gotta love …recruitment on Twitter

Having gone down the traditional route one forward thinking organisation turned to the awesome power of cake to get the right people.

by Alex Abbott

Having presented at the CIPR North Conference on social media, the thing that captured most people’s attention out of all the things I mentioned was our success at recruiting through Twitter.

In particular our #gottalovecake campaign. With this in mind I thought I’d share the story behind the campaign.

So here’s the dilemma: We have five communications roles ready to recruit and we advertise in all the traditional spots like Guardian, PR Week, Monster etc.   

The response was … well, luke warm. The result was no suitable candidates. Sound familiar?

It was at this point we thought that there’s got to be a better way. How can we approach this differently? Where can we find the rich stream of people and skills we need? And so #gottalovecake was born.

I have to say that at Bromford we love social media. It’s fast becoming a key form of communication both internally and to the outside world, so it wasn’t a huge leap of faith for us to put our trust in a social network and Twitter was our weapon of choice. Saying that, these are free platforms, so the question begs, what has anyone got to lose?

So, we had the ‘how’ but what about the ‘what’? This is where we turned to the team to ask them to sum up working at Bromford. At this point a whole host of traits were listed including a love for space hoppers and fancy dress, as well as some more work-based ones like telling people’s stories and changing lives. But one thing was clear, when you work at Bromford there’s a lot of cake and we love our cake!

Of course to back this up, we had to let people know what they were letting themselves in for and we had to have something we could direct people to from Twitter. We developed a flyer, with QR code directly to the #gottalovecake web page here's the link:

http://www.bromfordgroup.co.uk/business/jobs/gotta-love-cake-campaign/

 The web page contained more info on the roles, info on how to express an interest and a short film (including out-takes) to really capture the essence of Bromcomms.

We asked potential candidates two things. Firstly to get involved in a tweet-off to discuss #gottalovecake. Secondly we said we didn’t want to see an application form instead we wanted to see something that really summed up their personality and skills. More about what we received later!

Next it was a case of getting the word out there. Colleagues from around the business furiously tweeted and Linkedin links to the gottalovecake page, but the big boost came by targeting those with big follower numbers in the sector and the right geography in helping us spread the word.

So what happened? Well, it essentially exploded!

Over the recruitment period the #gottalovecake campaign reached 13,398 Twitter accounts and was seen 58,656 times. The tweet-off also trended in the UK … pretty impressive for a small recruitment campaign in Wolverhampton!

The #gottalovecake web page received 1959 individual visitors and 2536 overall visits to the gottalovecake web page. Of these 1089 went directly to the page, suggesting that this is what they were specifically looking for. Finally on average about 140 visits a day came directly from Twitter … result!

But did we get the right people for the job?

Before I answer that question I have to credit the candidates for the effort they put in, there wasn’t an application form in sight! We received animations, including an animated chef who explained all the good points about the candidate. Infographics, that had more than one reference to Fifty Shades of Grey! Web pages, a song and videos all carefully crafted to demonstrate the candidates’ skills and also make us laugh (a lot). The song actually became a big hit with the recruitment team … way too catchy!

And yes we did recruit, some fabulous people in fact. Why don’t you follow them or even ask them on Twitter how they found the whole experience? They are: @immykaur  @annabel_salter  @mattscommunity and @davidatbromford.

For the hawk-eye amongst you, you’ll notice we’re one Twitter handle too short and that’s because we weren’t successful recruiting one of the roles; the Web Wizard! What we learnt here? The title ‘Web Wizard’ will get you a techie when what we really wanted was a digital marketing manager … So if you know a good one, get them to get in touch. We’d love to have a chat over some tea and of course cake!

Alex Abbotts is head of communications at Bromford Group