Engage with candidates to create recruitment advocates: ASB Bank

Source: Shortlist News

Maintaining a dialogue with your candidates can turn them into passionate advocates for your business, says Mark Sumner, talent sourcing manager at New Zealand’s ASB Bank.

Speaking at the NZ Sourcing Summit in Auckland yesterday, Sumner said ASB used LinkedIn and other social media to create talent communities where it engaged with skilled workers – sharing information, showcasing its culture, and alerting them to opportunities. By keeping candidates warm even if there wasn’t a specific job in the mix yet, the company built valuable relationships. As an example, Sumner said that about a year ago a top banker had relocated to New Zealand from South Africa, and had joined ASB’s talent community. <more>

“He identified ASB and [its insurance subsidiary] Sovereign as two of the key players where he wanted to work. Then he actually went out to market and told everybody this. “We had people phoning up on the back of his referrals, wanting to come and work for us. Just because of him as a candidate, his passion for the brand. “It took us nine months, but we managed to hire him into a role as well – and it’s those people who are the ones that you want to work with.”

Sumner said the company also used its own staff to promote its employer brand and open roles and it only took a handful of influencers to generate strong interest. “Some of our EGMs share our jobs with their networks via LinkedIn – for us that’s a pretty big one.” A single influential person in specific job type could help the bank build a significant pipeline of potential candidates, he said.
What’s the point of a huge database that sits idle?

ASB head of talent acquisition Matt Pontin told the Summit ASB had some 5,000 staff in New Zealand and made about 1,500 hires per annum, with a strong culture of internal mobility and less than 1% of hires made through agencies. Pontin said ASB valued quality over quantity when it came to sourcing.

In “the old agency days”, he said, the focus was on amassing a huge database with hundreds of thousands of candidates. “Some applicant tracking systems still have that many candidates, and nothing gets done with most of them, so what’s the point? “If you’re not engaging with passive talent, market mapping, knowing who’s who, putting them into your community, and getting ready to ignite them when you need to ignite them – then you might not be sourcing the highest calibre of talent.”
Recruitment managers need to be social media ambassadors

Sumner said ASB had worked hard to get its in-house recruiters to embrace social media. “It’s taken a while – those recruiters that are used to filling roles by putting jobs up have taken a bit longer”, he said, but with the leaders of the recruitment function acting as “ambassadors” for social media, “I’m now proud to say the entire talent acquisition team is on Twitter”.

“They are still learning, but it is just about showing people that it works, and how it can work.” The team had social media updates at its meetings, discussing what it had been doing, and what the outcomes had been.

“The results speak for themselves. If you are having to look at 50 people from a job board, to make one hire, whereas on social media we may only have to look at eight people to make one hire… I know what I’d rather do.”