Social Media 4 Recruitment

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How AT&T Powers its Employee Advocate Program

I came across an online video with a speaker from AT&T, an American multinational telecommunications corporation (thank you Wikipedia), who discusses the company’s Social Circle program.

This is AT&T’s brand advocacy initiative that is used to engage the company’s most social online employees, and its potential social online employees, in order to extend the brand’s reputation in the social space without being too marketing-focused.

To view the video yourself, click here, or for the key takeaways, read on.

The AT&T Social Circle

What is it?

An online hub that provides a central location for employees to access and share content. It contains a community of 1500 exempt managers who actively post and tweet from their personal accounts to share AT&T news and information.

Content is placed on the platform and community members are then able to share the updates to their preferred network. It can be accessed through mobile devices and is very user-friendly.


The personal approach

The hub is kept personalised and focused around the employees by including information they want to see, to keep things fun and make it a valuable resource for them.

For example, content includes tips on how employees can build their personal online brand and expand their reach.

The hub will also share content that is not related to the company, such as interesting content from key influencers (e.g. in business (Richard Branson), in the music industry, etc). AT&T understands that if people are fully engaged with the hub, they become regular and better advocates.


Incentivising through spotlighting and rewarding excellence

The hub develop recognises awesome work by members by:

  • Contents to boost activity or promote specific actions (e.g. 10 days of sharing during Christmas – because people are generally less active during this time period).
  • Award badges based on activity or expertise – gamification based on participation within the hub.
  • Highlight very active members in internal communications (e.g. hub member of the week).
  • Share experiences or guest speakers.
  • Find unique ways to surprise and delight employees.

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Graduate Recruitment – Doing Things Differently

So last night, a few of us attended the Recruitment Society event: Graduate Recruitment – My World of Windmills, Competitions and Doing Things Differently. The speaker was Vicki Spindler, Graduate Resourcing Manager at Tesco, and the event was held at Cass Business School, City University in London.

After a short train delay and a bit of map-reading confusion, we finally found the venue. Being a bit late, we had to sneak in the back, after the presentation had started. I did manage to get some notes on the main points though.

  • Vicki stressed the importance of getting to students early, not just targeting final year students.
  • The aim of Tesco’s graduate campaign was to move away from their “cold and corporate” image.
  • Tesco wanted to be in the hearts and minds of students, to educate them about the content of work and the culture of the company and to above all, do things differently.
  • The Tesco Business Game was launched as a competition to make it fun, active and engaging. A bit like The Apprentice, it showed students how they do things within the business, with the message “did you know you can actually get a job doing this?!”. 49 out of 50 students applied.
  • Vicki also stressed the importance of the Employer Brand.
  • On a small budget, Vicki was looking to do something original and innovative to hook in the students. Her team went to two universities, armed with branded plastic windmills to give out to students. The windmills had codes on them which when checked-in rewarded random winners with Tesco vouchers. Over 2 days, Vicki received 381 entries. She found that even though a lot of the students weren’t interested in talking about graduate schemes, she managed to change the Tesco image from “cold and corporate” to “original and quirky”.
  • Social Media appears to have played a small part in her campaign. The hashtag #DiscoverTesco was a bit of an afterthought, but Vicki was very excited to have received 8 mentions associated with the campaign from students on Twitter.

The key messages from Vicki’s experience were to start early, to be fun and creative and to show the people behind the brand.

There wasn’t much of a focus on social media, but it’s interesting to see what other people are doing.

1 Comment – employer branding made simple!

I recently signed up to the website as a jobseeker to browse around and scope out any potential for our clients.

It only lists US companies so it wouldn’t be of benefit to us yet. However it would be a good thing to keep an eye on as it is a beautiful design and easy to use.

The first thing to do is sign up either as a jobseeker or a company. As a jobseeker you submit your field of work and job title. I believe this is to help them suggest relevant jobs and companies (although I didn’t get many Social Media Executive jobs on my dashboard).


Once you have decided to view a company you can take a virtual office tour which showcases some classy photos. You can meet team members at the company and get to know the company culture through events, milestones, videos and image galleries.


This feature I especially liked – the company benefits are listed which is important to many jobseekers.


You can then find out the latest news from the company in the form of articles, quotes and tweets.

Finally, the latest opportunities at the company are listed.

It looks like the site is targeting passive jobseekers; it’s worth noting that job promotion is at the bottom of the site. I like how they use branding, company culture and benefits to lure candidates.

Although it may be a while until the site comes to the UK, I would recommend having a play around; if only to gain some employer branding inspiration!