June 19th, 2012 by Sten Franke
Social Media and Human Resources: When I’m right, this is going to be one of the coming boom topics in the next months, as more and more blogger and relevant media cover it. Recently I read on Futurebiz.de: Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest are employed to win young talents and meet employer needs. Who is surprised by that, as the lack of skilled personnel no longer is refined to engineers, IT, and health care, but threatens the growth potential of the German economy owing to the over-aged population.
Furthermore, Europeans biggest marketing magazine “Werben & Verkaufen” wanted to know my opinion of this topic. Out of my and ethority’s point of view HR and social media is particularly interesting and hardly covered in regard of monitoring and measuring aspects. Not only social media campaigns of most businesses lack KPI’s in this field, to even measure success and reach of single employer branding and recruiting campaigns.
What are the relevant KPI’s to measure success of social media activities in human resources and employer branding?
The KPI’s at first are similar to monitoring brands:
- Buzz volume – How often is HR of my company talked about?
- Share of Voice – Are different businesses talked about more often considering this topic?
- Popularity of the employer brand – Which degree of sympathy, intensity, enthusiasm is at play when users talk about it as an employer?
- Sentiment concerning the employer brand in the single social networks, forums, blogs – How positively or negatively do the users talk about it on LinkedIn, XING, Facebook?
- Social Referrals of your employees – recommendations of vacancies in their own social networks – where, how often, and how successfully are vacancies distributed by your co-workers?
- User numbers of HR- or recruiting-apps for job offers
- Number of Followers/Fans on especially established HR-Twitter accounts, -Facebook Pages, or HR-channels
- Reach of single HR-campaigns
Ultimately, each HR manager will measure social media activities against hard facts like
9. Quantity (total CV-uploads) and
10. Matches – quality of received applications – amount of applicants fitting to the respective vacancyAre the criteria different to those of brands and products?
As yet mentioned of course a lot of identical KPI’s are applied to employer branding that as well are employed in the brands and products sector, although the data basis is different, and cannot begin with mentions of your business. Looking at the “where” and “how”, the context in which your company is mentioned is of key importance. Besides, “soft” criteria need to be defined that are tailor-made for the enterprise and the particular campaign.
Can you measure this success: Which tools are at your service?
Alongside these KPI’s it is important, to integrate methodological knowledge from market research in order to read strengths and weaknesses as an employer, find out needs and expectancies of potential applicants, and accordingly take the proper steps to your HR-strategy. A social media monitoring tool like the gridmaster is very useful to do this: The tool delivers KPI’s for HR-area and serves as an analytical instrument for campaigns and activities on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, XING, and their prospective alumni networks, as well as particular, topic-related blogs, forums and communities.
The gridmaster gathers KPI’s for the success of activities on the networks, or rather especially tailor-made job postings for social media, analyzed, and talent-screening is performed web-wide.
What do businesses need to consider from the beginning, to measure the proper results for their social media undertakings?
Each business has to know right away which goals it wants to reach with social media. Equally important are the appropriate platforms, your target audience, which topics to engage. All in all you always have to reconsider that social media steps do not necessarily have immediate effect on e.g. revenue, or rather – to stick to HR – amount of applicants. Social media actions need to be thought of as long term, and will bring the expected success with continued engagement. Next to analytical technology, in the past years we have reacted to the needs of the market and created a consulting-unit with analysts, planners, and community managers, to be able to offer the suitable strategies and activities to our clients and partners out of the analyses. What leads to success are finally the fitting mechanisms and sustainable community management, e.g. to get recommendations (so-called social referrals) of your community’s members, in order to reach the ideal candidates.
As I said in the W&V: At the end of the day, what counts are the hard facts like quality and quantity of the received applications, against which each HR-manager will measure his or her social media activities.
June 7th, 2012 by Sten Franke
As soon as a McKinsey-study names big data, digital marketing / social media, and cloud computing as megatrends, it will be recognized among most old economy enterprises. A recent investigation by the consulting firm concludes that most C-level executives see foremost three key trends in the digital business:
- Big data and an appropriate analysis of the data
- Digital marketing and corresponding social media tools
- Usage of new platforms like cloud computing and other mobile offers
The expectancies to these three mega trends are high. For instance a third of the questioned believe, via the mentioned trends operational revenue can be increased by more than 10 percent. Managers of privately held businesses expect an even bigger growth potential than their colleagues at companies or publicly held organizations. 39 percent of the “privates” see a growth of over 10 percent thanks to the three above defined trends. At public decision-makers this figure is only 24 percent.
How strong the pressure in these trends is can be seen by the fact that more than half of the respondents said, at least two of the three trends are among the top ten of their strategic business objectives in the coming years. The digital marketing, as well as big data, already belongs to top 3 priorities at 25 percent of all companies.
It may be interesting, whether the planned investigations can cope with the reputed reality. A mere 25 percent of the interviewed declare that more than 3 percent of the company budget is allocated to the digital business. For 29 percent this value only is 0.9 percent.
Tantalizing: A third considers the planned investments as sufficient. However, a half is speaking of too little financial resources.
The actual benefit businesses want to extract out of the three mega trends are – logically – widely varied. E.g. in the big data sector 49 percent state they will focus on customer insights. In digital marketing predominantly it is about further integrating consumers in the field of social media.
At the end of a highly appealing study the authors give an outlook: They see numerous challenges enterprises will have to face. „Also required is a new approach to managing talent by utilizing flexible team structures, engaging outside collaborators, and increasing corporate tolerance for failure.“
Based on my experience and variable discussions I had with executives of companies, brands, and agencies I assess the situation of Germany’s market as follows:
- More than 95% of the businesses will lag behind these mega trends, although the topics have gained awareness in the top management. Most of the times their relevance is being rated down, although. Owing to a lack of know-how they are not being approached or rather realized consequently. The jeopardy especially for exporting companies is very high, as they, first, disregard the chance to strengthen their leading position in the market, and second, risk to lose ground to direct, more innovative contenders in the global competition.
- The budgets for digital marketing have increased the past years, although far away of what would have been necessary to comply with the altered patterns of media usage of consumers. Established B2C-brands bet on modeling tools to fathom budget allocation best, although the tools often miss the input of social media data. When it comes to the creative realization, in my view too often the antique sender-receiver principle is being applied. A good bit of the digital budget is allotted to further development and launch of websites, while the initiation of branded communities in social networks is neglected. Too little significance is given to the important community management.
- Sure, big data is a hype topic in the media, but yet hasn’t arrived in the daily business. First tries to mount and interpret the massive data treasure can be identified, mostly in the US, where intern data are combined with consumer insights generated in social media, and so increasing the efficiency and output of campaigns. In Germany many companies still are in search of an argumentation to conduct a first professional social media analysis, above all against the background of identifying emerging crises. To get access to the nuggets – the customer insights – more than monitoring of keywords is needed. High analytical and technological competence, considerable comprehension of how consumers think nowadays, and which marketing tools deliver best leads is what it takes.
Conclusion: Indeed, most businesses will have a hard time building the required know-how, and the appropriate structures, in an acceptable time frame. That’s why top management will buy the competences externally. Ergo, service and solution providers in the above mentioned sectors may look forward to above average raising budgets in the coming years.