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Social media-powered recruitment: How NBCUniversal builds its employer brand online

4 min read

Brands & Campaigns

This question-and-answer session is with Monica Pons, head of executive recruitment for NBCUniversal.

Describe NBCUniversal’s employer brand in five words or less.

NBCUniversal: A Universe of Opportunity

How do you integrate that with the consumer brand, particularly in social media?

We are using social media to inspire and engage audiences. Our Twitter account is employer branded. In addition, we incorporate a lot of our consumer brands (Bravo, Oxygen, USA) through our tweets by “mentioning,” or tagging, them. For example, let’s say I tweet something along the lines of, “Looking for a content producer at @msnbctv.” If followers click on the “@msnbctv,” they would be brought to MSNBC’s Twitter page. In addition, occasionally we tweet about big news or programming notes from our businesses and host discussions and upload videos on Twitter/Facebook/YouTube focusing on what it’s like to work at a particular business, and the company as a whole. (For example, what’s it like working at Bravo? How does the culture there fit in with the NBCUniversal culture as a whole?)

What role does social media play in your approach to recruiting?

Social media is a great platform to connect with online communities and mobilize people. Our strategy focuses on creating and executing programs that bridge traditional and new media to engage with candidates and deepen relationships. In addition, we are currently participating in a viral media lab to experiment on different ways to attract top talent, especially talent that doesn’t necessarily think about NBCUniversal as a destination. Basically, we utilize social media to get people to our careers site. Furthermore, we are in the process of re-designing our career site to make it more aligned with social media.

What was it like to transition from being a worker in your field to being a recruiter?

The media world is drastically changing. For instance, I have been interviewing executives from magazines and newspapers that are trying to reinvent themselves in the digital world. It’s a difficult transition, especially for senior executives. I try to help by speaking and listening to candidates while offering tools and resources to help them in their job search.

What is the hardest job you have ever had to fill? How did you do it?

A challenging search was the Legal Counsel Head for Asia Pacific based in Singapore. We conducted the search a couple of years ago from London and NYC. We had no contacts in Singapore and decided to source candidates via LinkedIn Recruiter. We found more than 15 individuals that fit our search profile and sent InMails to seven individuals. All seven individuals responded and we ended up hiring one of them. Today he is one of our global rock stars.

When you’re looking at a potential candidate’s social media presence, how are you evaluating them? What are the hallmarks of a great social media profile for someone who’s looking for work?

We look for professional profiles, integrity and consistency. At the same time, we are witnessing the blurring of the boundaries between professional and personal though social media. For instance, recruiters are increasingly using Facebook to find candidates. Potential candidates need to acknowledge this new branding of the self that social media generates and adapt their profiles to the new reality.

Can you give me an example of a time when a candidate used social media to catch your eye? How did they set themselves apart?

Someone created a blog that highlighted reasons why she wanted to work at Bravo. A recruiter noticed it when the individual engaged with NBCU’s Twitter account and it got her an opportunity to be phone screened for potential roles at Bravo.

Image credit: PashaIgnatov, via iStockphoto