How Periscope Can Showcase Your Employer Brand in Real Time

Have you ever thought about using live streaming app Periscope for a social HR campaign? We recently interviewed Lars Schmidt, founder of Amplify Talent and employer brand strategist at Hootsuite to find out more. You can hear it below or read an unabridged version of this article at Link Humans, enjoy!

What is Hootsuite Open Source HR?

Open Source HR, or #HootHROS if you want to put that in hashtag form, was really a campaign that we put together.

Ambrosia Vertesi, Hootsuite’s VP of Talent, is a good friend and she’s the person that brought me in. Her and I have a very similar ethos around the world of work and particularly around social HR, and trying to share and help people understand some of the value and advantages of bringing Social into HR operations.

Being a leader in social HR is one of Hootsuite’s talent groups’ objectives, and so they really want to be able to lead the way, but also show people the way. It’s one thing to lead the way [but] it’s another to do that and bring everybody along with you. That’s really been engrained in their culture, including their organisational culture, for years.

When I came in, we started having a conversation around how we might bring the idea of Open Source inside of HR, and ultimately where we landed is the concept of Open Source HR. The idea is that we want to start working out loud on some of the projects that we’re doing, where really the whole HR team is empowered to share some of the things that they’re working on, what they’re learning, where’s they’re finding inspiration.

What we’ll also be doing is creating a series of case studies that will really go into a lot of detail on particular HR projects or recruiting projects that we’ve developed within Hootsuite, but beyond just saying, “Hey, here’s a thing we did” and really breaking it down to say things like, “Here’s where the idea came from. Here’s how we pitched it internally. These are what the expected outcomes are. This is how we executed it. This is what the actual outcomes were” and then ultimately even, “Here’s what we got wrong.

We want to really be open about that, especially around social HR. There’s a degree of risk-taking that I think takes place, which is a good thing, but it also means you are going to fail and you are going to get some things wrong – we think it’s important to be able to share that too. It’s not all unicorns and roses – you’re able to say, “Yeah, we thought this was going to be how this would turn out and some of these things were right but actually some of these things were wrong.” That’s going to be a key part of each case study we do.

Are you showcasing best social HR practices to inspire Hootsuite’s clients?

[We’re trying to inspire] the clients and then the HR community as a whole. I hear you say, “best practice” – a quote Bill Boorman uses all the time is:

Test practice, not best practice.

…which I think, particularly when you’re kind of at the leading edge of trying to do some things that haven’t been done before and experiment in certain ways, it takes a track record of success before I think things really get to become best practice.

Much of what we’re doing in the space tends to be test practice because there isn’t really a precedent. You’re just trying to figure out. You have a hunch, you’re not just blindly saying, “Let’s just do this” – you have a feeling what the outcome may be, but until you actually do it, there’s no way to really know.

What is the difference between social HR and social recruiting?

To me, social recruiting is a subset of social HR – even within recruiting you’ve got different subsets: you have social sourcing which is using social media to find talent; you have employer branding which one might argue sits either in recruiting or in HR, so that could be linked to either.

I think social HR is the idea of having your entire team being open to sharing on HR, sharing best practices, and even interacting within your organisation. One of the things that’s really unique about Hootsuite’s HR team, and this is a testament to Ambrosia’s leadership within that group, is that HR within Hootsuite is looked at as an innovation-driving function within the team. It’s very well-established and well-respected as one of leading teams that takes risks and tries new things.

I haven’t really encountered that in many organisations where HR has that earned rep of being a den of innovation within an organisation, particularly like Hootsuite, so Ambrosia and her team have really done a tremendous job of positioning, by taking risks, by really embracing social HR, and also getting the rest of the organisation to adopt some of their approaches that I think you don’t typically find.

READ MORE: How Companies Can Use Social Media to Recruit the Best Talent

What was operation Follow the Sun and where did you get the name from?

The story of Follow the Sun started at South by Southwest.

Ambrosia and I were at Craig Fisher‘s TalentNet conference and we were having a conversation, Meerkat had just launched. We were using Meerkat to live stream a live podcast that we were doing. We were talking about the employer branding possibilities of live-streaming in general.

A few weeks later, Periscope came out and that was right around the time that I came on to Hootsuite. Ambrosia and I were having a conversation around how we could use Periscope to really convey the global scope of Hootsuite. We were operating in nine different offices and we wanted to make sure we could help prospects get a sense of that global footprint and the unique culture within Hootsuite. We thought live streaming would be an interest way to do that.

The idea for Follow the Sun was we wanted to start in Singapore and actually work our way East, around the globe throughout the day, showcasing a different office every hour on the hour. So we started in Singapore, we moved to Bucharest, moved to London, to Boston, to São Paulo, all the way over to the headquarters in Vancouver. We wanted to literally Follow the Sun as it turned around the earth – using that same approach to showcase different offices, and some of our peeps from office to office throughout the day.

What were the objectives with this campaign?

It was something that was still fairly new. Obviously Periscope had just come out, so we wanted to develop some proficiency in Periscope. We wanted to go from a branding standpoint but also we wanted to get some of the team involved in using it. We wanted, from an employee branding standpoint, to raise awareness for our global operations, and also some of the unique culture that we have, and obviously showcasing our talent within some of the offices around the world. I think outside of that, we really wanted to kind of get people to start understanding that we’re going to start using the Hootsuite Life channel on Periscope to do these kind of things.

Other than that, really to not screw up. We listed that as an actual outcome. I think this is actually the first branding campaign that ever happened on Periscope, particularly of a global nature like this, so it was a pretty complex operation, with lots of different people using it. We used LastPass to actually allow all of the broadcasters to log into Periscope using the Hootsuite Life account.

So, we’re doing this complex, global, choreographed effort with people who, many times, had not used Periscope before, [and] also using an account that was not their own and getting access to that through LastPass. There’s a lot that could have gone wrong, but I think we were pretty pleased that it went relatively smoothly.

You started talking about Meerkat and then switched to Periscope?

Within Hootsuite, we never really activated anything on Meerkat. I think when both came out, the organisation got together and we decided that Periscope would be something that we would be focusing our efforts on. Meerkat, surprisingly, actually weathered that storm in terms of the API being cut off, fairly well. I think they’ve tried to establish more of a niche with musicians and live music – I know Madonna debuted one of her new tracks on Meerkat. Meerkat’s demise is not quite there yet.

But, I think organisationally, it would make more sense, it would be easier for our community to follow along with us if we went with one and focused on that, and that was Periscope.

READ MORE: What Does the Future Hold for Twitter’s Periscope?

When you did this global campaign, how many people were Periscoping?

There were nine people. Every office had one point person that was the broadcaster – so viewers were actually able to get a physical look at the office space, see some of the people. Even though there’s one broadcaster, many times there would be other people who would come into play and answer questions from the audience. The format [they did] was like an AMA on Reddit – the broadcaster would be taking people around but they’d also be answering questions, coming in on Periscope as the tour was taking place.

In terms of results, can you share what you’ve achieved?

We had over 5,000 viewers for the live broadcast, which was pretty good. It’s kind of hard to tell, “Is that a lot?” “Is that a little?” We had that broken down actually by office.

If you’re familiar with Periscope, you can “heart” something if you like it – if you tap the screen it pops a little heart up. We had a little over 11,000 hearts across the nine broadcasts. Our Periscope Hootsuite Life channel gained about 230 followers. Not much lift on the Hootsuite Life account on Twitter. We thought we’d get a little bit more, and we also saw a slight lift in career site visits and applications immediately after the broadcast.

Live broadcasting isn’t new. There were apps like Socialcam and lots of other apps that allowed you to do that even years ago, but I think the market wasn’t necessarily ready for them. The timing I think is right now, where you’re starting to see broader adoption, and because it’s so easy to just share a live broadcast. I think it really makes it very easy to connect with fans and audience and ultimately, people you’re trying to potentially hire.

[Tweet “Periscope makes it very easy to connect with people you’re trying to hire. #smlondon”]

What did you learn and were there any HR takeaways?

We definitely got some things wrong in the broadcast. We didn’t know at the time that once you show a live broadcast on Periscope, it can then be watched within 24 hours. If somebody misses the live broadcast but they’re there within 24 hours they can still see the video. After 24 hours, it’s gone. We didn’t know that. So we kind of positioned, and our intent was that we were going to save the tweets that people sent out when the broadcast went live and compile them in a blog post. So then, we thought those videos would be accessible, and people could watch them. Well they weren’t, and so we were putting together the blog post, we were clicking the links, and it was saying, “Broadcast not found.” Then we realised, you know what? It’s not available.

When you’re doing a Periscope broadcast, you can also save the video to your phone and your camera roll, which we had people do as a backup. The problem with that is, it doesn’t show the chat window coming up and it doesn’t show the hearts.

Most importantly, since it was kind of an AMA format, the broadcaster was answering questions that were coming in from the chat window. So if you had that video saved to a camera roll, you can’t see those questions. So it’s kind of a weird experience to watch that video after, and we weren’t really able to use that. That was something we got wrong, we didn’t realise that.

I think another thing that we learned, certainly from an HR standpoint, is that we could have done a better job at directing the broadcasters to have a stronger call to action around hiring. Specifically sharing some of the open positions they had in each local market. I think that would’ve been a great opportunity from a recruiting perspective, because as you have local fans watching the local broadcast and they get excited about the Singapore office or the São Paulo office and say, “Hey I might wanna work there,” we didn’t really give them any guidance on the kind of positions we were hiring, or how they could apply and I think, particularly from an HR standpoint, a recruiting standpoint, that was a missed opportunity.

What will happen in the social HR space over the next 3 years?

I’m curious to see how virtual reality continues to mature. Oculus is obviously getting a lot of buzz. There will be more platforms coming on the market soon. I think if virtual does become fairly mainstream, I think that there could be some really interesting implications for recruiting and hiring with that.

I think we’re also starting to see, this is something I’m really happy about, a shift in approach around job descriptions. As much as I think recruiting has evolved over the last couple years, and particularly in recruiting technology, job descriptions, for the most part, haven’t. They’re probably one of the least evolved tools we have in recruiting, so I’m starting to see more visual job descriptions, more dynamic job descriptions, more video job descriptions, and most importantly, mobile-optimised job descriptions as well. I think that we’re still somewhat limited by our ATSs in that evolution. So hopefully their capabilities will start to evolve more rapidly to allow for this.

My hope is that job descriptions will look pretty different than they do today in 3 years time.

Connect with Lars on LinkedIn and follow him on Twitter @ThisIsLars.

How Social Employees Can Be the Perfect Brand Ambassadors

Within the world of business, credibility and transparency is something that is rather important to the public nowadays. People want to know what is going on ‘behind closed doors’ within certain companies and how they deal with successes and failures. 

This is why treating employees as a part of your team of ambassadors is so powerful. When the public sees that the employee would personally recommend their company’s service or product to their direct network; they surely have confidence in the quality and stand by the brand.

Apart from the social media manager or marketing team making use of social media platforms to market their brand, alternative individuals working at the company might act as ambassadors on their social media channels.

Let’s take a look at some of the ways you could get your employees to become brand ambassadors for your company:

Create Social Brand Value

In order to get your employees to become a brand ambassador online is to create a social brand value. This term, Social Brand Value is explained by Michael;

“The concept is defined as the extent to which people share a brand or information about a brand as part of their everyday social lives at work or at home”.

This brand value shifts the extent of the company’s influence from the brand to the person, as such. It is important to gain social capital through ‘normal’ people without a premeditated sales pitch or advertorial. People want to connect on a personal level, and these days the platform for this connection is online.

It is then understood that if there is a strong social brand in place, the credibility of the company and its operations is likely to strengthen.

Choose the Right Brand Ambassadors

Even though passionate employees might be sharing your company’s message without you even urging them to do so, it’s still important to choose the right candidates for your team of ambassadors. Being part of this team doesn’t initially have to be a formal responsibility; scout which employees seem eager to showcase the message, services and products online by sounding sincere and relevant. If you can identify employees who already use and enjoy social media in a positive manner, you have won half the battle.

Have a Strong Employee Culture

If employees are happy in their workplace they would be more likely to put the brand in a good light online as well as offline. Find ways to create a unit within the company by creating a strong company culture. This works well when establishing certain workplace routine or surprising your employees every now and again. Think in the lines of Pizza Friday, Wednesday Drinks or enter a sports team in a local tournament. Consider what would be fun and enjoyable to your employees and make a habit of keeping them in a good mood.

southwest airlines career

Creating a strong employee culture can be a science in itself, check out South West Airlines employee culture to get an idea.

Encourage Activity on Social Media

In order for your employees to spread to word via social media channels, they have to be active on these platforms. Encourage your employees to create profiles on the main social media channels such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. The platform they use will depend on their personal preferences as well as the applicable platform for your brand.

Be sure to provide clear social media guidelines and training to encourage social media use, here’s an example from KPMG:

Some companies don’t even allow their employees to be active on social media during work hours because it can be a distraction. But because you aren’t restricting your employees, you might even subtly encourage them to share the positive things happening in the workplace. For your employees, interacting with other industry specialists online might even inspire and increase productivity.

Get Them Engaged

In order to have your employees represent and advertise your brand online, they have to know what the company and business is all about. Many companies don’t feel the need to share their vision, goals and mission with each employee, but this is essential to the social brand.

Six traits of engaged employees:

  1. Believe in their organisation
  2. Have the desire to work to make things better
  3. Understand the business context and the bigger picture
  4. Are respectful and helpful to colleagues
  5. Are willing to go the extra mile
  6. Stay up to date with developments within their industry

Praise According to Analytics

It’s one thing to create influential brand ambassadors online, but keeping them out of the loop of your business’ growth won’t make them feel included. If a tweet goes viral or there is a sudden increase in website traffic, find the source and praise the individual responsible. This way all the employees will feel connected in building the brand and spreading the word.

These are just a few ways in which you can get your employees to be strong candidates for being the brand’s online ambassadors. Can you add more? Please let us know in the comments below!

RELATED: How Nokia Turns Employees into Brand Ambassadors

How to Recruit Grads and Alumni with LinkedIn University Pages

LinkedIn is expanding their relevance to new demographics day by day. Most recently they launched their University Pages alongside allowing students from the age of 13 and older to make use of the LinkedIn Platform. This is all part of its goal to entice prospective graduates and students in the tremendous career benefits in using this platform. [Read more…]

Social Media and Job Search in 2014 [INFOGRAPHIC]

Screen Shot 2014-02-06 at 16.26.57

Our friends at Jobvite recently conducted a nationwide online omnibus survey of 1,303 U.S. job seekers who are currently in employment. Here are some of the main takeaways (scroll down for the infographic).

Social job seekers

86% of job seekers have an account on at least one of the six online social networks included with this study; Facebook, Linkedin, Google+, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest. Social job seekers are younger, more highly educated and more likely to be employed full-time.


76% of social job seekers found their current position through Facebook. Three most popular activities on Facebook:

  • 27% contact shared a job opportunity
  • 25% contact provided an employee’s perspective on a company
  • 22% shared a job opportunity with a contact


LinkedIn is where they do most of their job-seeking activity:

  • 40% contact referred me for a job
  • 34% contact shared a job opportunity
  • 32% made a new professional connection
  • 32% contact provided an employee’s perspective on a company


  • Twitter is the most popular place to ask others for help and advice:
  • Next three most popular activities on Twitter:
  • 29% shared a job opportunity with a contact
  • 28% contact provided an employee’s perspective on a company
  • 28% contact shared a job opportunity


46% of job seekers have modified their privacy settings. Job seekers are as likely to delete their account completely as they are to remove specific content from their profiles. And recruiters are looking:

  • 93% of recruiters are likely to look at a candidate’s social profile.
  • 42% have reconsidered a candidate based on content viewed in a social profile, leading to both positive and negative re-assessments

RELATED: How Employers Use Social Media To Screen Applicants [INFOGRAPHIC]

The college educated are also 4x as likely to update their LinkedIn with professional info than those who are high-school educated or less, and almost 2x as likely to do so on a mobile device.

Most popular social networks

While job seekers flock to Facebook, recruiters prefer Linkedin when searching for candidates. Most popular social networks for…

Job seekers:

  • Facebook 83%
  • Twitter 40%
  • Google+ 37%
  • LinkedIn 36%

Screen Shot 2014-02-06 at 16.27.28


  • LinkedIn 94%
  • Facebook 65%
  • Twitter 55%
  • Google + 18%

While 94% of recruiters are active on Linkedin, only 36% of job seekers are.

The mobile job seeker

Frequent job-changers are more likely than average to have searched for jobs or had contact with a potential employer on their mobile device: 64% of adults who change jobs every 1-5 years vs. 43% overall.

  • 43% of job seekers have used their mobile device to engage in job-seeking activity
  • 27% of job seekers expect to be able to apply for a job from their mobile device.
  • 37% of millennial job seekers expect career websites to be optimised for mobile.

Percentage of job seekers rating the following “important” in their job search:

  • 55% ability to see job openings or listings without having to register
  • 27% ability to apply for jobs from a mobile device
  • 23% website optimised for mobile devices
  • 11% ability to use Linkedin profile or online resume to apply for a job

Mobile and social

Mobile job seekers are more likely to turn to Facebook than Linkedin in their job search. Percentage of job seekers who have done the following on a mobile device:

Updated their profile with professional information:

  • 15% Facebook
  • 11% Twitter
  • 6% Linkedin

Searched for a job:

  • 12% Facebook
  • 7% Linkedin
  • 6% Twitter

RELATED: How Do Recruiters Use Social Media? [STUDY]


Why Facebook is the Next Big Thing in Recruitment

Just like the rise of social media, the recruitment industry has also evolved from platform to platform. One of the latest discussions online is the relevance and the use of Facebook’s Graph Search as a recruitment tool. This article will take a look at Facebook’s users, Facebook as an alternative to LinkedIn and some statistics explaining the phenomenon.

Look At The Statistics

It’s easy to make fun of Facebook. The depressed stock, the misguided political comments, the unguarded vanity of high school “friends”—all tend to reinforce the inanity of the social network. But a billion people still use it. Even those who complain (like me) still use it. And for large, multinational companies, it’s becoming an increasingly valuable tool for recruiting employees. – Forbes

Even though Facebook’s reputation has gone through a bit of a dip, there is still no denying the fact that over 1 billion people are still using it.

facebook recruiting

If a social platform is still in use, it is still seen as valuable for those looking to retrieve data. If Facebook users are making most of its data public, it’s like a gold mine for recruiters. It’s not only highly beneficial for those looking to employ, but also for job seekers:

  • The average person spends 1 in every 7 minutes online on Facebook (Work4)
  • 52% of job seekers used Facebook to look for work in 2012. (Mashable)
  • 22 million people surveyed used social media to find their last job in 2012. That’s up from 14.4 in 2011. (Jobvite survey)
  • 84% of job seekers have a Facebook profile. (Time Business)
  • 50% of users say a brand’s Facebook page is more useful than its website (Work4)
  • 81% of jobseekers want to see job opportunities posted to Facebook career pages (Work4)

The Battle of Facebook vs LinkedIn

“Facebook is really a platform, not an application. While LinkedIn is being run like a data-driven application, Facebook is really a sharing platform from which many companies can build applications”. – Forbes

The main factor to keep in mind is that these platforms have different users and serve different purposes. Even though both Facebook and LinkedIn share the same features, they don’t necessarily have the same following.

Facebook recruiting has the chance to be successful mainly because of the average age of its users. LinkedIn is more focused on the working professionals with college degrees and experience. They don’t particularly target entry level job seekers or the average work force.

What works well for LinkedIn is its niche- focus but it might be overlooking prospective employees because of its age parameter.

“With around 160 million members (mostly professionals in their 30s and older), LinkedIn has become the virtual rolodex for business people”. – Forbes

According to this article featured on [the] world is rapidly getting younger (e.g. 55% of the US workforce will be under the age of 35 within 3 year).

The younger generation is growing up on Facebook, so this would be their go-to guide for whatever they are searching for. Recruiters would be playing it smart by fishing for the younger generation job-seekers on the platform or social network that they feel most comfortable with.

Facebook Career Pages

Job seekers are likely to follow the career pages of industry-specific companies. Not only because they are interested in what the company is about, but also because they are hoping this particular company would be advertising a possible job openings.

By following what the company is about, the prospective employee would be able to get a clear idea of what they are looking for. The same goes for recruiters. Because of these Facebook Career Pages recruiters would be able to make a better match between a candidate and a company.

An example of a company that implemented a Facebook Recruiting Campaign is Earls (a chain of premium casual dining restaurants in North America). Here is screenshot of the cover and below you’ll find the current job opportunities with the chain – all inside the Facebook page.

earls wants you

“Earls Restaurant recently decided to make Facebook the main focus of their social media recruiting strategy with their Earls Wants You Facebook recruiting campaign. They chose Facebook for all of the reasons mentioned above, but also because it allowed them to convey their company culture to potential hires in a way that neither Twitter nor LinkedIn (let alone any job boards) allowed.”. – Jobcast

earls facebook jobs

Facebook has the power of visuals on their side. Even though people might use Twitter and LinkedIn for recruitment, Facebook can display the company’s culture through videos and images and regular updates. This interactive appeal is what makes this platform successful for recruitment.

Less Is More When It Comes to Competition

Only about 60% of hiring managers are actually using Facebook to recruit. (NAS Recruitment)

At the moment Facebook Recruitment is still rather young, which makes it even better for recruiters. They have the chance to scan through the talent and opening while the competition is still busy elsewhere. Coming on board with Facebook recruitment will give your company a head start in building the online brand, connections and proving your credibility.

Have a Look at Using Graph Search

Apart from the obvious branding and advertising opportunities on Facebook, recruiters should also start using Graph Search which is similar to (but possibly better) Advanced People Search on LinkedIn. On Facebook, you can search through profile data of members who are either your friends, friends of friends or have public data on their profiles which many users do nowadays.

For anyone starting out with this, have a look at How to Use Facebook Graph Search (Noob Edition) by Maren Hogan. You can also have a look at Facebook’s own explanation of Graph Search and its many uses.

Finally, if you’re still not sure about Facebook recruiting, have a look at this video by our partners Work4:

Does your company use Facebook for recruiting and/or employer branding? Please let us know in the comments!

L’Oreal Asks their 300k LinkedIn Followers: Are You IN?

Just after developing a new employer value proposition, our friends over at L’Oreal have been at it again. In celebration of reaching 300,000 followers on their LinkedIn company page, they launched a challenge to anyone with a LinkedIn account to share an ‘IN’ moment. The ten best moments picked by L’Oreal will then be shared on the company page, which could lead to a nice bit of exposure to a job seeker for instance, given that hundreds of thousands followers could see the update.

gallery linkedin

This is all hosted on a micro-site aptly named where you log in with your LinkedIn account, then say why you are IN – picking reasons such as INspring, INsightful or INternational which I picked. You are then prompted to say why exactly this might be, to which I just had to answer “Because I’m Worth It”.

why are you in

The end result? Well, I picked INternational and this came up. The idea here is to make people happy about their newly generated page and to share it across Facebook, Twitter and of course LinkedIn. The end result will be increased exposure for L’Oreal on LinkedIn and I would expect this to drive the numbers of followers even faster than before (as I write this, the page has reached 320,000 followers).


The idea here is fairly simple, by generating something visual from a person’s LinkedIn profile they will be inclined to share with their networks. We have seen similar efforts by Adecco with their LinkedIn profile to video CV generator Resu-ME and Accenture with their infographic resume generator.

Here’s a nicely produced video from L’Oreal showcasing why some of their people are IN:

L’Oreal will be able to crunch the data of users, what words they picked to describe themselves, whether or not they are followers of the company page, how much impact their social shares have had. All in all, it’s a clever idea well executed and it’s most certainly put L’Oreal on the LinkedIn map for plenty of new prospective employers.

Learn more about L’Oreal’s social media prowess here: How L’Oreal Use Social Media for Recruitment [CASE STUDY].