“We were a disparate set of 17 companies but we have used digital and social media to help us create a brand,” says chief executive Mark Braund. “We wanted to futureproof our business and so we invested time, effort and energy to create awareness through social media.”
He explains that candidates are either active, those who look at and reply to adverts because they are seeking a job, or passive. “They are the ones who won’t look at adverts perhaps because they are happy in their jobs,” Braund says. “In the past when we had a very basic and static website and no real social media presence we would phone these passive types up and say we have a job for you! Now through social media we get in a dialogue with them and find out what interests them first.”
He says that through Twitter, LinkedIn and blogs on its website it reaches out and engages with potential candidates: “We would take a scientist and try to connect with them. They would then see all our posts on his or her industry sector, build awareness of our company and hopefully it will resonate with them. They will see us as an expert.
“Then when one of our consultant approaches them and asks them if they are happy in their job and what opportunities they might be seeking then we have got over that initial trust barrier. We move into a different set of communications with them online.”
InterQuest’s social media team currently numbers six trained staff but is expanding all the time. “The challenge is teaching people new skills and how to engage on social media. Often it is the least experienced who are the quickest to learn,” he says. “But my advice would be don’t put the cart before the horse. Ask yourself where you can add value, what your customers want, develop a business strategy and execute.”
In tomorrow’s final instalment of our Going Digital series, we provide you with a boardroom action plan so you can check whether your company is ready to go digital…