Why Kelly Services Got Its Recruiters Active on Social Media

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Not too long ago a polished resume and a well-rehearsed hour of conversation was all you needed to apply for and be hired for a new job. Now, it’s a bit more complicated.

“The first thing I do with a potential job candidate is look at their LinkedIn profile,” says Lorrie Sole, Kelly Services’ senior marketing manager.

This is far from uncommon in the recruiting world.

Of his recruiting process, one San Francisco-based CEO shared, “It’s all about the email address. If they’re still using a Hotmail, AOL, or MSN account, they’re already too far behind.”

These seemingly insignificant details don’t only affect candidates — they can also make or break a recruiter.

“If a recruiter reaches out to a potential job candidate via LinkedIn, the first thing that candidate is going to do is check out the recruiter’s profile,” says Jennifer Fox, Kelly Services’ social media marketing manager. “If they don’t have a profile picture, they’re out.”

Candidates want to work with recruiters who are relatable, professional, and seem like a big deal. So if they’re missing a LinkedIn picture, or their profile looks lackluster, it’s unlikely the candidate will engage further.

“We have two different customers: prospects and customers and employees and job candidates,” Sole says. To reach both groups, she knew Kelly Services would need to adopt a social media strategy that could meet the challenges of modern marketing and recruiting.

The Challenge: Getting Employees to Share on Social Media

In 2009, Kelly Services hired the Altimeter Group to evaluate its social media marketing strategy. Kelly Services wanted to put a system in place that would set the foundation for a modern marketing strategy that would attract new business and new talent.

“The first thing Altimeter recommended was advocacy,” Sole said, “We have a large employee base, many of whom are active on social media. And it quickly became clear that if we could harness the power of our employees, we could outpace our corporate channels tenfold.”

The statistics don’t lie: Employees are far more valuable brand ambassadors than the brands themselves.

A few years ago, LinkedIn estimated that though only 3% of employees post about their companies on social media, that 3% accounts for 30% of a company’s total social engagement.

And today we know those numbers are even higher. In fact, today more than 60% of employees under the age of 45 post about their work on social media weekly, according to Edelman.

In staffing, those numbers are even more valuable. After all, it’s not the brand that does the recruiting; it’s the people.

Like salespeople, recruiters are responsible for developing personable relationships with their talent pool. And it has become far easier to do so thanks to the advent of social media tools. (It’s called social selling — check it out!)

Following the guidance of Altimeter, Kelly Services put an employee influencer program into place.

The Solution: Implementing an Employee Influencer Program

“At first it was fairly rudimentary,” said Fox, “We set up a Chatter group, and each week we uploaded a Word document to it.” That document contained blog posts and events the company hoped would be shared by employees. But it was hard to get the program off the ground.

“Employees weren’t using it,” Fox said, “and recruiters weren’t using it. And there was no way for us to track who was using it and who wasn’t.”

And though Kelly Services had several employees and recruiters who had been using social media for some time, many more weren’t yet active on social media. And some didn’t even see the benefits of it.

“We knew we needed to implement something easier to use and provide some training around social media and [its] benefits,” Sole said.

After trialing EveryoneSocial, Sole and Fox knew they had found what they were looking for.

“All I can say is that it was by far the easiest to use,” Sole said. “People who were new to social media could easily get on board, and those that were seasoned experts found everything they were looking for in one product.”

The Next Level: Inspiring Employees and Recruiters to Get Active on Social

Once EveryoneSocial was in place, employees were able to log in to the application each morning and read through relevant company and industry content as if it were a magazine.

Employees were also able to add their own streams depending on what industries or clients individual recruiters were pursuing, a feature that’s unique to EveryoneSocial.

From there, employees were able to share interesting articles or anecdotes via connected social media accounts, adding them to their queue to share with their followers on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and other social channels. Best of all, Sole and Fox could track all of the shares, likes, and engagement for any given post via EveryoneSocial’s reporting tool.

For those that were active on social media, getting started was easy, but some employees needed a little nudge.

“Those that were new to social thought of Facebook as a place to look at pictures of their family members, LinkedIn as a place to look for jobs, and Twitter as being not relevant at all,” Sole said. “So we made it a priority to teach the benefits of social media and employee advocacy to our employees and recruiters.”

Apart from the aforementioned job search etiquette (If you’re not Googleable, you’re not hirable,” Sole says), having a personal brand can be extraordinarily beneficial for both personal and professional success.

That’s why Sole and Fox developed an in-house training video, a user guide, and an introduction to social media and why employees and recruiters should use it for business.

“We needed to convey the importance of social.” Sole said, “If you’re not engaged on any social channels [today], you aren’t going to be effective in your career.”

Over time, the movement caught on. Employees who previously didn’t see the value of social media were suddenly engaging with prospects on Twitter and seeing the benefits.

“Since I began using EveryoneSocial I have seen an uptick in the number of qualified connection requests on LinkedIn and followers on Twitter,” said Bill Oswin, Kelly Services’ recruiting specialist. “People now know what type of positions I have and that I am active within the recruiting world. EveryoneSocial has helped me to share meaningful articles related to my industry.”

Reaping the Rewards: Using Advocacy to Expand Reach and Increase Traffic

Apart from the many benefits to the employees, Kelly Services reaped the rewards as well. Over the course of two years, the company saw a 1,000% increase in social reach, and an 1,150% increase in daily website traffic driven from social media channels.

When it came time to celebrate Kelly Services 70th birthday, employees were more than willing to spread the news. Kelly’s birthday posts generated the highest number of shares they had ever seen.

“With the help of our employees, we were able to get the message out and spread it to the masses,” Fox said. “And that is something to celebrate.”

Want to see how EveryoneSocial can revolutionize recruiting for your organization? Schedule a demo.