The Addison Group Leads Recruiting Firms in Social Media Strategy

To say social media has permeated nearly every industry would be an understatement.
In the recruiting and staffing industry, some companies have been slower than others to catch on. But, locally, The Addison Group has not only caught on to sites like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter — it’s also running with them.
Founding Partners Rob Zumwalt and David Moore and Managing Partner Jason Reagan say their company has been using LinkedIn and Facebook for years and Twitter for eight months, but in the last three weeks, they’ve developed and begun implementing a strategic social networking plan that includes obtaining a social media certification, putting into place a social media policy and procedures handbook, monitoring employees through a digital disaster prevention system and acquiring their own social networking Web site, which will be available for public use statewide.
“I think most companies have just put a link on their Web site and said, ‘Hey, we’ve got a social media presence,’” said Moore.
Moore said The Addison Group’s employees have been active on social media longer than its partners have.
“We’ve been the slow adopters, because we’ve wanted to be careful,” he said.
Diving In
Since the firm has decided to embrace the newest form of communication, its founders have decided to implement it purposefully and strategically.
The firm uses its Facebook and Twitter pages, and its recruiters use their personal Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn pages, to attract potential hires, advertise opportunities and stay in touch with people they’ve placed in the past.
“We’re constantly communicating with clients and candidates, and we see social media as a tool that we can use effectively and consistently to keep people updated, not only with opportunities that we have, but we really want to add value for the client or the candidate and offer tips, dos and don’ts and career advice,” said Zumwalt. “We’re looking at this as not only an opportunity to communicate about openings, but really help people become better candidates, become better employees, and really become better decision makers from a client standpoint.”
Next month, all of The Addison Group’s employees, in its Tulsa, Oklahoma City and Houston offices, will acquire a social media certification, provided by Staffing Wise, according to Zumwalt.
“We’re probably the first staffing firm in Oklahoma to do that,” said Zumwalt. “And basically what that does is educate our recruiters and staffing professionals on the art of social media and social networking as it pertains to hiring. They’ll be educated on the latest best practices for social media networking.”
The process will likely take about a month, Zumwalt said.
In addition, The Addison Group is working with a firm in Dallas to implement a companywide social media policy and procedures, which will complement its existing employee handbook.
“That’s basically boundaries of social media and behavior for recruiters and business development managers,” Zumwalt said. “If you’re expected to conduct yourself this way from an office standpoint, if you’re going to be online and representing the company, using the company name, that expected behavior needs to continue.”
The Addison Group also plans to have that in place by October.
Averting Disaster
For its clients, The Addison Group will implement a digital disaster prevention program, which will allow the company to constantly monitor what its employees, contractors and temps are saying online about the companies The Addison Group has hired them for.
By monitoring the emplyee’s name and a handful of red-flag keywords, The Addison Group will be able to notify its clients when it finds a disgruntled employee defaming the client. The service is free to The Addison Group’s clients and will be available for a fee to other companies.
“This one really is client-focused in that we want to ensure that basically any contractor or temporary of Addison isn’t saying anything negative or creating any type of social hardship or online media hardship for any of our clients,” said Zumwalt. “This is a system that will report to us in real time. It’s really a proactive tool we’re using pre- and during employment for our clients.”
Zumwalt said he expects the system to be fully operational by the end of October.
Getting Connnected
The Addison Group decided to use some of what it’s learned about social media to implement a new Web site, Get Connected Oklahoma (www.getconnectedoklahoma.com). The site, which rolled out last week, will be a one-stop-shop for users of multiple social media sites, allowing them to update their Facebook, Twitter and Myspace pages all at once.
The site will also provide job postings, career advice and news provided through RSS feeds from Newsok.com.
“It’s not an Addison thing; it’s just out there so that anyone can use it,” said Moore. “Our competitors can use it. We welcome that. It’s a community social network.
“Everyone says, ‘We’re going to get out of the box,’” said Moore. “But Facebook, LinkedIn – that’s not outside the box anymore. That’s way inside the box. Getting outside the box is starting something new and following something new. That’s what we want to do with our company.”
Moore said The Addison Group’s ultimate strategic plan for social media and Get Connected Oklahoma is “to find good people and also create a buzz about our company.”
“That’s really what this is all about – creating a buzz about our company so that people will come to us,” he said. “Doing more with less.” ?



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