Managing the Social Media Madness: How Intuit's Social Recruiting Strategy Is Evolving

From the Recruiting Trends Sourcing and Recruiting Social Summit in Washington, DC, Peter Clayton interviews Gail Houston and Leslie Manson from Intuit

Gail Houston, Social Media Program Manager, Intuit, interviewed on TotalPicture RadioGail Houston

Most of us consider the use of social media for recruiting focused exclusively on external candidates, Intuit sees more: a wealth of opportunities for engaging current employees. With a strong 'internal first' mindset, Intuit's goal is to fill 50% of their job openings with current employees.

Like many recruiters, you have probably created your social strategy and you're learning to find candidates on social. But you wonder, where do you go from here? How do you measure your success, and get senior management buy-in for investing in social media.

In our exclusive podcast from the Recruiting Trends Sourcing and Recruiting Social, Gail Houston and Leslie Mason from Intuit share their social journey...what have they learned, what's working, and where they are going next.

Gail Houston is the Social Media Program Manager for Intuit's Recruiting organization and is the voice of Intuit Careers on sites like Twitter and Facebook. She has more than 20 years experience in the recruiting industry, both corporate and agency, and has spoken at both Sourcecon and TalentNet. Gail is the co-lead of the Crossroads Career Transition Workshop and speaks on various applicant networking groups in the Dallas-Fort Worth(DFW) area. She has received numerous awards during her career including Circle of Stars 2008, Trim the Sails 2007, DFWTRN/Monster Recruiter of the Year 2003, EDS Senior Recruiter Award and the Figment Award for Creativity in Sourcing.

Leslie Mason, Intuit, interviewed on TotalPicture RadioLeslie Mason

Leslie Mason is a Senior Recruiter and part of the award winning recruiting team at Intuit. She is a member of the Candidate Generation team where social networking plays a large part and her focus is on recruiting top talent for Intuit's Executive Talent Community. Leslie has been successful in both agency and corporate environments wearing multiple hats of project manager, sourcer, recruiter and account manager.



"Interview Transcript"


Gail Houston - Leslie Mason TotalPicture Radio Interview Transcript

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Like most recruiters you probably have created a social strategy and you're learning to find candidates using social but you wonder where do you go from here? This is Peter Clayton with an exclusive Talent Acquisition Channel podcast on TotalPicture Radio recorded at the Recruiting Trends Sourcing and Recruiting Social Summit in Washington DC. Gail Houston and Leslie Mason from Intuit share with us their social journey, what they have learned and where they're going next.

Gail Houston is the social media program manager for Intuit's recruiting organization and is the voice of Intuit careers on sites like Twitter and Facebook. She has more than 20 years experience in the recruiting industry, both corporate and agency. Gail is the co-lead of the Crossroads Career Transition Workshop and speaks on various applicant networking groups in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Leslie Mason is a senior recruiter and part of the award winning recruiting team at Intuit. She is a member of the Candidate Generation Team where social networking plays a large part in her focus on recruiting top talent for Intuit's executive talent community. Leslie has been successful in both agency and corporate environments wearing multiple hats of project manager, sourcer, recruiter and account manager.

Gail, you talked a lot about in your presentation about how you are using leveraging all of these different social media, whether it's LinkedIn or Twitter or Facebook. Give us a little background on Intuit's involvement in social media and sort of how you got the company to be as active as you really are in social media.

Gail: All of our products have their own social media managers and teams that are managing the product social media channels like TurboTax, Quicken, those types of channels. So the Intuit Careers channel had to come up with a strategy so we can actually manage talking about jobs, careers, the events the recruiters are at, things like that through our own particular channels.

We started off on LinkedIn creating groups, and then we took control of the company page. We do a lot of posting on different events that are happening and we work in conjunction with the product teams to also help promote their events and from there, it's just evolved. We've got a Facebook page. We have a Twitter account. We just put up a Pinterest account and we have SlideShare and YouTube.

Peter: You had talked a little bit about Pinterest, which I find really fascinating because for a long time I just thought of Pinterest as cats and recipes, but people are really using this and they are getting very good results from posting things on Pinterest.

Gail: We do a couple of different things. First of all, we pin things that people that are on Pinterest are interested in naturally. It might be recipes. It could be ideas for the holidays, maybe shoes or clothes or something like that - just the normal things you go to Pinterest for. But then we're also creating communities and destination points.

For instance, with our UX community board if you're working with an applicant in the UX community you can send them to our Pinterest board, they can see videos that our employees have done, SlideShare presentations. They can see all of the jobs there by just clicking one link. They can also see just things that are relevant to the UX community, some of the thought leaders and things like that. It's a destination site where they can get it all instead of me saying I want you to go to YouTube and check out this and I want you to go to SlideShare and check out this. It's everything in one place in a visual representation.

Peter: Leslie, one of the things that you were talking about that I found very interesting is you're not only using social media to try and engage passive candidates, but you're also using social media and sites like Yammer to engage your current employees within Intuit and inform them about current job openings.

Leslie: Exactly. At Intuit we have very strong internal first mindset and it is our goal to fill 50% of our open jobs with internal employees and so we've created a page on Yammer Career Advice and we talk to our internal employees. We tell them how to apply for jobs, how to rewrite their résumé, how to make sure that they've included everything, if they speak different languages, if they've spoken at events, anything special that they've done that they may not have on their page so that when we look internally for candidates as recruiters then that will pop up.

We also did a poll and asked them what they wanted to see on that page and the overwhelming response was they wanted to see jobs. So now we post our hot jobs on that page. We also post tips and tricks and events that are going on within the community and then also links to our internal personal growth and development sites. We offer one on one coaching, both private and public, and then we have a full day seminar for classes to show you how to manage and navigate your career.

Peter: How has the adoption been of people using sites like Yammer, especially like IT professionals who tend to shy away from social media and doing that kind of interaction?

Leslie: The IT professionals... everyone has their own page. I'm a part of a social media group because I'm interested in that. We have a mobile community. We have a Java developers community. There's close to 200, I believe, communities within Yammer and you can follow everybody or just certain boards. So we're really finding a lot of engagement. I know on the internal careers page we have over 400 people that are members.

Peter: Another site that you mentioned and a statistic that I found pretty remarkable, Gail, is SlideShare and how you are using SlideShare to basically get a lot of information out to candidates who may be interested and different roles within Intuit.

Gail: I consider SlideShare our fifth social media channel and I call it our accidental channel. We actually started using SlideShare as a parking lot after our Facebook video chat as a place to put the presentations instead of people sending me an email saying I need a copy of the presentation. It's like you can go here and get the presentation. We didn't realize it was going to have such a viral nature to it. We have over 117,000 views on our channel. It grows whether we promote it or not because we make sure that all of our different presentations out there are tagged appropriately. We also make sure that there's interesting pictures on the different presentations we have out there to capture that visual person's attention to try to get them to take a look at our presentations. So it's just continual branding of Intuit, whether we're actively recruiting or not. It's out there.

Peter: You are very active on social media. You spend a lot of time and you're getting very good results from it but you are doing it personally. It is people at Intuit who work for Intuit. You're not farming this out to an agency is that right?

Gail: That's correct, we do all of our own social media. We don't have agencies tweeting on our behalf. It's all coming from either myself running the Intuit Careers channels or it's coming from our recruiters individually running their channels.

Peter: Talk to me a little bit about metrics. How are you gauging the success of your recruiting efforts through different social media channels and what are some of the results you could share with us.

Gail: We look at metrics a couple of different ways. The first metric that most companies look at is the source where the applicant says they're coming from. So it's a self select source, and so some of the applicants are identifying that they're coming from social media channels but we also know that by the time the applicant finally comes to apply they may not remember where they actually saw the job.

So we're doing additional metrics on the backend. We do have an agency, TMP, that is able to capture data when they're coming into the jobs.intuit.com site. So they're capturing data for us on where people are coming from.

We also have Google Analytics on both the jobs.intuit.com and Intuit Careers where we can capture data and Google Analytics recently added the social referral tool. What that basically does is it says I came and I looked at your job, I left, I went out and I researched and then I came back to your job. It's tracking the last site they were on before they came back to the job. So it could be YouTube. It could be Pinterest. It could be SlideShare. It's capturing all of that data and it's bringing it back in house.

We recently did a test with a another measurement tool called Simply Measured. It's a very visually appealing measurement tool unlike a lot of the analytics tools that are out there and we saw, for instance, one tweet that we did had 874 clicks on it and we were able to tell that one tweet had that many clicks. We're able to tell if we do certain things on Facebook at certain times of the day we tend to get more interest. We can see keywords that most people are clicking on and putting in the system through this tool.

Peter: One thing you mentioned that I think is very important because most companies at least try to track where a candidate came from and if you asked a candidate 9 times out of 10 they're going to say "I came on to your career portal." Or "I came on to your job site," where it may have been through Indeed or Simply Hired or LinkedIn where they actually first made that contact but from their perspective it was on your career site. So I think that's really important that you're doing that kind of granular checking to see really where these people are coming from so you know where to invest your money.

Gail: Right, exactly. Because if a candidate's already in your career site they typically are going to be tagged that they're an Intuit career site candidate or company career site candidate. Even though they may have seen this particular job post from Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter it's not going to pick that up when they come in and self identify because their source is already there. So companies have to realize that you've got to track other ways, and we're working really hard to try to figure out how to do all of that tracking so that we can get some hard core real numbers.

Peter: You're very active with an alumni network. Tell us a little bit about that and what some of the statistics are and the reason that you have an alumni network out there that's so active.

Gail: We have an Intuit alumni group. We also have an Intuit employees and alumni group on LinkedIn. We run both of those as well as an Intuit Careers Channel. We wanted a place for our alumni to come and be able to talk with each other, update each other, let people know what they're doing, where they moved on to. We also post jobs to the alumni group as well in case people want to come back. Lots of people go off and do other things and then they want to come back home again, and so we make sure that the recruiters are available there to answer questions, to talk about the different roles they have, to talk about the different events, things like that. So we get just some really positive response.

We also had an alumni group, for instance, for our tax advisors. That's a really large campaign that we run every year and the alumni group for the tax advisors is great because they keep each other informed on what's going on, new laws that are passing, things like that. So that one's really active as well.

Peter: What about referrals; what kind of referral program do you have?

Gail: We have an employee referral program where we pay bonuses. For most of the positions at Intuit if somebody refers a candidate over, so for instance we'll use our social site like Yammer to put a call out to our employees letting them know 'Hey we need this type of sales person right now... we're hiring for this type of Java developer... who do you know... don't forget about the employee referral program... and oh by the way, if you're interested in this job yourself, please make sure that you go ahead and apply for it because again we're always encouraging that internal.' The amounts vary depending on the type of job.

Peter: One of the participants asked you, what I thought was a very interesting question, how has all of this activity that you're doing in social media impacted the more traditional ways of recruiting?

Gail: We still do all of the traditional ways of recruiting. We still post jobs on job boards, on LinkedIn. We still search for résumés on job boards and on sites like LinkedIn and things like that that when we're reaching out to the candidates social media is allowing us to enhance that initial reach. So for instance, if you're sending an email to a candidate you can actually put in a video of the hiring manager, or a video that's talking about the group or the culture at Intuit.

So you try to really bring the culture to the candidate so that they can get excited about it and they get an idea on what it is like to work there, the real world, not just what we say in a job description but 'here's people and gosh, they look happy working here and they're talking about innovation and they're talking about I had this idea for this mobile product and I told somebody about it and wow, now Intuit's developed it and it's really cool and it's a product and that's living and breathing.'

So we're trying to get them excited and social is allowing us to use traditional channels in a more engaging way.

Peter: You're using a lot of video.

Gail: Video gets managed a couple of different ways. Sometimes we will hire video editors to help us with the really critical videos that have to look professional. We know that we're going to be using those videos for a long time. Other videos are being produced with some of our recruiters going out and asking questions of the hiring managers and then we take it back and we actually edit the video in house with our recruiting team.

We've got a gentleman on our recruiting him who helps us a lot of that. He'll add B-roll footage in there to show the campus, to show the different teams interacting, things like that. He'll add music to it and then he hands me the video and I put it out on YouTube and we start promoting it.

Peter: What kind of traction are you getting out on YouTube? How many views are you getting on a typical video?

Gail: We have over 90,000 views on our YouTube channel right now. One of our videos, one of our technology videos that we have showcased on our YouTube channel has over 7,000 views right now. We have other videos with 2,000 or 3,000 views. For our tax advisor program we have four different videos that we have out there and they all have thousands of views a piece and we refresh those videos for the new year and updated them.

Peter: One of the things that both of you commented on, which I think is so important in this whole success that you've had with social media, is that the top leaders at Intuit have bought into social media and the importance of using social media and having authentic conversations out there with candidates.

Gail: Right. Brad Smith recently started a blog on LinkedIn and he's one of the top 25 influencers, out of the influencers on LinkedIn, and it's an incredible blog because it really gives you insight into what he's thinking and what he believes and that goes throughout the company. He believes in social. He likes some of our posts on our Intuit Careers page and things like that, so we know he's following what the recruiters are doing.

We've also recently done some social media training for hiring managers taking them through their LinkedIn pages, and one of the hiring managers was great because he told his team "LinkedIn isn't about me. I always thought it was about me but it's not. It's about the applicant." He was in the top 5% of profiles viewed on LinkedIn and he had to sit there and think about why, and he realized it's because applicants were coming to look at his profile to see what he was doing. Once he realized that he went and he told his team "LinkedIn is about creating great candidate experience and allowing those candidates to go out and research us and learn about us and get comfortable before they come in and talk to us."

Peter: One last question for both of you. What are some of your takeaways from this conference here today? What are you going to be bringing back to your team, Leslie?

Leslie: I really liked Carmen's last presentation on Twitter. She brought some really good insights in there, some of the list followings. I liked Ben's presentation about creating a social recruiting strategy. We do that but there were some certain things especially the mobile piece that I hadn't thought of very intently before. Also Laura's talk about mobile recruiting. We need to consider... when you think about it, candidates are looking, they're using their smart phones and their tablets to view your websites. They're using that instead of their laptops. So your website should be mobile friendly and you should have a mobile app for your careers page.

Peter: And Gail, what are some of your takeaways?

Gail: The key takeaway that I always find from these conferences is that you have to continually be innovative and you always have to be looking for what's coming next down the road, and I think that that's something that all of the speakers are talking about in their presentations whether it's mobile, whether it's Twitter, Facebook. It doesn't matter. We have to constantly be learning how to utilize these social media tools to engage with our audience. The key with social is while a lot of what we do is marketing, it is still social and so you've got to be in there and you have to be talking to your candidates and be willing to have that conversation with the candidates out on social sites and not be afraid of it.

A lot of employers are afraid to even get started because they don't know what the employee is going to say and they don't know what the applicant is going to ask. That's where I see a lot of the hesitation from people is, I don't know what to say and what if the candidate says something wrong or something that's not deemed positive. You apologize that they had a bad experience and you move on and you try to fix it if you can. If you can't, you say you're sorry.

Peter: Two things that seemed to be very prevalent this year in recruiting are mobile and the candidate experience. That's what everyone's talking about at these conferences.

Gail: Exactly.

Peter: Leslie and Gail, thank you so much for taking time to speak with us on TotalPicture Radio. It's been great to meet you here in Washington DC.

We've been speaking with Gail Houston, social media program manager, and Leslie Mason, senior recruiter with Intuit. You'll find this interview, including a complete transcript, in the Talent Acquisition Channel of TotalPicture Radio. You can subscribe to TotalPicture Radio on iTunes, Stitcher Radio and SoundCloud.

Thank you for tuning in to TotalPicture Radio's exclusive coverage from the Recruiting Trends Sourcing and Recruiting Social Summit 2013 in Washington DC brought to you by Talent Box, the leading talent-focused digital interview platform. Recruiters and hiring managers can use Talent Box to short list the best candidates for any type of role. All online, simple to use, interviews can include video-based questions, text based questions or multi-choice questions and can be fully customized to whatever role you're looking to fill. Visit Talent Box on the web at www.talentbox.me and sign up today for a free 45 day trial. We think you'll get the picture. Also, keep an eye out for new Talent Box videos and podcast interviews on TotalPicture Radio totalpicture.com.

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An event unlike any other, the Sourcing and Recruiting Social Summit 2013 in Waashington, DC, featured an agenda which included presentations where attendees discovered new technologies and practices to enhance their sourcing and recruiting performance and techniques through social media. TotalPicture Radio's coverage of the event is sponsored by TalentBox. You'll love their digital interview platform!

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