MANAGING in the

NEW WORLD

 

 

Key Speakers: Ms. Megha Nayak (Marketing Lead- LinkedIn Talent Solutions).  Ms. Richa Telang (Head Talent Branding- Flipkart). Ms. Shuba Bhaskaran (Senior Enterprise Relationship Manager- LinkedIn India).  Ms. Shabnam Charania (Marketing Specialist- LinkedIn India) 

 

This write-up will explore the important points learnt during the webinar conducted by LinkedIn where Indian retail giant Flipkart discussed ways in which it conducts talent management, recruitment and employee engagement. It will highlight why Flipkart in tune with many such modern organizations sees employees as the highest rated capital which will yield positive results.

Premise

Flipkart is one of the top online retail companies in India. On its way towards success, the company has realized that employees need to be treated the way one would treat customers. Corporate training for employees should be seen not as an expense but as an investment as results far outweigh the costs. A holistic social strategy can best leverage employee engagement and Flipkart has already got rewards due to this policy.

Content

The first thing that every talent solutions provider or team must take care of is the content part. The content has to be relevant, useful and interesting. Also the content to be targeted has to vary depending upon segment. A post may be extremely popular among a young audience hooked to Facebook but may not work so well for a mature professional who is more of a LinkedIn user. Organizational branding begins with the employees and this process is called co-branding. That is why some of the better corporates make sure that employees are happy as that leads to them proving to be advocates for the brand. Happy and motivated employees further spread positive content about the organization.

Styles and Themes

The style and theme for the content also varies according to segment. Various pre-built themes exist for content to be displayed on. The career site for example is stylistically diametrically opposite to the ones used for shopping or branding. All photography that is displayed is using internal sources as no photo-shoots are arranged. It is employees who themselves volunteer to help out in the same.

Poll on Employee Branding

A poll was conducted by LinkedIn to gauge which department is to be trusted better for employee branding. The choices were between the marketing and PR team on the one hand and the HR and talent division on the other. All the webinar attendees voted in it. This marketing research threw up the surprising result where about seventy percent of attendees voted for the marketing and PR team rather than the HR team.

Content Targeting

It is not enough to only curate great content. That content then has to reach the right audience. Just as the HR team follows the maxim that employees are to be treated as customers, similarly the marketing team at Flipkart treats customers as potential future employees. Thus a vibrant, positive image about the organization and its culture needs to be presented to the outside world as the one viewing could eventually be tempted to join the organization. The marketers have to make sure that the content thus broadcast is genuine and authentic. Flipkart has consistently used both online as well as offline techniques to reach the audience.

Social Partners

Flipkart has built strategic partnerships with social media platforms for the purpose of co-branding. This helps the company in two ways. One the one hand, it takes care of an important aspect of digital marketing. On the other, it also facilitates employee engagement.

For this purpose LinkedIn is ideal. This is a purely professional platform and members use this with a very different mindset. For example, a minor tiff at the office will not resonate negatively on LinkedIn the way it may on less formal platforms. Twitter is also used in the form of Tweet Chats to connect with employees. These Tweet Chats are then promoted on LinkedIn thus allowing a multi-channel social strategy.

Recruitment Cycle

In order to raise awareness about the organization, Flipkart has created engagement strategies. Even gamification has been used to connect with talent pool. Different employee pools have been targeted profiles accordingly. For example, someone working with e-kart which is the supply chain wing of the company, will be looking for hard core operations solutions. On the other hand, those working for Flipkart Global will have a different perspective. There are those who are targeting the US market alone. Flipkart also has specific teams working purely on technologies.

External talent is potentially the employee of the future. Thus constant engagement strategies work better than one-time solutions. That is why the ‘always on’ employee branding is the preferred mode by Flipkart.

Leveraging Internal Ecosystem

Recruiters need to behave like sales persons these days. Talent may be knocking around but it is very important to recognize the right candidate. Most organizations have this policy of employee referral where a good candidate is referred to by an existing employee. It works similarly at Flipkart though some crucial differences do exist here.

Social triggers are a very good source of attracting fresh talent whether internally or through some external source. An example of the same can be the ‘life at Flipkart’ sneak peak that was presented using tweets and podcasts. During such social media postings, employees must be tagged so that their contacts’ traffic may be driven towards the post. Such stories need to be constantly developed and presented to the public so that there is continuous engagement. One such story is that of the first Flipkart customer or the billionth purchase.

Digital Trends

Detailed business analysis has been conducted on the digital trends regarding Flipkart. It has emerged that Flipkart has had the maximum views and followers in social media than anyone else in the peer group. Flipkart has experienced a rise of 5.7% on LinkedIn, 7% on Facebook and 4.5% on Twitter over a period of a year. What is important to note is that this entire rise is organic. No paid followers or robots have been used in any of this digital strategy.

In addition there has been a 600% rise in website visits. This has led to a 15% reduction in the cost of hire. Now Flipkart gets more recruits from internal referrals than via some recruitment agencies. All this digital success has been possible due to several steps taken such as localizing of content. This content is different for professionals than college students. Leadership tweet series were also started. Detailed social listening of social media takes place in to track business intelligence. Even Glassdoor gives Flipkart an Above Average rating as a place to work in. It has been understood that social media campaigns are easy to launch but difficult to sustain. But so far, Flipkart is doing alright on that count.

Conclusion

Employees at Flipkart are treated as talent ambassadors who will attract more good people in. Thus the JD is always created at this organization as if it is the pitch of the company. Candidates must go through an entire experience during hiring events. In order to build such valuable employee branding machines, it is always advisable to use ‘always on’ strategy rather than the ‘on demand’ model. 

Forum: https://linkedin.webex.com/mw3100/mywebex/default.do?siteurl=linkedin

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