Talent Acquisition

How to Recruit with Social Media, Lessons from Capgemini

What are the best social channels for recruiting globally and how can you go about standing out from the competition? Sarang Brahme who is the Global Lead of Social Recruiting Initiatives and Strategy at Capgemini has the answers!

Have a listen to the podcast episode embedded below or on iTunes. Be sure to subscribe to the Employer Branding Podcast.

Capgemini and Sarang’s role:

Capgemini is a global IT services company. We are present in more than 40 countries today. We have just acquired IGATE, so all our strength is around 180,000 people. We are into consulting, outsourcing, technology, pretty much what the new age IT companies are into. We have a really good focus in terms of driving direct sourcing and using social media for branding and engaging. We’ve recently created an HR centre of excellence for that that looks after all these activities globally.

My role is to really look at the way we are adopting social, from three different perspectives. The way I look at social recruiting is source, brand and engage. So how are we using social recruiting process, sourcing and finding those purposefully, how are we using it for branding and positioning Capgemini in terms of employer brand? And as well as, are we keeping our audience and talent, our talent community engaged? That’s pretty much my role. I work with all the regions and all my teammates to make sure that the strategy is adopted and implemented at grassroots level in most of the regions.

Challenges being in the recruitment space:

As of now, I think it’s really important for all of us and for recruiters to understand the digital transformation that is happening. We all talk about digital transformation. Every IT company talks about it. What does this mean for recruiters? One of the objectives that we really have is selecting the best talent and not the talent which remains or which no one else hires. So we are selective and understand what is our talent segment, how do we source them, how do we engage them, how do we brand them, how do we position them, is really more important. For a recruiter to really change their thinking hats from using traditional channels, which were more of a post-and-pray kind of challenge, is to really use social to identify, engage them into conversations, and then hiring.

How  Capgemini differentiate themselves from competitors:

If you look at our target companies, we’ll always come up with IBM and then Deloitte. In terms of differentiating, we really look at two to three different things. One is how do we position our employer brand or what is the value proposition that we put forward to our candidates. So we have an employer branding campaign which is called “Be the you, you want to be,” which really focuses on the you part and not the company part. So we talk about how can Capgemini help you to be empowered to really develop where you want to be?

In fact we also have a great mobility policy where you can change and go across location, go across functions. So that gives you freedom in terms of choosing the path that you can think about. Also we are really a multinational corporation with a really global mindset, where it’s not just India or not just UK, but we also look at cross-collaborating. Of course, a lot of opportunities for candidates to go ahead and find new territories to them. Just to take an example of myself when I started my role in Capgemini, I just started as a sourcer, but today I’ve grown into this new role where I approached my management and said, “This is what we can do,” and they were happy for me to take the lead. So that’s exactly what we offer to our candidates.

The social networks that are working best for Capgemini:

I think as of now, in terms of direct recruitment or direct sourcing, I would say LinkedIn is the preferred channel, because of the way it is structured. It is a professional channel, where we can find more professional information about people’s skills and experiences. So that has really helped us from a sourcing perspective, but we are not limited by that. So we also use Facebook, we also use Twitter, we have XING. In Poland, we use GoldenLine. So there are regional flavours to it. There’s Viadeo in some regions, and we use it for branding and engagement. Every region has their own Facebook page, and we also collaborate with marketing. A lot of times we don’t have a different career page and different business page. We have one page, one Capgemini approach so that it helps us to collaborate and not to have separated segments.

We are also working to look at new tools, as I said like TalentBin, which are more talent aggregators, but we are still trying to find value out of it. But for branding and engagement, I think Facebook and Twitter have been great. From a sourcing perspective, a recruitment perspective, I think LinkedIn has been great.

We also do a lot of gamification. Last year we ran a challenge called Tech Challenge, which was completely a social gamification initiative for all the technical folks in India. It had nothing to do with hiring; it was just to test their mettle in terms of how much expertise they have in specific skills. We ran the assessment, it was leaderboard-driven program. Players could write and challenge their peers on social, gain points. At the end of it, we know which are the top people who have scored more, and then engage that talent community in terms of future requirements, or making sure that we hire them and attract them to us.

Inspirational companies and brands:

I think one particular company that I would take an example here is clearly L’Oréal. I saw their presentation last year at LinkedIn Talent Connect. I think the kind of work they did from two things, one is from a branding and engaging perspective, it’s just phenomenal. The video that they showed about the inspiration was really awesome. It just shows the human connect they have with the talent and the whole philosophy behind it, how would they look at it. Secondly, their data driven approach and the artificial intelligence and some of the pull technology that they are using for onboarding candidates or interviews or candidate experience; I think that was really good. It gave us clues in terms of where the world is moving and where probably the next generation recruiting are going to come from.

The future of social media and recruitment:

I think social media is here to stay. I think we should stop talking about whether it’s important. Yes, it’s important. More importantly, how are you using it? I think next big challenge will be around how do you use social media for data driven decisions, and not just at a direct level or a requirement level, but at a strategic level? The world is becoming more global from a skills perspective. The mobility is also coming in. How you think big, how you use data, social data to really match your requirements to the candidates is, I think, one thing.

Secondly, candidate experience, I think this is unchartered territory, which a lot of companies are still looking at. We looked not just at how do we find candidates, but how would social help them to really have a great experience. The candidate remembers memories and experiences that they have, which probably give them more edge to have a decision, whether I would join the company or not. Finding candidates is becoming easier because there is such an influx on social, but how do you engage them in making sure that they attach to your brand as humanly possible? I think that’s going to be the next challenge. So how do you engage them, how do you keep them with you? Their attention span is reducing every year. There’s probably about six seconds, so that’s really important.

How do you stay on top of their mind, creating that connect and engaging them ongoing. I think that’s going to be the next challenge. Social and technology is there, but at the end of day, I will always say that as a recruiter, you have to think like a marketer, act as a hunter but be human at the end of day. So how you do that is also pretty important.


Connect with Sarang on Twitter @SarangBrahme and subscribe to the Employer Branding Podcast.

By Jörgen Sundberg

Founder of Undercover Recruiter & CEO of Link Humans, home of The Employer Brand Index.