Using social media to recruit: the power of Facebook

Written by
Changeboard Team

17 May 2010

17 May 2010 • by Changeboard Team

Making recruitment a top priority

At Enterprise we have always been proud to be different when it comes to our approach to recruiting new members of our team.

When Jack Taylor founded the company in 1957 his motto was simple: “Take care of your customers and employees first and profits will follow.” For Jack, it was important not simply to pay lip service to the value of our employees, but to mean it.

We feel that our success over the years, which has allowed us to expand into the UK, where we now employ more than 3,000 people across more than 330 branches, validates our philosophy towards our employees.

It’s a philosophy that has not changed since 1957. But an awful lot of things have changed in that time, and it's been important for us to adapt and update our recruitment tactics accordingly.

Adapt to your workforce

One thing that we recognised very quickly was that, in trying to develop innovative and effective recruitment initiatives, we had to learn from the candidates themselves.

Forward thinking businesses need to recognise that the way people look for jobs has changed, and adapt accordingly. This is not an area onto which we, as employers, can impose a new system and hope everyone else will jump into line. It's up to us to observe and adapt. By doing so, we can be assured that changes we make will be well received and inline with the habits of those we are trying to reach.

In that respect, social media is clearly the new frontier in engaging with people. The numbers speak for themselves – in the UK, roughly 25 million people are members of Facebook, using it to talk, plan, make recommendations and, increasingly, search for jobs. When Enterprise, as a company, was looking at ways to engage with potential recruits, we knew this was one place that we needed to be.

Embracing social media through Facebook campaigns

It’s not a new media trick or a recent revelation that the best people to act as ambassadors for your company can be your existing staff. This is certainly true at Enterprise; our employees are our greatest advocates.

Many businesses operate incentive schemes that reward staff members for recommending new recruits to the company - it’s a tactic that we have always supported and have seen great Results from. It was the value of this scheme that we wanted to try to translate into the world of social media.

This is another important point to learn when you engage with social media - the most successful innovations are not necessarily those that re-invent the wheel. Rather, social media can be a platform through which to extend and develop the good practice that your company has already developed over the years.

So, when Enterprise Rent-A-Car decided to move into Facebook, we did not want simply to create another online job notice board, which would have limited success and potentially be lost amongst many others. We wanted our employees to recommend people to us who they felt would fit in well with our culture. And we wanted them to recommend Enterprise as a great place to work.

We called our Facebook application ‘Work With Me’ - because that was the message that we wanted to get out there.

Engage with the existing workforce

The power of social media is its ability to create a conversation. We didn't want to force a conversation - we wanted to enable one where there was a place for it. That was the thinking behind the Work With Me application that we have recently launched in the UK.

Our existing staff can alert their friends on Facebook to the opportunities available at Enterprise - as well as engage in online conversations about their experiences of working at Enterprise.

Essentially, we have created an additional recommendation channel for our employees, which takes advantage of their existing social media habits and supports the traditional offline employee referral scheme. The application automatically tracks when an employee uses it to recommend a job at Enterprise to one of their friends. If that person applies for a job and is successful, then the recommender will receive an employee referral bonus in line with company policy.

Identifying next generation through social media

The Work With Me application is a new weapon in our recruitment arsenal here in the UK, but initial trials suggest it's going to be a success. It's already something which has delivered real Results for us in the United States, where our employees across the country are introducing us to hundreds of new recruits.

It's a lesson we feel we can share with other businesses. At Enterprise, we pride ourselves on hiring the very best people and then giving them the opportunities to learn and develop business skills rapidly in an exciting and rewarding environment.

Since 1957 we have believed that our employees are our greatest asset. Now they are helping us to identify the next generation of the Enterprise family.