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How social media increased candidate quality for Enterprise

eneterprise rentAshley Hever, Talent Acquisition Manager for Enterprise Rent-A-car UK, gave a presentation at the Innovation in Recruitment summit in September 2013 outlining how he has shifted to a Social Media driven recruitment strategy – and increased candidate quality and retention as a result.

Enterprise has become the largest car hire business in the USA and rapidly growing throughout Europe.  Enterprise employs over 3,600 staff in the UK and recruits primarily through its highly acclaimed Graduate management training scheme – which has an intake of around 700 graduates each year. Historically the business used traditional recruitment techniques including direct advertising, open days at Universities, advertising on job-boards, selective use of recruitment agencies and an internal recommendation / referral scheme.

AHevercropBy the start of 2012, it became apparent to the UK recruitment manager, Ashley Hever, that other graduate recruiters were making more effective use of social media. Enterprise competes with a wide variety of businesses to attract UK graduates and other businesses were making effective use of Facebook and Twitter to raise the awareness of their employer brand and build relationships with talented candidates.  Hever brought this issue to the Enterprise Board and, despite a lack of understanding of social media and a view that it was all a “youngster’s fad”, the Board out their trust in Hever’s judgement and authorised him to shift attention to social media.

Working with recruitment brand partner Hodes and involving all key stakeholders within Enterprise, Hever scoped out a long term project plan and ran training sessions for all of his recruitment team.  The plan had seven clear stages as follows:

Trial – pick one key talent segment to try-out social media activity and create proof on concept

Create – set-up a “hub” – in Enterprise’s case they set up a dedicated UK careers website which acts as the focal point for all social activity.  Enterprise also created dedicated careers pages/accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Youtube (LinkedIn was considered but not suitable for their target market – which is primarily graduates)

Beacons – identify and train talent “beacons” within the business – for Enterprise they encouraged line managers and recruitment staff to interact on social media and write content (see below).  They also have “campus brand champions” – students who will champion the business at specific Universities.

Write – Enterprise involved all their key stakeholders in a content planning exercise – getting staff and students into a room to discuss and identify what content would be of interest to potential employees.  Individuals were then given responsibility to write content with an overall editorial control from Hever.

Plan – A 6 month content plan was created to tie-in with key dates within the graduate calendar, and appropriate content planned

Engage – Actively manage and engage the target communities, ensuring that any replies or comments are replied to, liked or interacted with

Measure – Monitor and measure activity to see what is working, what content gets the best results and adjust the overall content plan accordingly.The social media project commenced in November 2012 and, within 9 months, was delivering the following positive results:
• 10% increase in website visitors
• 819 Facebook likes, 1,167 Twitter followers
• Better quality / more relevant applicants – 28% increase in applications to hire ratio
• Increase in staff retention rates through probation
• Pride in Employer Brand
• Increased motivation / dedication amongst recruitment team
• Reduction in job board, advertising & recruitment agency spend.

In addition, the social media project has won several awards for Enterprise, including the TARGETjobs Graduate Recruiter of the Year and the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) Best Digital Recruitment Strategy.   These awards, and the success of the social media project, had given excellent publicity and positive PR for the business, enabling Enterprise to attract and retain even better quality candidates to drive the future growth of their organisation.