This week, I’ll be attending the ERE Spring 2011 Expo in San Diego, California and I’m looking forward to learning from recruiting leaders from many of the world’s top companies and those who are leading the way in terms of recruiting innovation. One of the recruiting leaders who’ll be speaking at the conference this year is Stacy Van Meter, Social Media & Talent Community Manager at Deluxe Corporation. Recently, I had the opportunity to speak with Stacy briefly about her role at Deluxe Corporation, their successes with social recruiting and a bit of what she’ll be talking about during her session at ERE.
Be sure to make it all of the way to the end of this post, where you’ll find links to be able to view Stacy’s presentation via the ERE Live Stream, a copy of her slides and one of my favorite recruiting/employment branding/candidate engagement videos of all time!
Deluxe Corporation is a 100-year-old business that has locations throughout the US and Canada, employs just over 5000 people and hires about 1200 people each year. Over the last year, we’ve been in an enormous state of transformation. Deluxe has always been known as a check printing company, but we’ve changed business models and are now a company that provides marketing services for small business. This has been a huge change for us in a very short period of time.
A year ago when I was hired, I’m not sure that they were entirely sure what it meant to have a Social Media & Talent Community Manager, but they did know that Deluxe needed a recruiting presence online. So this last year has really been about building a foundation in terms of avenues of engagement – Facebook, Twitter, a blog and a little bit of internal work with Brand Ambassadors.
We’ve been setting up avenues for people to change the perception of Deluxe from a branding standpoint because we’re no longer “that check printing company”. We need to draw in digital talent and before our social media efforts, there was no way that type of talent would even know about us. Five years ago, our top hired for jobs were positions like Press Operator. Today, our top hires are all in the digital realm – web campaign managers, email marketing managers, digital leaders, community managers, social media managers, etc.
How did you find your way into this role with Deluxe?
Early in the mid-90’s I worked for United Healthcare and I built a business plan to create one of the very first products for healthcare consumers to be able to converse with a nurse counselor online. After completing that project, I ended up going out on my own and doing some consulting from a “new media” perspective. What I found was that when I was talking with clients about how to create a web presence, they were asking me how to go about hiring “new media” types who think and act differently. As a result, my business transformed into consulting with companies on how to hire and keep “new media” professionals. So I guess I sort of fell into HR & recruiting.
When I saw the Deluxe Talent Community Manager job description, I knew it was the job for me! It’s the perfect intersection of a business background, internet, marketing, platform development and experience in Human Resources. I could not be at a better place. I go to bed every day excited about what I do and I wake up every day excited about what I do.
So what exactly does a Social Media & Talent Community Manager do?
My role is transforming. I’m doing a ton of research on where the potential is within HR and marketing. If you look at HR, Marketing, PR and customer service and then throw social media into the mix, at some point there’s an intersection of what’s going on there – and it’s all about the customers. I believe that one of the very first things that we in HR should do is to stop calling job seekers “candidates” – and start calling them “customers”. We also need to change our mindset about who they are and what they bring to us in the hiring process.
We’re working really hard to make the change to the customer mindset at Deluxe. I look at my role as impacting both the brand and our customers – internal and external. Over the last year, we’ve probably done a little more broadcasting using social media than what we ultimately want to do, but we’ve been getting into the consideration space of the talent we need to recruit, teaching people about our brand, drawing them in and getting them excited about us. We’ve been moving people down the conversion funnel – and ultimately, we’re hiring them. The next phase is after we’ve hired them, to start immediately thinking about them as Brand Ambassadors who need to be trained and equipped to become evangelists of our organization. We’re doing lots of work internally to make that next phase happen right now.
What social media tools do you use in your recruiting process?
We’ve been having some great success with our videos on YouTube. We’re sending out Flipcams to our remote sites and asking hiring managers to talk about their opportunities and the location. One of my recent favorites is a video that was created for a Plant Manager opening in Streetsboro, Ohio. The short video includes an interview with another Site Leader, the HR Manager and a tour of the plant, break room and the office where the person would sit. People who are coming in to interview for the position are saying that it’s great! They really like being able to see where they would be working and some of the people they’d be working with.
How many people are involved in Deluxe’s social recruiting efforts?
We’re a pretty lean group. In addition to myself, we hired an intern this past summer to do presence management and build out our online sites. We’ve just moved him into a full-time digital marketing specialist role and we’ve also hired a full-time Sourcer.
We’re really looking for a lot of engagement online and we spend quite a bit of time routing people to the right place, giving recommendations or feedback, answering questions etc. on Facebook and Twitter. Our customers really seem to appreciate it and those who engage with us via social media do get a little extra edge. We make sure that they get right in front of the recruiter.
How are you tracking results related to your social media efforts?
In the last quarter of 2010, 50% of our hires came from our Talent Community – which has grown considerably over the last year. We had 3,500 members in our Talent Community on January 1, 2010 and as of January 2011, we have over 134,000 members.
Our Talent Community is “opt-in” and we’ve found that some people join, but don’t apply for a job at Deluxe right away. They may have heard about us and just want to see what’s going on here, or be within our email marketing system. The nice thing for us is that we can segment the people within our Talent Community. I cut and categorize those 134,000 people into groups by job categories or people that come from companies that we know we want to recruit from. We many not have an opportunity for them right now, but down the line, we’ll be able to put together a marketing campaign for those folks when we do.
What will you be talking about during your session at the ERE Spring 2011 Expo?
One of the things I’ll be talking about is what I call a Web Campaign. When we have a hard-to-fill or high profile job, I put together a 6 – 7 page framework of all of the places that we need to go, where those people live online, etc. This spreadsheet includes everything from events in the area of hire related to that particular position, to forums or places online where we can do free posts, to every LinkedIn group related to that job, to Twitter, to Facebook, all of the PPC, sometimes a micro-site, whether we’re going to do a video, email marketing, niche job boards, etc. We do tons of research up front to determine how we’re going to target market for our jobs and then we track the success rates of each step.
I’m also going to talk about the technology and recruiting transformations that are taking place and what that means for the market and for recruiters. And I’ll be talking about turning candidates into customers and hires into brand ambassadors.
In your opinion, what’s the biggest opportunity with social recruiting?
No question about it – engagement. Success to me is when customers – internal and external – are able to tell the NEW Deluxe story with delight and excitement and they’re spreading the word. That means that they’ve had a great experience with us from a recruiting perspective, a product or service perspective, or as an employee.
Find information HERE about how to watch Stacy’s presentation live on Thursday, March 24th at 1:30pm PT/4:30pm ET via the live stream provided by ERE.net or catch the recording via the same site at a future date. You can check out the slides for Stacy’s ERE Spring 2011 presentation on Slideshare – “Mission Possible: How to Create a Comprehensive Social Media Recruitment Marketing Strategy”. Follow her on Twitter – @sjvconsult.
And finally, check out this awesome “behind the scenes” video from the Deluxe Recruiting team. Informative, helpful and fun. I love it!