by Alison Weiss , February 2014
Talent sourcing and recruiting have always focused on connecting employers with skilled candidates, but today more organizations are taking advantage of social media to improve the chances of making a good match. In fact, the Society for Human Resource Management reported that 77 percent of organizations used social networking sites to recruit potential job candidates in 2012 compared to just 56 percent in 2011. And for 80 percent of respondents, one of the main reasons social sourcing is so appealing is that it provides an effective way to identify and recruit top talent – the very candidates who are often not in active job-seeking mode.
Recently, leaders at Dallas, Texas-based Hitachi Consulting, a subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd., decided to transform its talent acquisition practices by embracing social sourcing. The Oracle PartnerNetwork Diamond-level partner provides IT consulting and management consulting services and has 5,000 consultants based around the world. Talented people are at the heart of the company’s success, but human resources executives knew it would be possible to improve employee recruitment and talent management by implementing Oracle Taleo Recruiting and Onboarding integrated with Oracle Taleo Social Sourcing. They decided to implement the solution for their US practice in 2012.
“Being able to understand talent and talent movement across the organization and improve mobility is central to our mission to deliver innovation,” says Sona Manzo, vice president of Oracle Solutions-HCM Cloud at Hitachi Consulting. “And an integrated cloud-based talent management solution such as Taleo allows us to develop critical talent pools and assess, select, hire, and onboard that talent more effectively.”
Because Taleo is cloud-based, it is easy to use and accessible anywhere – desktop or mobile. It gives users the ability to push out information into the marketplace in real-time about jobs available at Hitachi Consulting. The company is using Taleo Social Sourcing to define targeted recruitment marketing campaigns that can be executed by individual employees using Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. It is leveraging the platform so all Hitachi Consulting employees can be involved in recruiting. Recruiters report that employee access to social media gives them a much bigger reach to find the right talent.
Three years ago, Hitachi Consulting’s employee recruitment program was completely paper-based and labor-intensive. Because of the number of requisitions managed by recruiters, sometimes employee referrals simply got lost in the cracks, or lacked follow up, and there was no central repository of information.
Being able to understand talent and talent movement across the organization and improve mobility is central to our mission to deliver innovation. And an integrated cloud-based talent management solution such as Taleo allows us to develop critical talent pools and assess, select, hire, and onboard that talent more effectively.
“The best hires come from employee referrals because great employees want to work with other great people. And individuals brought in by employee referrals are more likely to have the same values, fit our culture better, and stay longer,” says Julie Jochems, director of talent acquisition for the US at Hitachi Consulting. “But we were not able to maximize our employee referrals due to our lack of integrated talent acquisition capabilities.”
Now, Taleo Social Sourcing helps Hitachi Consulting employees to make better use of their valuable networks to find high quality employee referrals. When the talent acquisition team sends out key marketing messages, the messages can be sent to a targeted list of Hitachi employees. From there, employees can select where they want to send the message. If they send it to all their LinkedIn contacts, for example, anyone who applies will be tagged and routed through Taleo’s applicant tracking system, which is linked to the broader Taleo talent management platform. This referral source tagging is retained regardless of how many times the position is shared or distributed by members of the employees’ social networks. Jochems and her team now have a clear idea of where referrals originate. Tracking functionality also makes it possible to quickly compare results to see which social media sites or job boards are generating the best referrals. The financial benefits are impressive; after the first year, Hitachi Consulting achieved more than US$1 million in employee referral cost savings.
“Our employee referrals have significantly improved. The volume of quality referrals has increased dramatically, those being referred are a better fit for our company overall, they are able to make an impact on our organization more quickly, and we are seeing our overall retention rate getting better over time,” says Jochems. “Before, we had a 17 percent employee referral rate. But in just a year’s time, that rate now averages 35 percent of our overall hiring. We have also seen a positive impact on employee engagement. The benefits have been dramatic.”
When Hitachi Ltd, Hitachi Consulting’s parent company, selected Taleo Enterprise Recruiting for the 323,000-plus organization, Hitachi Consulting provided core experts to the deployment team to help leverage key knowledge and act as early adopters. Hitachi Consulting continues to spearhead the deployment of social and mobile components of the suite, and is now live with Taleo Enterprise Recruiting, Social Sourcing and Transitions (onboarding), and has develop a global framework to support the rollout of Transitions through the broader Hitachi Ltd organization.
According to Manzo, the company is already seeing strategic and administrative benefits. Information gathered from job seekers during recruiting is held in a repository and is automatically accessed during employee onboarding. This eliminates the paperwork that is traditionally part of the onboarding process and reduces the risk of data errors. And because the onboarding process is more streamlined, it is easier to introduce new employees to Hitachi Consulting’s culture and to make them feel comfortable and included even prior to their start date.
Alison Weiss is a frequent contributor to Profit.