The 2014 ERE Recruiting Excellence Award Winners

ere-awards-logo-2014You saw the list of finalists — a group that, like I said in that post, really all are honorees given how close of a call most every category was, and how many good applications there were that didn’t make the final cut.

Now let’s look at the final winners. Thanks again to the judges.

Best College Recruiting Program

You may not have heard of the big energy company MOL Group, out of Hungary. But you’ll want to check out its Freshhh and Growww program.

Freshhh is an online, international student competition, attracting more than 10,000 students in 70 countries and 250 colleges. Growww is a graduate recruiting program running in 14 countries. Some of those countries: Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, The Czech Republic, Hungary, Iraq, Italy, Oman, Pakistan, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, and Slovenia.

Check out this PDF for more information.

Best Corporate Careers Websites

After the launch of Air New Zealand’s new careers website, it saw close to 600,000 unique visitors in 2013. Traffic is up 578 percent via LinkedIn.

Air New Zealand says “the site has paid off massively in terms of talent attraction and driving our employment brand.”

Candidates told Air New Zealand that its new site should feature stories and videos about its people, and the company used those stories as a key feature in its revamp. “It is so powerful,” the company says, “that organic Google traffic is our No. 2 top source in terms of talent attraction with close to 300,000 unique visitors to the site in 2013.”

The most-watched video is “Mike the Pilot,” about one of the company’s captains. It has been watched over 10,000 times.

ANZ is working on its mobile offerings (where traffic is up 550 percent) and an “apply with LinkedIn” feature.

Best Employee Referral Program

Protiviti’s employee referral program was struggling in 2011. It was decentralized, not well promoted, and candidates who were referred didn’t get priority in the hiring process.

The company upped its bonuses. It generated publicity around its S.T.A.R (Stellar Talent Acquisition Referral) program, providing content for discussions at town hall events, sending out emails and intranet postings, and using videos.

Protiviti gave away iPads and Amazon gift cards, and gave out public recognition, too. Recruiters started following up with people more quickly and thoroughly.

From 2011 to 2013, hires made from referrals increased by 10 percent. But what the company says is most important is a culture shift — people being proud to refer a new hire. “Nobody wanted to be left out of the referral frenzy,” the firm says.

Best Employer Brand

EY was a 2013 honoree, and it returned in 2013 to launch a new global strategy, brand name, logo, and tagline. Its employer brand proposition: “

Its employer brand proposition: “Whenever you join, however long you stay, the exceptional EY experience lasts a lifetime.”

Says the firm: “A career with purpose. Exceptional experiences. Relationships that last a lifetime. These are the cornerstones of our employer brand promise, and we begin delivering on that promise to recruits even before they join EY.”

Its branding is aimed at employees, potential employees, and ex employees. Its message is that you can learn at EY, lead at EY, you can get access to diverse resources, and that there is a culture of inclusiveness, flexibility, and giving back.

It has a new branding microsite, In about four months, more than 100,000 people visited.

Best Military Talent Program

Screen Shot 2014-03-05 at 11.41.21 AMCACI expanded its formidable military efforts in 2013. It connected with veteran and spouse applicants through a wide variety of organizations such as the USO, and through more than 60 military job fairs. It hired three disabled veteran college students through the Aurora Foundation for CACI internships.

It launched a resource group that connects veterans across the company so they can collaborate, develop their careers, and organize activities.

CACI paired veteran hires with senior CACI employees, usually veterans, to serve as mentors.

The company says that the veteran population numbers 2,642 and the disabled veteran population 701. In each of the past four years, it says it hired more than 200 disabled veterans. One in four employees is a current or past service member.

Best Onboarding Program

rookie_o_august_9th_2013_402Rackspace invests a lot in onboarding for its Rookies (new employees) as they become Rackers (employees).

Rookies are assigned to teams during onboarding; teams work together for a week of orientation, and stay friends.

During onboarding, departments give presentations about what they do and how that helps the company.

At week’s end, there’s a graduation; Rookies are recognized with a pep rally … think music, standing ovations, and high fives. Mentoring and onboarding and learning go on for up to three weeks.

Rackspace has launched a“Rack Ready Book” — a 90-day guide to “personally engaging with Rackers company-wide … expectations, company events, strategy, and other resources.” Look for it to be “gamified” eventually.

Rookies get involved in raising money for charities around San Antonio.

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Most Strategic Use of Technology

alumniT-Mobile went after what it calls “A-List Boomerangs” in 2013: people who managers recommended the company rehire, who could fit in key roles.

It sent them a Nexus Tablet with personal invites to speak to a recruiter. (Before they were sent the Tablet, by the way, they were sent chargers as a teaser.)

It included personal URLs — like a type of URL, one that uses the person’s name — inviting people to learn how the company has grown, where it’s going, and how they might benefit from that growth. The URLs included videos specific to certain functions, as well as industry news and job links. T-Mobile also used handwritten, paper notes.

The company tracked all this to see how it worked; the average time spent on each page exceeded expectations by over 100 percent.

Recruiting Department/Function of the Year (broken up into small and large companies)

–larger company

Rackspace’s competition heated up in 2013 and Rackspace has to fight hard for talent in San Antonio. It redid its recruiting process, using supply-and-demand data from sources such as LinkedIn, CareerBuilder, and Dice “heat maps” to identify favorable markets hiring the technical people it needs.

It then went on the road to find people. Rackspace held a “Linux Bash” event for full-day interviews with pre-screened candidates in Dallas, Houston, and Atlanta. It also held sales recruiting events in major markets. Rackspace was willing to offer jobs the day of the event.

These and other efforts resulted in the elimination, Rackspace says, of “an 80-person deficit in Linux administrators in one year.”

By pre-screening people before events, it made its hiring team much more efficient and increased hires from events by 300 percent.

It implemented a recruiter scorecard system. It met or exceeded headcount goals in all critical areas for the first time. It put a lot of work into creating pipelines of talent. It reduced time to fill.

Rackspace worked on being more consultative as recruiters, and knowing the business much better. Recruiters earned certificates from Cloud University.

Candidate satisfaction is up 13 percent from Q1 to Q4, 2013.

–smaller company 

Lending Club’s recruiting team grew the business from 120 to 400 people last year. In technology, it went from 19 to 80 people, in competitive San Francisco.

It is particular focusing on the use of video. It’s also heavily using data in hiring. As an example, it noticed that about 30 percent of engineering hires were coming from Fremont, California. So, it has gone to the BART station there to pass out flyers.

At Lending Club, candidates can talk to a recruiter, do phone interviews, an interview onsite, and get an offer — all in a week or so.

Weekly, it does a “tech sourcing power hour” to talk about recruiting trends, such as better ways to write a job description.