Social media is one of the most important channels to attract, engage and recruit talent. Yet it’s also one of the most difficult to get right in our Recruitment Marketing strategy. Each channel’s content style is different and there are differences among their audiences too, so it’s critical that we know how to build a social presence that’s channel-specific yet true to our employer brands.
Since we launched our Rally® Awards™ program in 2020, the competition in the social media categories has intensified each year, showing the growing investment and creativity in using social media for talent attraction. In 2023, the spotlight was on Blizzard Entertainment, UBS, Westpac, PetSmart, Northrop Grumman and Fiverr, each earning accolades for their distinctive approaches to connecting with potential candidates through social channels and showcasing their employer brands in authentic and compelling ways. As we approach the February 16th submission deadline for the 2024 Rally Awards, we’re shining a spotlight on last year’s winners to highlight the key ingredients of their success. We hope this will provide valuable insights and inspiration for creating your social media campaigns and crafting a winning submission of your own.
Let’s dive in and see how these practitioners have created effective social media strategies for Recruitment Marketing and employer branding!
Reminder: Don’t miss this opportunity to enter the 2024 Rally Awards and be recognized for your work across 17 categories. Learn more on the Rally Awards website.
2023 Rally Award Winner for Best Careers Social Media Channel
Blizzard Entertainment: Bringing Life at Blizzard Entertainment “Back to Life”
Blizzard Entertainment, the powerhouse behind legendary gaming universes like World of Warcraft, Overwatch and Diablo, charged into 2022 with a bold mission: to reignite its talent brand and rekindle trust with its audiences. Following a strategic pause on social channels, the company focused on an internal culture shift and then set out to attract a diverse and innovative workforce to meet their ambitious hiring goals. Through the power of authentic employee narratives, Blizzard began painting a vivid picture of the magic behind its doors, transforming its social media into a beacon for the world’s most passionate and creative minds in gaming and media and re-establishing its reputation as a trusted, leading voice in the community.
At the heart of Blizzard’s strategy was raw authenticity, a commitment to showing the real, unfiltered Blizzard life through the eyes of its people. By amplifying user-generated content and peeling back the curtain on its evolving culture, the company seamlessly wove its iconic gaming legacy into a compelling recruitment saga. Strategic efforts to spotlight diversity and inclusion, alongside crafting relatable and visually stunning content, were game changers. Blizzard’s social channels transformed from silent to sensational, morphing into a dynamic showcase of what it truly means to be part of the Blizzard family. This bold strategy didn’t just shift perceptions—it skyrocketed positive engagement, turbocharged social media metrics and fueled a surge in careers site visits and applications. For example, its careers social channels reached over 1M followers, a 223% increase in engagements and a 205% increase in post shares, ultimately driving tens of thousands of potential candidates to its careers site. The success of Blizzard’s revamped social media strategy for recruiting shows the power of authenticity and strategic storytelling in rebuilding trust and excitement around an employer brand.
Why They Won
Judges’ Comments: The judges were captivated by Blizzard Entertainment’s revitalized approach to their social channels, noting the outstanding integration of brand essence with employee highlights. The channels were not just a platform, but a narrative that spoke volumes about Blizzard’s core values and mission. The judges also recognized the strategic move to real, relatable content that resonated deeply with their audiences, fostering a genuine connection between potential candidates and the company.
- Strategy: By zeroing in on key roles and markets, Blizzard’s strategic content deployment across social media channels clearly articulated their brand values and effectively engaged with the right audiences.
- Quality: The exceptional quality of Blizzard’s content perfectly balanced professionalism with a personal touch, bringing the company’s dynamic culture and its people stories to the forefront.
- Innovation: Blizzard’s imaginative job advertisements and the incorporation of their gaming legacy into employee narratives showcased a forward-thinking approach to talent engagement.
2023 Rally Award Winner for Best Use of Paid Social Media in Recruitment Marketing
UBS: Targeting Tech Firms with Layoffs
In the fiercely competitive tech talent arena, giants like Amazon, Google, Meta and Microsoft dominate. So the UBS Recruitment Marketing team knew they needed to be bold in order to capture the attention of this highly sought talent segment. In 2022, as the tech industry faced a wave of layoffs, UBS saw an opportunity to attract top-tier talent—software engineers, data scientists and developers—across global hotspots from India to Switzerland. The strategy was clear and ambitious: leverage the moment to showcase UBS as a prime destination for tech professionals seeking new horizons. By engaging directly with those affected by industry shifts, UBS set out to not only highlight the wealth of its career opportunities but also to position itself as a beacon of stability and innovation in uncertain times. This campaign wasn’t just about filling positions; it was about reshaping perceptions and signaling UBS’s significant investment in technology and digital expertise.
UBS’s approach was data-driven and meticulously executed, utilizing insights from previous campaigns to refine candidate messaging and target the tech community with laser precision. The UBS team, working quickly to seize the moment, created a strategic paid social media campaign that deployed tested content they knew resonated with tech professionals. The results were nothing short of spectacular: reaching over 1.7 million targeted individuals with a modest budget and securing nearly 2,000 applications—a remarkable feat that underscored UBS’s prowess in leveraging paid social media to engage with a highly specialized audience. Not only did the paid social campaign achieve a low cost per application, but it also boasted a significant rate of qualified candidates.
Why They Won
Judges’ Comments: The judges were thoroughly impressed by UBS’s swift and successful campaign in the competitive tech talent market, particularly highlighting the remarkably quick turnaround time that achieved outstanding results. The panel lauded UBS for its strategic use of existing tools and resources to break into a tough sector with finesse and effectiveness.
- Strategy: UBS’s strategy was heralded for its data-driven approach, swiftly executed to seize a prime opportunity, capturing a crucial target audience when they were most receptive.
- Quality: The campaign’s quality shone through in its attention-grabbing headlines paired with compelling still images, demonstrating a keen understanding of impactful visual communication.
- Innovation: UBS was celebrated for innovative campaign tactics that led to high engagement and an impressive return on investment, setting a new benchmark for efficiency in talent acquisition campaigns.
Second Place Winner (tie) in the Best Paid Social Media Category
Westpac — Elizabeth Clerke and Craig Richards — “Engineers make life better”
Why They Won
In a tie for second place, Westpac’s recognition stems from their exceptional engagement with engineers to delve into their passions and drivers, crafting a campaign that resonated well with the audience. The judges were impressed by the thorough research that led to groundbreaking creativity in a saturated market, achieving awareness goals alongside the added bonus of attracting high-quality applications and new hires. Additionally, the campaign’s dynamic use of music and imagery broke new ground in Recruitment Marketing.
Northrop Grumman — “Overheard at Northrop Grumman”
Why They Won
Also in second place, Northrop Grumman’s paid social campaign earned high marks for its exceptional use of video on social media to tackle perception challenges, showcasing out-of-the-box thinking and innovation. The judges were captivated by the standout videos, which offered a distinctive angle on employment branding that was universally engaging to social media audiences.
2023 Rally Award Winner for Best Use of Organic Social Media in Recruitment Marketing
Fiverr: #MyNewTitle Employer Brand Campaign
Fiverr, the platform renowned for championing freelance talent, flipped the script on spotlighting its employee-centric ethos with an organic social media campaign that cleverly blurred the lines between professional and personal. Through this campaign, Fiverr wanted to build a narrative closer to what jobs and the people in them are really like, unfiltered, straight to the point and joking about things that really happen every day in working life.
For a day in early 2022, Fiverr was mentioned on the LinkedIn feeds of practically everyone in their company. Employees were able to invent their own job titles to include something more personal and fun that put the corporate culture and values at the center of the campaign. Job titles ranged from “Someone who skips meetings to do actual work, who’s also a software development team leader” to “Head of saying what everyone else is thinking, who’s also a Product Manager” and “Someone who doesn’t like office politics, who’s also a data analyst”.
This wasn’t just a campaign; it was a culture showcase! The result? A whopping 92% spike in careers site traffic, a 43% leap in applications and an acceptance rate that soared by 78%. But beyond the numbers, Fiverr sparked a wave of employee engagement and brand buzz, proving that a great Recruitment Marketing campaign can build employee engagement too.
Why They Won
Judges’ Comments: Fiverr’s LinkedIn campaign struck a chord with the judges, earning accolades for its ingenuity and efficacy. The campaign stood out as a testament to creative thinking within the often-rigid confines of professional networking platforms. The judges were particularly impressed with the campaign’s focus on key performance indicators that drive business success: application numbers, acceptance rates and employee engagement.
- Creativity: Fiverr’s campaign was celebrated for its out-of-the-box approach, defying conventional LinkedIn norms with a splash of creativity that turned heads and captured the essence of their vibrant culture.
- Focus on Metrics: The campaign was strategic in concentrating on metrics that truly matter, going beyond mere views to drive substantial applications, high acceptance rates and boost employee engagement effectively.
- Brand Showcase: The unique simplicity of Fiverr’s approach was highlighted as a powerful tool for showcasing the employer brand, proving to be exceptionally effective in garnering attention and underlining the company’s culture.
Second Place Winner (tie) in the Best Organic Social Media Category
PetSmart — Meghan Rozman & Tabatha Phillips — “Loving #LifeAtPetSmart”
Why They Won
PetSmart tied for second place with their expertly designed social channels that showcased a harmonious mix of authenticity and professionalism. The judges were impressed by the high level of employee engagement and the rich content variety featuring staff and pets, which contributed to strong year-over-year results.
Northrop Grumman — “Overheard at Northrop Grumman”
Why They Won
Also tying for second place, Northrop Grumman implemented a clever organic social media campaign that successfully shifted the company’s public perception, drawing in a broader audience with high-quality content. The judges praised the innovative videos, noting their unique contribution to employment branding and engagement across the board.
What the Best Social Recruiting Strategies Have in Common
As we unpack the strategies of these Rally Award winners, there’s a treasure trove of actionable insights that you can incorporate into your careers social channels and paid and organic social campaigns. Let’s delve into the lessons we can glean from the expertise of the teams at Blizzard, UBS, Fiverr, PetSmart, Northrop Grumman and Westpac in using social media for Recruitment Marketing.
- Authenticity as a Standard: These teams set the benchmark for keeping it real. They showcased actual employee stories, understanding that the most compelling employer brand narrative is one that begins with their teams, rooted in authenticity and relatability.
- Crafting Visual Impact: Each winner broke through the digital noise on social media with standout imagery and video content. By investing in high-quality, visually arresting content, they captured candidates’ attention and made them stop scrolling.
- Continuous Innovation is Key: These teams took a chance with a bold idea, daring to disrupt the norm with creative campaign angles and storytelling techniques that set them apart in the industry.
- Brand Alignment Across Channels: These brands demonstrate the importance of a cohesive message across all platforms. Whether it’s LinkedIn, Instagram or TikTok, telling your employer brand story must remain consistent and undeniably “you”, while being mindful to adapt your content to each channel and audience.
- Metrics That Matter: Finally, all of these Rally Award winners tracked and measured their social channels, from engagement at the top of the funnel to applications at the bottom. These practitioners know it’s not just about the reach but about converting social clicks into applicants, and applicants into hires.
Now It’s Your Turn: Create Engaging Social Recruiting Channels
As we celebrate the impressive achievements of the 2023 Rally Award winners, we’re reminded of the transformative power of strategic Recruitment Marketing. These winning social recruiting strategies from Blizzard Entertainment, UBS, Westpac, PetSmart, Northrop Grumman and Fiver showcased their employee experience and captured the attention and the imagination of potential candidates. These teams have done more than just fill positions; they’ve fortified their employer brands with the keystones of authenticity and compelling storytelling.
To the last year’s winners, our sincerest thanks for setting such a high bar and for providing a wealth of insights! Your social channels and campaigns are case studies in excellence and show us all how an engaging social recruiting strategy can impact talent attraction. And to all the practitioners and teams who entered, keep going–you’re making an impact at your organizations and moving our entire field forward.
We’re excited to see your entries in the 2024 Rally Awards! Share your social recruiting successes with the Rally community to receive recognition for your strategy and creativity. Let’s continue to push boundaries together using modern marketing strategies to attract talent who will thrive in our organizations. Your work has the power to not only shape your company’s future but to inspire our entire profession. We can’t wait to celebrate your achievements!
Don’t forget: Entries in the 2024 Rally Awards are due by January 31, 2024. This is your opportunity to be recognized for your outstanding work in Recruitment Marketing and employer branding across 17 categories. Learn more on the Rally Awards website.