkedIn page through rolling out follow buttons in email signatures so that a call-to-action to follow Unilever on the platform was present in every message sent. In over 10 months, this increased their following from 40,000 to 235,000 – and now this number is over 500,000. They know the followers are relevant and real, because with an increase in follower number, they’ve also seen an “exponential rise in careers page visits” and a “significant” rise in hires from LinkedIn.

As most users would not know Unilever under the Unilever name (for example, one of their famous brands is Ben and Jerry’s), this LinkedIn approach, like all other social media, is consumer-centric. Although updates are not made daily, there is a content calendar created and used to update the page, and followers are regularly updated. The Careers tab on the page shows a number of job openings from a variety of countries (listed on the right – these include the United States, China, Singapore and the UK amongst others). Unilever mainly use LinkedIn as an employer/company branding platform and tailor some content to relevant professionals for which they may be sourcing (e.g. marketing professionals).

There are 45,000 current Unilever employees on LinkedIn which act as brand ambassadors – promoting the Unilever brand to their connections. They are also useful for seeing which LinkedIn users look at the employee profiles – in 2012, there were over 5 million hits on Unilever employee profiles. The LinkedIn function shows who they are, where they come from, and where they are based and Unilever can then alter these profiles with specific calls to action which are relevant to these users.

Facebook

The Unilever Careers Facebook page (facebook.com/UnileverCareers) has over 200,000 likes with many self-branded tabs. The branding is extremely similar to the LinkedIn Company page, and, as with LinkedIn, there is a monthly content calendar which is sent out the countries, and countries adapt and adopt this calendar and post content relevant to their location. On a quarterly cycle, Unilever review their engagement  on posts and see which content works and which doesn’t.

The page has a common URL which means fans are aggregated together, but content is relevant to each country. In terms of the UK and Ireland content, it is regular but not daily – and it is relevant, with comments on posts being answered swiftly and professionally.

YouTube

Unilever have a branded Careers at Unilever YouTube channel (/careersatunilever) which is global and in comparison to past case studies (such as L’Oréal and KCOM) is a step up in terms of using the platform for recruitment – with more subscribers, videos and video views – approximately 250,000 views across channels.

Linked to this main channel are 20 country-based channels (such as the Unilever Careers UK & Ireland YouTube channel (/UnileverUFLP) which has over 45,000 views itself) – these are all listed the top of the global channel. This allows for content which is global-relevant, and country specific content to be used on the website, Facebook and elsewhere. Additionally, there are links to all the social media channels for the Unilever careers (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Glassdoor etc) and over a dozen playlists outlining varying elements of Unilever. They are certainly using YouTube and video as a platform in the correct way!

Twitter

Unilever do not have a global Twitter account in terms of recruitment – however there are specific accounts for different countries, such as the UK Talent Twitter feed (@ULUKTalent), with over 2000 followers, and the Unilever Careers Brazil feed (@unilevercareers) with almost 1,000 likes. They use these channels to promote job openings and do receive engagement, including some retweets and favourites.

Conclusions & Results

Unilever use a “glocal” approach to their recruitment and social media approach. The careers website is one design which changes in different countries. On LinkedIn, they’ve reached over 500,000 followers and post relevant content on a regular basis based on a content calendar, in a similar sense to the Facebook page (which holds 200,000 likes and shows relevant content again to each country). Finally YouTube is used extremely well with a global approach again and country-specific content, with Twitter backing up the stronger networks. The Unilever approach to social recruitment is clean, professional and obviously has results!

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