Intel Planning Next Steps With Social Media Recruiting

Intel is trying to tie together a sprawling network of social media recruiting efforts to achieve more consistency, get more recruiters involved in social media, and have more of a conversation and less one-way communication. In addition to making sure it’s getting the messages out to the candidates it wants, Intel’s recruiting strategists also want to make sure they keep up with competitors like Microsoft, Google, Apple, and Intuit.

Watch for all of the following out of Intel in the year to come:

  • Intel will have a digital marketing team working on retrofitting Intel’s content for mobile devices in 2011, including the whole process of searching for and applying for a job.
  • Sejal Patel, recruitment marketing project manager, will be working on consolidating and revamping the company’s Facebook pages in 2011. Right now, Intel has a main company page; a more career-focused page called Discover Intel; and pages for some countries such as Vietnam. Patel would like Intel’s jobs to be fed automatically to some of these pages. Right now, not a lot of Intel jobs are posted on Facebook; Keith Molesworth, channels and ERP manager, says Facebook is “more of a conversation” right now.
  • Better search engine optimization. Intel looked at using Jobs2Web but has yet to do so. (Generally — though it’s doing a pilot with an employee-referral vendor — it has chosen to do a lot of its social media recruiting toolmaking in-house, partly for financial reasons, partly over concerns its org chart, email addresses, and other sensitive information could get out, and partly because of its own expertise.) Anyhow, it’s rethinking how it names things; “Discover Intel” for example, doesn’t ring a search engine’s bell like something worded more about careers.
  • Improving coordination. Right now, the different owners of the Intel social media initiatives don’t communicate as seamlessly as the company wants. A job candidate may, for example, ask a question on one site, and may not be directed to a conversation going on about that topic on another Intel recruiting page, simply because the Intel managers running the channels aren’t aware of all that’s going on. Intel could turn to a tool like ObjectiveMarketer.
  • Simply better using social media. Marketing and Branding Program Manager Allen Stephens says that “95% of our work is broadcasting, and 5% engaging.” He says Intel wants to make sure the community aspects of social media recruiting aren’t ignored. He also says that some Intel recruiters are “really good” at social media recruiting, while others are barely aware of all the many channels the company’s using. When Intel needs to ramp up in a certain area and for a certain job function, he wants the company to have data already in hand showing what channels will work best. To that end, Intel’s thinking about identifying “social media ambassadors” so that the manufacturing team, or software team, has 1-2 recruiters “up to speed in all social channels we have out there, engaging in a consistent way,” Stephens says.

All this is not to say that social media recruiting is new to Intel; on the contrary, what it’s trying to is get a better grip on all the chip giant is doing. Intel has vigorously hired social media marketing experts on its marketing team. It offers something called “Digital IQ” training to become an expert in social media and be listed in an internal database of social media practitioners at the firm. It has videos on YouTube; a Jobs page and a careers site; a main Twitter page and recruiter Twitter pages, social media guidelines; an external blog as well as the “Planet Blue” blog used internally; and a LinkedIn page.

Speaking of LinkedIn: Keith Molesworth says the site has been a “great success” for global recruiting, while some “global job boards,” he says, have touted themselves as global but tend to be weak in this region or that region. “LinkedIn is one of the few products out of the gate that seems to be successful globally,” he says. Intel is talking with LinkedIn about Referral Engine.

Stephens says that Intel’s “corporate career site is still our destination.” But, he says, “We’re primarily trying to attract engineers who are passive candidates. They don’t wake up in the morning and say, ‘I’m going to check out the Intel.com site and look for career opportunities.’ They might be on LinkedIn and they might be on Facebook and they might be on Twitter.”

Ditto, says Tiffany Peery. She’s is an engineering recruiter who’s now the U.S. College Virtual Recruiting and Marketing Program Manager, and says it’s the passive engineering candidate Intel aims most for.

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Teresa Chiappone is the web architect who handles a lot of the back-end Intel metrics. She makes sure that a job listing — on Twitter, for example — has a source code on it. That way, if a job seeker clicks on it and applies for a job, Intel can track it.

But, I asked her, “Doesn’t a candidate usually see a job on Facebook, Twitter, and so on, and then go online later to the career site to apply?”

“I’m not sure that’s true,” she says. But, she acknowledges, “it’s a fine art. It’s not perfect.”

Over the course of a couple of decades at Intel, she has seen the company jump on email quickly, and on the Internet quickly, and on social media quickly. “We’ve always been a very open communications kind of company,” she says. “This is just the next step in the evolution.”

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