Creating an Olympic-Level Recruiting Strategy

July 27, 2012 7:12 pm Published by Géraldine Slevin

As we get geared up for the Olympic opening ceremonies later today, it’s hard not to think about the implications of a huge worldwide event like this for the business world–in our case, the world of social recruiting. And without stretching (as tempting as that might be), it seems like there are actually some real, tangible lessons to be learned in this arena from the age-old global tradition. So what makes the Olympic Games so special, and how could that possibly relate to your social recruiting strategy?

They’re emotional
People love the Olympics because the event resonates on a deep emotional level–not just because they’re interested in the sports being played. An effective social recruiting strategy has to include more than just an accurate job description. It needs to include the opportunity for potential candidates to jibe emotionally or intellectually with your company even before applying. The best way to achieve this is to make your company Facebook page (and any other points of contact between job-seekers and your company) a dynamic representation of company culture–what it’s really like to work for you.

They connect people
Part of the magic of the Olympics is connectedness–the feeling of unity that comes from the shared experience of rooting for one’s country (and that elusive sense of global unity that bubbles up once every four years). A great social recruiting strategy encourages connectedness through conversation–for example, by creating a highly interactive Facebook page for your company which encourages input and comments from fans and potential applicants. Ask questions, post polls, and share content of interest to your fans to encourage them to become actively involved with your page.

They keep it classy
Consistency and commitment to high standards is key to the appeal of the Olympics. Year after year, followers of the games trust that they can expect organized and elegant ceremonies, fairness in judging and scoring, and mutual respect between countries and athletes. When they do occur, public relations snafus (an ill-advised tweet, for example, or issues with uniforms) are dealt with quickly and professionally. Ensuring that all the content you create and distribute as part of your social recruiting strategy is high-quality and consistent with your message will encourage trust on the part of applicants and fans of your brand. And when you do make a mistake–especially if someone points it out, maybe in a comment on your Facebook page–it’s best to address and resolve the issue with honesty and openness.

These strategies are all simple, straightforward, and applicable for virtually any recruitment campaign. Give them a try–the Olympics have, and they’ve been around since Ancient Greece.

This post was written by Géraldine Slevin