Here’s the First Crop of ERE Recruiting Excellence Award Winners – College, Mobile, Referral, and Web Recruiting

Feb 5, 2015
This article is part of a series called News & Trends.

Screen Shot 2015-01-20 at 12.07.13 PMWe’re ready to start rolling out the winners of the talent-acquisition industry’s most prestigious awards, the ERE Recruiting Excellence Awards.

These awards have a wonderful history, catapulting a number of companies over the years into a sort of talent-acquisition stardom, earning them a “best practices in talent acquisition” reputation lasting years: companies like Marriott, Sodexo, CACI, Enterprise, and others, from the U.S. to India to New Zealand and elsewhere.

A big thanks to our uber-patient and diligent judges, as well as to all applicants. (The thought occurred to me that if I wanted to, I could put together a conference made up solely of those who did not win, and it would be a great agenda.)

Something different this year: instead of announcing all winners at once like last year, and instead of finalists also like last year, we’ve only got winners, and we’re announcing those in installments, this being the first.

The first categories announced below are: Best College Recruiting Program; Best Use of ‘Mobile’ for Recruiting; Best Corporate Careers Websites (not just your own company’s career site, but other pages on social media and other sites, including mobile sites/apps); and Best Employee Referral Program.

The info below is brief, as we typically follow up with webinars and conference sessions throughout the year.

Screen Shot 2015-01-20 at 1.08.56 PMThe Best College Recruiting Program winner is EY, where college hiring is up about 23 percent year over year.

EY’s campus hiring is, forgive my cliche, both high touch and high tech. On the touch, it involves personal visits from everyone up to the CEO. Online, the launch of has drawn about 270,000 people in a bit over a year.

EY had held a “Truth in Numbers” campaign where teams of EY interns submitted answers to such questions as how long will it take for the United States to run out of unique phone numbers. EY used the answers to show recruits the type of creativity they’ll use on the job.

EY uses a special number for people to text at campus events, and get immediate replies to a link to learn more about EY’s culture. Also, EY creates posts around hot Facebook hashtags, like #MotivationalMonday, which have generated heavy amounts of reach and “likes.” It has a new EY Global Quiz to help people “build a global mindset,” as EY says.

There’s more, including other campus events, contests, and an intern leadership contest, a twitter channel, special minority and LGBT outreach.

Some comments about EY from the judges:

  • “Their use of texting and the mobile phone show advanced thinking.”
  • “Amazing program. World class. So many things here that are best in class. Campus hiring is clearly a strategic must-have for EY — the investment is fantastic — from mobile to social, onsite to exec leadership/sponsorship, brand messaging/promise. It’s all fantastic.”
  • “I love the idea of an intern landing page. You not only include your interns you make them feel special. This is where many companies miss the purpose of interns.”
  • “They have one of the most all encompassing detailed and metrics/analytics-based results goals and plans. EY obviously takes a great deal of time effort and resources in reaching out and connecting with college students and ensuring that they can do everything possible to hire these professionals at the right moment in time.”

The Best Use of ‘Mobile’ for Recruiting award goes to EMC India and its Center of Excellence. It used a mobile application called Amigo 2.0.

Hiring managers say new hires from Amigo are of higher quality than other hire sources.

The app, built with help from an outside vendor, is also helping EMC hire more quickly. For senior and technical positions, executive search and agency spending has gone way down. EMC India says the app helped the storage company open up a new center in the city of Pune.

Screen Shot 2015-01-20 at 12.32.35 PM

The Best Corporate Career Websites winner is AT&T. One judge said it has “strong mobile capabilities and strong SEO results and personalization.” Another said the site is “social, optimized. Videos are good quality. Metrics demonstrate ongoing growth.”

From a third judge: “Great new branding and this theme carries throughout. … Strong engagement on Glassdoor and other social channels.”

And, from another: “The layout and look and feel are great. Site responds to various mobile devices. Veteran page, and a veteran talent community is a great feature, and not seen on very many sites. The career character game is fun, and has good graphics. Live chat is also a nice feature. Social updates page is a great layout and feature.”

Screen Shot 2015-01-23 at 9.45.19 AMAT&T didn’t consider its career site work to be “visual only,” as it puts it. It wanted to update the look, but also communicate more succinctly, provide a better experience on multiple devices (it replaced a two-site system with a responsive design platform), and provide more interactive content. There’s a page for AT&T’s women as well as a military translator.

On Google, AT&T’s SEO is performing very well. Page views and mobile traffic are up sharply.

On to the Best Employee Referral Program. “This one is nearly perfect,” one judge wrote. “Their way of advertising their program to their workers is fantastic and inventive.”

The judge is talking about DaVita Kidney Care’s referral program, which is resulting in hires 20 percent more likely to stay with the company. Referrals are up roughly 50 percent over last year, and there’s about a 20 percent increase in the number who’ve been hired.

Screen Shot 2015-01-20 at 1.00.13 PMThe company started with extensive research — focus groups, surveys, and more — into how to improve the company’s referral program. It continued with better technology to make referrals, including mobile-friendly technology, built in house.

A scoring system is used to measure how the person doing the referring knows the candidates. 

DaVita Kidney Care has done a lot of work in getting referrals from clinics, where people may not have a company email address. It’s also pushing referrals during the onboarding process, and segmenting messages (something one of the judges said really impressed them) for military veterans, high performers, Ivy Leaguers, and for hot jobs. 

All referrals must be contacted within 48 hours. If that doesn’t happen, says DaVita, “the recruiter’s manager is accountable for personally calling and apologizing to the teammate who referred — an idea that the manager team created on their own.”

Ultimately, it sees referrals as resulting in better care, because nurses are hired more quickly, and patients get more continuity of care. 


The next post, next Thursday, will cover the categories of onboarding, military talent, technology, and branding.

This article is part of a series called News & Trends.
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