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Tristram Grey, Ericsson

Case study: Reduce cost per hire by 70%? Here’s how Ericsson did it

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A full scale employer brand strategy is what Tristram Gray, VP and head of HR for Ericsson South East Asia and Oceania, and his team laid out – read why this implementation was successful both for the business and HR.

Over the past two years, Ericsson has created and implemented a full scale employer brand strategy. This includes research, messaging, communication, social /digital media, segmentation, enhanced careers site and measurement.

Ericsson has been transforming from a mobile telecoms centric organisation to a true ICT and media organisation for a number of years now and this continues at an even faster pace today – for example, many people do not realise that Ericsson is the 5th largest software company in world today!

Over the last decade, our organisation has changed dramatically. Ericsson no longer manufactures handsets or focuses exclusively on mobile infrastructure. Rather, we are a dynamic ICT company providing industry-leading solutions in areas such as mobility, TV and media, cloud and IP.

At the heart of our business is our Ericsson vision of the networked society. As a result, our employee value proposition and employment brand has kept pace with these changes and this new reality is reflected in the way in which we engage potential future employees.

Throughout 2015, Ericsson promoted its brand through a number of internal events, channels and programmes. Toolkits were created to provide all Ericsson employees with a solid understanding of the employer brand and how to promote it.

These include: the ‘Brand Week’ event for employees, the launch of the employee referral and the employee advocacy programme, training for the talent acquisition strategy team and regional leaders, and the launch of an internal employer branding portal and toolkit.

These enablers further strengthened our attraction strategies and ensured our approach to attracting new talent is reflective of our market position today and where we see ourselves moving into the future.

This has meant an increased digital presence of the Ericsson employment brand online, on social media, in referral programmes, and graduate programmes which we see having a material impact on the quantity but more importantly the quality of candidates we are attracting.

Social media campaigns in this region resulted in nearly 260K impressions and drove over 20k clicks, reached over 10k users and drove 660 engagements.

Being social is a good thing

Research shows that social engaged companies are 58% more likely to attract top talent. In addition, employees at socially engaged companies are 20% more likely to stay with their employer (Source: Social Chorus 2015).

Ericsson has built our employer brand digital strategy around diversity and the role it has played in pushing the boundaries of technology towards the networked society with these key initiatives:

1. A complete redesign of our careers site

Last year, we enhanced and redesigned our career site; migrating it to a mobile enabled platform.

The regions were featured prominently in the redesign of the careers site. Each region has its own spotlight page where they are welcome to post relevant and exciting content.

Region South East Asia & Oceania (RASO) has been highly engaged since the launch, submitting videos, employee stories and news articles to be featured.

2. A social media strategy for the Ericsson Careers channels

In 2015, social campaigns as well as one-off social posts resulted in a 33% year-over-year increase in organic visits to the job site (jobs.ericsson.com) and an 11% year-over-year increase in overall visits  to the career site.

RASO social media campaigns resulted in nearly 260K impressions and drove over 20k clicks, reached over 10k users and drove 660 engagements.

Furthermore they created 16k Facebook referrals, 1,215 LinkedIn referrals, 586 Twitter referrals, and 21 Pinterest referrals.

3. Employee advocacy

If people feel that they can reach their full potential and advance their career without having to leave Ericsson because they see the investments that we’re putting in to their competence development, not only are they likely to stay – but they are also likely to spread the word.

Recently, we launched a social advocacy pilot where employees can share branded Ericsson content across their social and personal social media networks.

Results show employee engagement increased 1.7x as a result of  joining the pilot. This results in more LinkedIn visits, improving Ericsson’s brand awareness and profile.

Ericsson’s Talent Brand Index increased nearly 45% in 2015, with a noticeable lift occurring when the social advocacy pilot was launched.

We also created an Ericsson Careers Blog. Four employees were chosen to represent RASO and their career area by sharing their experiences with the inner workings of Ericsson’s diverse culture in their blog posts.

Since the Careers Blog launched in June 2015, it has received 36,481 views from 25,620 unique visitors.

Ericsson’s regional social media campaigns created 16k Facebook referrals, 1,215 LinkedIn referrals, 586 Twitter referrals, and 21 Pinterest referrals.

Converting action into results

Throughout 2015, Ericsson promoted its employer brand through a number of events, channels and programs, shared earlier. This had a huge impact on our talent acquisition processes, both in terms of time and cost.

For example, we not only reduced the time taken to fill a role, but in the process increased employee referral hires from 13% to 35%. Cost wise, we cut cost per hire by 70%, while also reducing external agency spend and dependence on job boards.

Additionally, social networks are now consistently a top three source of hire for us. Recently, we were also recognised by Universum as one of the top 50 most attractive engineering employers in Asia Pacific, ranked number 38.

Apart from these metrics, another way of gauging results is feedback from staff themselves.

Amanda Yap, company control unit manager at Ericsson Malaysia, has this to say: “Ericsson ensures that every employee understands the role they play in delivering the business needs.

“Over the years, Ericsson has been constantly equipping me with various useful and relevant courses, as well as development opportunities, which have played a key role in expanding both my competencies as well as soft skills.”

Ultimately high retention rates for the business means the investments we have made in employee development and training, development of customer knowledge, intimacy and trust are retained, thereby ensuring a high return on investment.

From the HR perspective, high retention means a reduced effort and cost associated with recruitment, on-boarding and training of new employees, which means HR investments and resources can be deployed in other areas to support business growth and profitability.

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