staffing: Social Media Recruiting at UPS and answer 3 questions

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Staffing-Ch. 7-Social Media Recruiting at UPS

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United Parcel Service (UPS) is one of the world’s largest package delivery companies. UPS wants to better connect with and engage potential recruits, and increase the return on investment of its recruiting efforts. UPS also wants to improve its employer brand and align its recruiting strategy with its technological image, and address their high volume, part time, and seasonal hiring needs more cost effectively.

UPS posted a series of videos on its Web site profiling a day in the life of various UPS employees. When the videos began getting a lot of views and social media sharing that led to job applications, the company decided to get more deliberate about its approach to using social media to source and recruit.

To better utilize social media in its recruiting efforts, UPS created a careers Website that became the center of its recruiting activities. The videos it posted on the Web site profiling different jobs were viewed by over 1 million people in one month during a peak holiday hiring season. UPS then began driving traffic to its careers site through print ads as well as mobile apps and text messaging. Even though drivers and package handlers were the target audience, it was clear that they were willing to utilize this technology when job seeking and learning about UPS.

To evaluate the effectiveness of social media as a recruiting source, UPS measured how many people clicked from social media to an “apply now” landing page, how many started an application, how many finished one, how many were interviewed, and how many were hired. UPS found that the conversion ratio of created applications to hires from Facebook and Twitter were twice that of all other online media. The interview to hire ratio of 2:1 also indicated that the quality of applicants sourced this way was very good.

UPS’s recruiting budget changed from 90 percent in print media in 2005 to 97 percent in social media in 2010. UPSJobs on Facebook, containing job listing and links as well as a variety of videos and interactive content, has over 55,000 likes. The company also uses Twitter to provide interesting information on the company’s philanthropic work or other topics.

UPS now has a staff that interacts with candidates via Twitter and Facebook, and has also developed a calendar for posting updates to get information out without overwhelming followers. When UPS began a formal social media recruiting strategy in 2009, only about 100 people were hired through the effort. In 2012, the number of hires through its social media recruitment efforts reached about 6,000, and substantially lowered the overall cost per hire. Hiring speed and quality has also improved, and the conversion rate of applications to hires from Facebook and Twitter are higher than from other sources.

Opening Vignette Exercise: This chapter’s opening vignette described United Parcel Service’s social media recruiting strategies. Working in your teams, answer the following questions. Be prepared to share your answers with the class and share your responses with your course TA:

1. What metrics do you suggest UPS track to optimize its use of social media in sourcing talent?

2. What are some advantages and disadvantages of UPS using social media almost exclusively to source drivers and package handlers?

3. What other sourcing strategies for drivers and package handlers do you think would be effective for UPS?

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