Hays-an svejsan. Being engaging on social is hard when you’re in the recruitment business. Candidates are only really interested in hearing from you when you have the right role for them. So how can you make sure to stay interesting over time to both professionals and potential clients?
I’ve spoken to Catherine Gutsell of Hays, a global recruiting group that was recently recognised as the most socially engaged staffing agency on LinkedIn globally. Have a listen to the interview on iTunes, SoundCloud or keep reading for a summary.
Hays is a leading global professional recruiting group. We have over 9,000 staff and operate from 252 offices in 33 countries across 20 industries. We place people into temporary, contract and permanent roles and operate across the private and public sectors, dealing in permanent positions, contract roles and temporary assignments. Last year we placed around 67,000 candidates into permanent jobs, and around 220,000 people into temporary assignments.
I have been with Hays for four years and currently head up the social and content team at Group level, and sit alongside our PR, Brand and Data Marketing teams who work on a global level.
We, like all brands, have seen the way that our customers communicate has evolved; hence social media is a key strategic priority for our business, across all countries and regions. Our social media presence is large, and has historically been focused on LinkedIn, but we are seeing some fantastic growth across our other social channels – this large reach helps widen our talent pool, making it easier and quicker for us to find the right candidates for our clients.
Social media numbers:
The focus of my role is to implement and refine our global social and content strategy with the aim attracting clients and candidates to Hays, and ensuring that Hays is front of mind for anyone looking for a new role, or building a team.
As such, a big part of my role is focused on content – from idea conception, to creation, to promotion, to repurposing to measurement – I’m involved in the entire process at a global level. My obsession over the past few years has been on creating high quality content which helps our audience tackle a challenge they are facing, or helps them solve a problem – we use social media to provide our audience with something of value, every day without fail. We also ensure that each piece of content works as hard for us as possible – for instance, once we publish a new blog post, we will also repurpose this onto Slideshare, into visual social graphics and into a LinkedIn Publisher blog – this ensures the reach of our content is maximised, with little effort.
We operate a ‘Hum, Sing and Shout’ content marketing model across social media. Hum, being our everyday content which we share daily, Sing, being our bigger content assets such as salary guides, and Shout, being our bigger brand-led pieces such as the Hays Global Skills Index.
In the past, we had a tendency to create content which may have been perceived to be too academic and possibly too high brow. What we’ve realised over the last couple of years, is that keeping it simple is what works. It’s so important to not forget who your customer is when creating content, and create content that speaks directly to them.
Another lesson we have learnt is also not to focus too heavily on content views and aiming for high content views continuously – as for some of our niche pieces of content, the views may be lower, but we know that the right people are reading and engaging with the content, and that’s what matters.
One of our on-going initiatives, which forms the basis of our everyday ‘hum’ content which is shared on LinkedIn and other social channels, is our external blog, Viewpoint. Viewpoint is managed by my team and the content is focused on mainly on advice – job searching, careers, interviews, leadership and management etc. Each blog is authored by a senior stakeholder at Hays, people who are on the front-line of the business, and speak to clients and candidates every day – they know what challenges our audience is facing, so are best placed to write blogs to help them tackle these issues. We have 60 Hays authors from around the world, and publish 3-4 new blogs per week. So far this year, we have had over 1.5million visits to the blog, and on average each blog is shared over 1,000 times.
As I said earlier, we try to ensure each piece of content we create, works as hard for us as possible. So, we work with the regional marketing teams to repurpose and translate the Viewpoint content for their local audiences, and also repurpose into different formats – blog posts, Slideshares, reports, video, graphics
Alistair publishes LinkedIn Influencer content on a monthly basis, and has now amassed over 185,000 followers around the world. In fact, he was named by LinkedIn as one of the top 10 leaders on LinkedIn, alongside Richard Branson and David Cameron, which was a fantastic achievement, for both him personally, and for our business.
Alistair’s presence and activity on LinkedIn, has really helped not only drive his reputation as a respected leader, but also helped Hays become perceived as a socially engaged company. Also, some research indicated that 82% consumers trust a company more if the CEO has a social media voice.
Lastly, as I said previously, Alistair’s presence on LinkedIn sets a great example for our consultant population, and also empowers them to be active on LinkedIn.
Some of the stats shared by LinkedIn include:
For every 6 pieces of content one of our consultants share on LinkedIn, they will generate:
From a content marketing point of view, we are placing much more emphasis and focus on creating rich media content, particularly video and utilising tools such as Facebook Live.
We are also exploring other platforms, particularly Instagram, which we’ve found typically generates 4x higher engagement for us than Facebook, and really helps us to provide potential employees with a window into what it’s really like to work for Hays, on a less corporate channel. We are also exploring ways in which we can increase employee amplification on other networks outside of LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, particularly on Instagram – on which hundreds of our consultants are already posting about their experiences of working at Hays, using the #WeAreHays hashtag.
Follow Catherine on Twitter @CatGutsell.
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