It’s getting harder and harder for companies to attract and retain the right people. According to the Talent Shortage Survey, 40% of global employers are unable to find the right talent for jobs that need to be done.
For this reason, many employers are looking internally to their existing team for support. According to Jobvite, employee referrals have the highest applicant to hire conversion rate: while only 7% of applicants are via employees, this accounts for 40% of all new successful hires.
Intrigued? Let’s take a look at how 10 different companies are using hashtags and social media curation to attract talent.
According to Weber Shandwick’s research, 50% of employees post messages, pictures, or videos in social media about their employer often or from time-to-time, whether they are encouraged to do so or not. What’s more, 39% of employees have shared praise or positive comments online about their employer.
Source: Weber Shandwick
So whether you are there to listen to what your employees are saying or not, your company is being discussed on the web at this very minute.
Is there a way to turn those discussions into beneficial social media context, something that would help your company grow and attract best talent to your brand?
Yes. And moreover, many companies are already doing that. Instead of trying to prevent their employees from discussing them on social media, employers are turning their team voices into company social media advocates by encouraging them to freely share their workspace experience.
And what’s a better way to make sense of social media noise than a well-branded hashtag? We live in the hashtag-driven society. Hashtags have the power to fuel marketing campaigns, address healthcare issues, and report breaking news.
Creating and promoting a company’s brand hashtag can help you achieve many marketing goals. Apart from talent branding, a company-wide hashtag:
So let’s take a look at a few companies that are taking advantage of hashtags as a way to attract top talent, keep existing employees happy and engaged, and show off their culture.
Cisco is very vocal about its talent branding efforts blogging about its goals and results. The #WeAreCisco hashtag is popular on Twitter but where it’s really shining is Snapchat. Cisco claims to have had nearly 3 million minutes viewed and a 600% follower increase in the four months since they started the channel.
Cisco Talent Brand Social Team manages the account controlling the shared calendar where the employees can sign up for whatever day/topic they would like. There’s not much control over the team because Snapchat is where doing it “your own way” is preferred.
Apart from the main #WeAreCisco hashtag, the company introduced the hashtag #CiscoLife to encourage employees to tweet about their workplace experience. Not to mention the campaign it spun up around the hashtag #IChoseCisco where team members were encouraged to post photos and stories about why they chose Cisco.
The results were astounding. Cisco grew its Twitter followers by 400% in six months.
Target launched the #TargetVolunteers hashtag on Instagram to share photos of its team’s volunteering efforts.
After it launched, Target employees began to use it to highlight company values:
The photos shared using the hashtag do a great job of telling a brand story that focuses on teamwork and the company’s commitment to impacting the community.
Zappos employee advocacy program is one of the oldest, going all the way back to 2008. In fact, the folks at Zappos used to hold a bi-weekly tweet chat discussing company values using the #InsideZappos hashtag. This effort allowed the company to curate discussions around Zappos careers and highlight team members through interviews.
While the tweet chat is no longer active, the #InsideZappos hashtag is still alive being used to broadcast company events:
The company is also encouraging the use of another branded hashtag — #ZapposCulture –which employees are actively using on Instagram to share photos of company trips and workplace experiences.
LinkedIn encourages its employees to openly share their job experience on Twitter using the #LinkedInLife hashtag. The hashtag is also very popular on Instagram.
And #LinkedInLife is obviously working well: Employees even use it to leave excited reviews on Glassdoor. There’s even an entire post sharing how employees’ personal testimonials curated through the #LinkedInLife hashtag made LinkedIn Leila Uslander’s #1 employer of choice.
“Your employees voices are influencing your future talent. Amplifying their voices about what life is like inside your doors will set you apart,” Uslander explained in the post.
TripAdvisor uses Twitter and Instagram to encourage employees to share their company values and grow the global team using the hashtag #GoTripAdvisor.
#GoTripAdvisor is also used for employee meetups, as well as on the official blog where employees are invited to share their personal stories.
When the massive earthquake and tsunami hit Japan, the American Starbucks team launched another hashtag — #SupportJapanPartners — to show support for Starbucks team members in Japan.
#SupportJapanPartners soon evolved into a global tradition to connect to teams overseas and spread support, greetings, and encouragement. As a result, the #ToBeAPartner hashtag was born, connecting Starbucks employees all around the world — and #ToBeAPartner social channels have become a mirror of employees’ lives in cities around the world
The ongoing social effort includes storytelling, photos, and short video vignettes of partners talking about their shared experiences and what it means to be a partner at Starbucks. The hashtag currently boasts an impressive 672,339 posts on Instagram:
Microsoft uses the #MicrosoftLife hashtag to curate Microsoft employees’ content, as well as local company meetups to keep an eye on.
It’s also used to promote “Microsofties'” stories published on the official blog:
The #AdobeLife hashtag provides an inside look into, well … Adobe life. Adobe employees seem to be highly engaged, especially on Instagram where they share all kinds of content on a daily basis.
The #AdobeLife hashtag can even be found on the company blog homepage, where it features a peak into the Adobe Twitterverse.
At NPR, employees share photos and notes highlighting what it’s like to work there using the hashtag #NPRLife.
NPR also uses a separate Twitter account — @nprlife — to retweet employees’ tweets and keep them all under one roof.
Dell encourages employees to share their working experience using the #IWorkForDell hashtag.
Dell employees share everything from their day-to-day working routine, fun facts, and job appreciation on Twitter and Instagram.
Do you feel inspired? If you’re considering launching your own talent branding hashtag to spread your company values, build brand loyalty and attract new talent, the following tools may be a huge help in getting you started.
Slack is a great tool for encouraging internal dialogue and video/photo sharing. By starting a channel dedicated to social sharing, it’ll be easy for employees generate more visibility around their posts containing the hashtag:
DrumUp is an employee advocacy platform that allows team members to share and re-share each other’s photos on multiple social media channels. Simply add your employees under one umbrella account and let them access company and team members’ shares. With DrumUp Leaderboard it’s easy to setup monthly contests awarding the most active or creative employees tweeting the company hashtag:
You can also import your blog feed there to encourage your employees to share and schedule your company updates.
Yotpo is a social media curation platform that helps you publicize social media updates to your blog. It’s particularly useful for Instagram.
Search your company hashtag inside Yotpo dashboard, pick updates you want to feature on your blog, and publish them to the installed Yotpo widget with one click:
Use Cyfe to archive hashtag results. Just install a new Twitter search widget and set it up to archive your company hashtag. Over time you’ll be able to access the archive or export it to find more active employees or find a quote to feature as an employee testimonial.
Do you have any more great examples of how companies use hashtags to attract talent? Please share them in the comments.