The new era of social HR

Social HR

Gone is the Mad Men era when young talent somebodies lined outside creative agencies, armed with portfolios, and resumes tucked in neat files. Now we’re speaking about social media agencies that need fresh talent as much as the latter needs a job.

With a two way street in sight, agencies are blasting the creative volume to build a strong millennial work force.

“For organisations to stay relevant in this new connected millennial generation they need to challenge the status quo, and adapt to this change,” shared Roma Nawani Sachdev, Director Marketing, Sapient India.

Do you Misfit? 

With an aim to increase its headcount by 20 per cent, Sapient India launched Troublemakers – a campaign that targets budding minds. #TroubleMakers was crafted on the insight of finding candidates “that are not afraid to break boundaries in digital innovation and transformation.”

The campaign was launched in early April with Sapient India releasing videos, calling out to the misfits wishing to join the industry. Within the first five days of the launch, Compliment Generator crossed 1.18 Lakh views on Facebook with close to 550 shares and had 2140 Troublemakers quiz takers.

To be a part of the campaign, users had to log on the official microsite and participate in a Troublemaker quiz, the results of which would decide if the candidate is qualified to apply for a job in the agency.

For creating a chain reaction, users were allowed to share their Troublemaker quotient on social media platforms and also participate in the parallel Facebook contests.

The campaign heavily relied on creating awareness amongst the youth, who are difficult to catch hold off with regular targeting options. Fixing this, Sapient spent the first phase of the campaign with heavy online-offline marketing integrations. On social media, the agency went beyond geo targeting and relied on skill based filters to reach out to the right audience.

#Troublemakers helped Sapient receive twice the number of referral CVs in a month as compared to same time last year. Also, direct and social media applicants increased 3X when compared to 2015.


WATConsult too got creative to attract the best talent with the launch of #BeAWatizen. The campaign called out to young to be social media professionals, asking them to share a Snapchat video around their passion to work in this industry.

The #Snapplication, was inspired by the idea that 80 per cent of the WAT team is on Snapchat and what’s better than the teen app to target the 20 to 25 age group. #BeAWatizen trended on Twitter with candidates and twitterati in general talking about it on the micro-blogging platform.

With the initiative, WATConsult managed to create a loyal following for themselves on Snapchat, a platform where it is rather difficult for brands and agencies to create.

Getting social

In addition to full-fledged campaigns, mainstream brands and agencies have been relying on social media to tap the best talent. Bodhisatwa Dasgupta, Senior Creative Director, JWT India resorted to a WhatsApp group to hire the best application for the internship.



The Internship group had applicants scurrying to finish the quirky tasks given by Bodhisatwa, ultimately helping him pick the right talent.

Scrutinising social media profiles for a background check still applies. Albeit, such creative campaigns lead to social media acting as an HR who summons right suitors in the first place.

Another plus of this trend is the sense of competition and ultimately pride that such initiatives generate. My instant thought would go to JWT’s portfolio night, getting placed through which is commendable. Campaigns like these create a similar feeling of being selected out of many ultimately leading to higher loyalty.

Coolest Interview Ever

HCL’s Coolest Interview Ever, managed to ruffle social media leaves by aping the entire hiring process on social media. The brand used a Marathon short-listing process where every participant had to answer a series of questions basis which they would be shortlisted for the second round.

The second round consisted of tweet chat, wherein the participants could ask questions about the project. In the later part of the campaign, the finalists get to tweet answers to the questions of the domain of their choice. They had the opportunity of interacting with top HCL executives such as

Dharmender Kapoor, Matteo Colombo, Kalyan Kumar, Kiran Somalwar, and Srimathi Shivashankar. The brand managed to recreate an offline hiring process on social media with creativity attracting the best talent.

World’s greatest salesman

Ogilvy & Mather adapted a simple technique to attract talent, creativity, while creating a recall value for them amongst the upcoming generation. The agency created a dedicated YouTube channel which hosted videos calling out to the World’s greatest salesmen.

One of the videos for instance, asked aspiring candidates to sell a brick to the agency through a video, a take that got out the best of talent. The campaign earned a place for itself in Cannes.

Social HR took roots with institutes referring to social media profiles of potential candidates, it then moved to scanning LinkedIn profile. A paradigm shift, however, occurred when employees got pickier. Pay scale wasn’t the only filter; the youth started banking on factors such as work culture, brand voice, ethics, and convenience in terms of travel and other demographics.

Present situation demands employers to find the right fit and exclusive talent; something a purely offline process cannot manage alone. Social HR or integrated HR is what the industry needs to look at.