I am very pleased today to welcome Jessica Miller-Merrell, of Exceptional HR Consulting. Jessica is the founder of the HR and workplace resource and has been recognized by Forbes as a Top 50 Social Media Power User. There’s a lot of people using social media. That’s a pretty – pretty high stat.

She is a technologist who focuses her efforts in human resources, healthcare, and the workplace. I first met Jessica at a SHRM event and was struck by her depth of knowledge around recruiting and HR in general through the employment life cycle. And we struck up a conversation which today is really the result of that.

We asked Jessica here to really focus on how recruiters and HR leaders can prioritize their digital recruiting options and move these efforts forward by developing smaller initiatives designed to drive change and establish buy in.

So she is really here giving the cutting edge of technology and strategy as it relates to recruiting for companies. And we are here – myself and PEAT – to give the lens of accessibility. And this is really the beginning of the PEAT-Workology partnership we have been talking about (inaudible). We are going to have a podcast series, maybe some blogs and presentations, where we use Jessica’s expertise around HR functions and tap into her audience a little more and expose them to accessibility. And we use our lens and expertise around accessibility and universal design and help our audience learn a bit more about the cutting edge and the future of work as it relates to the kind of digital recruiting and really technology used in the whole employment life cycle.

So that is what we are going to do. This is our maiden voyage, and so I am going to kind of jump in from time to time adding on, or confusing, or something, whatever Jessica says to give that accessibility lens.

Would love for people to participate in the conversation with questions or use that Chat function to add your own insight to the conversation. And we will see how it goes. Thanks for joining us.

With that I am going to turn it over to Jessica and we will give her a little time before I probably interrupt her with some accessibility insider question, but Jessica, thanks so much for joining us today.

Sure. Thanks for having me on.


Hi, guys! Excited to be here, and I love the live caption. This is amazing. And as Josh said, that we have been doing some collaboration together, and I have been spending some time diving into the world of accessibility and inclusion and universal design and all these amazing technologies and tools that are being developed for the workplace.

So before we dive into all those things, I want to talk a little bit about some of the things we are going to be talking about today.

We will be taking a look at live video, and I am excited for Josh’s and PEAT’s insight in this particular area because I know that there are some challenges and some technologies that maybe we can talk about around live video.

I also want to talk about how we can get creative so you don’t have to have a million-dollar budget or a dedicated social media guru or expert on your team in talent acquisition to be able to make a difference using social media or digital assets in recruiting.

We will also take a look a little bit at candidate engagement and some different ways that digital technology tools can help us in these areas as well as metrics and measurement. It is important to put some KPI to all this tweeting and Facebooking and activity that is happening online.

At the heart of digital is social media, and even though we are in the age of social media, there is still a lot of misinformation and assumptions, I think, around how social media is being used, especially by individuals maybe who are non-users. These could be maybe you listening in. Could be your boss. Could be the CEO, somebody on your executive leadership team. They don’t understand how social media is permeating everything that we do.

The graphics that you see in front of you come from Nielsen. This is 2016 information. And I want to draw your attention to a couple different areas. One of the first areas is the 35-to-49-year-old audience. There are people who make a lot of assumptions that the only people who use social media are 13-year-old girls or 16-year-olds on Snapchat. And if you look at these demographics from Nielsen and information, you would see that that is incorrect. That the 35-to-49-year-old community is spending an average of almost seven hours a month on social media. And that number has increased 29% since Q3, this is of 2015 to 2016.

Seven hours a week is a long time. And if you look at the 50-plus group, you see from Nielsen that they saw a 64% increase in time spent on social media. And this is an age bracket, I think, that most people think, oh, they are not on social media, they aren’t online, they’re not using these tools, they are not downloading apps in their iPhone, and the information from Nielsen is telling us that that is not the case. This is an area that is growing, and this demographic is spending four-plus hours a week on social media.

I like to start off with statistics from a report like this because they kind of help us to set the stage a little bit to say social media is happening. It might not be just the 12-year-old girls, or my eight-year-old who wants to set up a YouTube channel that is active on social media sites. But your employees and your job candidates are active on these social platforms.

Social media is a passive activity in the job search. And I think that is important for you to think about as these new tools, like employee review sites, Twitter, Facebook, even Yelp, are growing more in importance. Candidates are doing so much more research prior to that moment, that conversion moment, that moment where the sale is executed, where they apply for the job.

When I look at the digital recruiting landscape, I know that it is complex. And so in this graphic you will see that the career site is kind of the center of your digital recruiting universe. One of the things that makes digital recruiting extremely challenging and also, I think, fun, is the fact that there is no plug-and-play strategy. There is no solution that is going to work everyone. And that is very common in recruitment. It is unique to us as an individual organization, as an individual location, or even a group of people that we are trying to reach in our recruiting effort.

So it really depends on a lot of different – different areas. And this recruiting universe has the career site in the center. And all other social media platforms, tools, and technologies, like Instagram, or Sourcing, or text messaging, or Snapchat, even a career landing page, their goal is to drive that candidate to the ultimate conversion act, which is going to be happening on your career site or within your talent community. They either apply for a job or they join your candidate talent community.

All these other sites, with the exception of your career site, are rented space. You don’t own this. You don’t control the experience. You are not in charge of the UAC, the full branding, these are just rented. So it is important to remember that when you are driving candidates to your ultimate destination which is your career site.

The rise of social media hasn’t replaced existing tools like job boards, even career fairs, or magazine ads. Those are still active out there in space. It has only added to them, which is what we are going to be talking about some of that today.

Jessica, can I jump in there, make some quick plugs and add ons.

First of all I would like to steer new people to PEAT to our resources and on our website at We have a whole host of resources and tools, tip sheets and best practices called Talent Works. It is really all about kind of sourcing and the job recruiting and the job application process. Both are not limited to one or the other of these dots on your graphic. So we will have stuff on there that can help you make sure that your website is accessible, and the most common pitfalls with solutions around job boards within one’s career site or on job boards.

But we also talk about social media and the most-used platforms there. And what are the ways to make that most accessible and most usable by the broadest number possible so the company can go out and find the best talent.

So I would encourage people to check out Talent Works, which we put in the Chat box there.


Great. Thank you. And, yeah, they do have a lot amazing resources.

And when we think of the candidate landscape, I also want to point out that increasingly more of our job candidates are relying on mobile devices, so it is a mobile-first world. Mobile internet traffic eclipsed desktop internet last year. So making sure that your website is mobile and accessible for as many people as possible is extremely important.

For many different individuals, mobile is the first computer of choice. In fact, for many it is the only computer in their home. So having a mobile apply process is extremely important.

Candidates now are also expecting the same level and type of experience from us as recruiters and employers that they are receiving in the consumer world. So consumer world of like service and technologies. When they make a decision or a purchase decision. Just like Wendy’s is really great on Twitter right now, and they are very engaging and exciting. You can ask a question via a Chat bot on Facebook to an organization and help understand what is going on with shipping or level of service. They are getting instant access to resources and engagement. And so these organizations, they are consumer driven, but candidates and your employees are expecting the same level of service when it comes to us in the (inaudible) market, or in the employee engagement market, regarding social media and digital technology.

Because our candidates have this expectation for resources at their fingertips, we need to find ways to anticipate their questions and needs. And then I also want to think about automation for these processes. Because I realize there are more tools in our toolbelt than ever before, and we have a lot more work that we need to be doing. Maybe our teams are smaller as we have streamlined and cut expenses, so having automation is extremely important to help manage some of those things.

Social is all about the candidate experience, and as recruiters it is our responsibility to attract the best talent and provide an experience that is creative and engaging.

Jessica, I know you are going to share some of those with us throughout the presentation, the cutting edge and new ways that companies are doing this. I want to just double down and emphasize the mobile curve because not only are they increasingly in use, but I would say, you know, we like to advocate for accessibility where we can. And the truth is, if you are doing great universally-designed, clean code, make your stuff accessible, it will work splendidly on a mobile phone. If you are paying attention to accessibility, you will make sure that you have a mobile platform so that it can display well. And so accessibility and universal design really go hand in hand with mobile and the increased use. That’s without even getting into the smartphones, which have always really been on the cutting edge of accessibility.

Before we go on further, Jessica, just going to touch upon a question we had here around the importance of accessibility of job sites itself or application materials. There is a lot there. I am not sure exactly what the participant is curious in, but what I would say is, you know, we came about Talent Works because of a survey we did. Close to 500 people that self-identify as a person with a disability that had applied for a job online in the last year. And they found their way to our site to take the survey themselves, so they are probably pretty tech-savvy folks to begin with.

And almost half of those people had difficulty or could not complete the job application process. And so, I mean, that’s my – my bottom line of why it is important there is that if you have obstacles and glitches regarding accessibility on your site, you are going to miss a huge talent pool. You know, anecdotally we have an awesome blog from Sassy Atwater (sp) on our site about her experience in the job application, and the accessibility issues she encountered, and how the company dealt with them. And I think it is a powerful and moving tale around why it is important to build accessibility.

We have got other resources, other PEAT Talks, archived that talk about job boards and their accessibility issues. And so, you know, without going too much into it, I would just say it’s crucial to make sure your application and recruitment stuff is accessible or you are just going to miss talent. And any company out there knows the competition for talent is steep, and you want all the options possible.

That said, if that doesn’t answer people’s questions correctly, we will give information at the end to address it further.

Pardon the interruption, and back to you, Jessica.

I love this. Thank you, Josh. I – I – I’m learning, too. I can’t wait to check out this article that you have shared here. I think getting feedback from job seekers is so critical to building out your recruitment strategy, whether it is using job boards or using digital technology.

One of the technologies I do want to talk about, and if you are in the Chat box here, maybe, if you know who this is, post just the word “yes.” Okay? I just want to see. So, if you can – if you know who this – this photo, or this strange picture, is, go ahead and post the word “yes” in the Chat box. I see a few people that have (inaudible).

This is April, all right. She is a giraffe whose birth was livestreamed on the internet. It was the single most watched livestream video in the history of the internet. I think it was over 32 billion minutes of time that was spent watching her livestream. And they put up the video, the zoo in Pennsylvania, and they made the statement that this giraffe was getting ready to have a baby. And giraffes are in – are pregnant for a very long time, I think it is 14 months. And so the media caught wind, thought this giraffe was giving birth any day. And for probably about 45 days, my daughter and I logged in every morning and every evening to check on April to see if she had her baby yet. And I think many of you, it looks like, have probably – were doing the same thing. We all had kind of like April fever.

So this, in my mind, is a great example of how live video provides an opportunity to engage a community of people. For us it is our job seekers or employee population. And what I really liked about April was the participation that was happening in the live feed. So people from all over the world were logging in, and talking to each other, and sharing. And I see a lot of those possibilities and things happening in the areas of live video, particularly with Facebook.

So one of the companies I do want to talk about, and I will talk some more about in depth here in a little bit, is American Heart Association. They have successfully used live video through periscope video chats and Twitter chats to engage their job seekers. They are really focused on diversity initiatives and have a commitment to presenting one diverse candidate to the final round of interviews. And have done that using live video, among things.

Let me talk about some more of the benefits here for you.

The video offers real-time engagement. It allows you to build trust. I have a nice report that I will show you in a moment from the Edelman Trust monitor. So it allows you to actively engage a job seeker. Look them in – eye to eye. They can see you and build that relationship. It allows you to humanize the hiring process. I feel like HR always gets some bad PR, recruiters fall into that same category, because the job seeker doesn’t necessarily always understand the hiring process, or the timeline, or even the difference between a corporate recruiter and a third-party recruiter or a headhunter recruiter.

So video kind of allows you to humanize that process. You put a person aligned with a brand that can share stories about the culture, the company, and you can be able to answer questions in real time like we are doing here but through the power of video.

Here is the report that I was mentioning. This is an example of humanizing the hiring process. This is a report that comes to us from Edelman. Every year they have a trust monitor, and it looks at who is the most trustworthy person. It’s based for consumer sales and products, but I am looking at this from an employee-centric perspective. And you can see in the Edelman trust monitor – or in the Edelman trust monitor it shows that whether it is hiring managers, recruiters, or employee ambassadors, employees are the most credible and trustworthy of all representatives in your company. That is more than the CEO, more than a blogger or influencer, more than a media spokesperson. And so video allows you to really amplify that trust.

Let’s talk about some examples of live video for you.

One of my favorites is a career service center at FIU. And they have a live video, Facebook live chat, that happens once a week or once every couple times a week. It’s not high tech. it’s not overly produced. It is live. And you simply log in to Facebook Live using your social media account and shoot your video. FIU career services answers questions for their students, and they provide them with information. And you can see here, this video, which was screenshotted a while ago, but it has almost 1,800 views. And they didn’t spend any money in promoting or really producing this. So it offers a really great way to be able to engage your job seeker community.

Jessica, I remember one time, and maybe I’m jumping the gun and you are going to get to it, but you referenced a rise in use of live videostreams. Do you remember those statistics?

Now you are putting me on the spot. Um, so –

Putting you on the spot, but –


It was a lot. The point is it was astronomical – exponential in its use in the last six months and it will probably keep increasing. And so keep going with these examples, and I want to talk a little bit about –


Disability, but just so the audience knows this is – this is being used and rapidly growing.

Yeah, you’re messing with my flow, Josh, but that’s okay.

Sorry, sorry, sorry.

(Inaudible). You’re good. You’re good.

Eight billion daily views on Facebook video, okay? And they have seen a 100% growth in six months. And I will talk a little bit more in a second here about some different platforms.

Another company I wanted to just share, and I don’t have anything about their particular area in the slides, but go to AT&T Careers’ Facebook page if you will. They are doing kind of an ask-me-anything-style live Facebook chat that is really effective. And individual recruiters, talent acquisition leaders, are answering questions live for job seekers on the fly. These media assets are also downloadable, uploadable to YouTube. They can be edited. Placed different places throughout your recruiting sort of digital tool. But AT&T also has a really great Facebook Live.

Not to mention they have a really amazing chat box as well. So when you log into their page, their Facebook chat box pops up encouraging you to engage them immediately.

Oh, let me go back real fast here because I did mention American Heart Association, and I have a really great podcast interview with Nisha Raghavan. She is the recruiting leader for American Heart Association. They are a small nonprofit, so they run very lean. And they really rely on their employees and their brand ambassadors within the organization to share stories on social media. So they don’t have a professional production studio or an agency that they are using to engage. They simply use a hashtag, which is theahalife, or the aha life – American Heart Association, that they post all over social media.

It's very active. It’s not just Nisha and the recruiting team. It is employees that are engaging, sharing what it is like, living in the moment, working at a great organization for them that really has – has a purpose.

I do want to talk a little bit about the individual social sites for you to think about because there is a lot of them. So I’m just going to kind of quickly go through a few.

Facebook here is the F. You are familiar with that.

The little bird here is Twitter. It’s a very great tool. I love Twitter. Now 280 characters, expanded recently for everyone. Longer tweets. A lot of engagement. Real-time breaking news. It is a great way to have Twitter chats and talk to different types of individuals across the company. Companies like AT&T and others have used Twitter chats to be able to engage specific protected classes like women in technology to be able to drive interest and conversation with their organization and hopefully increase the number of candidates that are applying for their programs in specific positions.

We are also probably familiar with LinkedIn. That is kind of the professional network, I think, social network of choice for us.

Also, Pinterest is another platform here. It’s a little “p”. That is predominantly female. That is something that you should consider looking at. I have seen some companies do some interesting things there including pinning a board that includes pictures to be able to provide employees with guidance on dress codes. If your organization has like a lot of retail outlets and they purchase their own polos or pants or whatnot, I have seen organizations make boards that way to help communicate with the do’s and don’ts of a dress code. I don’t think any of us in HR and recruiting want to deal with those kind of issues, but it provides some guidance there and makes it a little fun with social.

Another area is Instagram. And I mentioned the Facebook 100% growth in six months. Engagement on Instagram is ten times higher than Facebook. So less words, more photos, more videos. Kind of real-time captures and conversations. So ten-times higher engagement over a photo. And Instagram is also 84 times higher engagement than Twitter.

In the bottom row here you see the little “v”. That’s a vine. That is sort of a Twitter tool that is very niche. It has a small following. It loops video. You record it, upload it, and then the video keeps looping.

Another one here is a little yellow ghost. You might be familiar with it. It is Snapchat. Going to talk about some Snapchat examples here in a minute. It is also a video and photo engagement platform. Content disappears after 24 hours. It disappears. (Inaudible) away.

The next one over here is Periscope. It is kind of a little pin with the – it kind of looks like an eyeball. But that is the video platform that I mentioned that the American Heart Association has had some success with.

Hopefully you are familiar with YouTube in terms of video. They offer the ability to record livestream video and also upload video. And that is helpful, you know, to be able to engage candidates and provide storytelling opportunities.

The last one that I just will mention briefly is a tool called Medium. And that is a blogging tool. It is a free platform that anyone can use. It has a cult following in the area of technology. So you can upload video, or post articles and stories. It is kind of the tech tool of choice. There are a number of recent articles that have went viral on Medium, mostly kind of employee stories, but a lot of the major media outlets, Business Week, and Buzzfeed, and others – I can’t believe Buzzfeed a major news outlet – but they are posting on Medium.

It probably is now numbers-wise.

I want to chime in just on the different platforms, just talking about social media in general as it relates to accessibility. One of the challenges around – for employers is just kind of keeping up the pace – the pace of technology, the pace of games. But thankfully we are seeing improvements in that area. When we first put out Talent Works a couple of years ago, there were a host of issues on many of these social media platforms that have since – they have made great gains. And so whether it is, you know, closed captioning, or being able to recognize facial recognition, or being able to put alt text into Twitter, social media is very much paying attention to accessibility, and so it means that employers should be as well.

A couple of things in recruiting, and, again, the best practice of, you know, like we have (inaudible) captioning. But if you have a video, you should make sure you have captioning. Have a transcript so people can access it.

But she was talking about the live video and the huge use of that by employers. That does present some challenges. There are companies that have piloting things. Facebook has some. Microsoft Oath, which was formerly Yahoo. All of them have some versions of live captioning that works on machine learning. But, you know, as you probably know from maybe dictating to your phone or something, it doesn’t always work smoothly, but it is improving. But I would expect soon that would be a feature that works on almost all live videos. But until then I want to make sure employers and recruiters are aware if using live video to be mindful to try to engage as much as possible. And if you can ever put a transcript up later, that is super helpful.

Thank you. And I – that’s what I was alluding to, too, because that has been a conversation that has come up – question a few times in some different sessions and panels that I have done is what service can you use, and Facebook has launched, as of June of this year, closed captioning on Facebook Live. It’s not perfect, but we will continue to see enhancements in those areas.

And I want to talk about a few more examples and then we will get into some different areas that I think will be a lot of fun to kind of look at social and digital differently.

This is Instagram here, and you can see it is not just about their job postings. This is Zappos in the example. They are sharing about bring your child to work day. And they just have a cute little photo here that they are using to engage. Zappos is all about engagement. They have an interesting application process. You don’t actually formally apply for a specific role. It is more about a culture fit, and then through a series of networking and kind of open houses that happen over a period of time.

Speaking of diversity on social media, I talked a little bit about American Heart Association. AOL has an interesting case study that they have used recently with regard to Snapchat. And they had a Built by Girls campaign which increased application interest by18%. And for one week AOL ran ten second ads on Snapchat in the video section of Discover. There is a portion of Snapchat that is kind of like a news and media site. It is just quick videos and articles, so you can run ads in there, and that’s what AOL did.

And I mentioned the 18% interest in applications, which I think is interesting but it is not outstanding. What I found interesting is that while they had an 18% application interest increase, they did have an increase – an increase of profile views on Glass Door directly after like running this campaign of 40%. So, these candidates might not have been going directly to the AOL website, but they were more likely going to Glass Door to read about what it is like at the organization.

So this week-long campaign reached eight million users and generated 17 million views. And this information comes to us according to Snapchat.

So my suggestion to you is don’t just think about social media in terms of – or digital tools in terms of – Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook, employee review sites, job boards, Yelp, Google, all these different media assets and communities that are happening online are opportunities to be able to provide your candidates information and resources about your organization and why you are a great option for them to consider for employment.

Another quick Snapchat story for you is I think that, you know, AOL is an interesting story, but that was a large expense that they – large media expense – that they spent on this particular campaign. One example that I did want to point out is with AT&T. So they have been using Snapchat Spectacle. And they have a Life at AT&T Snapchat account. So these are just little sunglasses that have a camera attached to the top. As you can see the women there, they are touching the top of their sunglasses to take the photo or shoots a ten-second video that is done in Bluetooth directly into their Snapchat app on their phone.

And so with the Life at AT&T Snapchat account, they purchased a large number of these spectacles, shipped them all over to different employees who were brand ambassadors through the organization, and allowed them to take over their Life at AT&T Snapchat for the day.

So what ends up happening is that before you do a Snapchat takeover, the first thing you do is you tell all your friends with Snapchat and social media that you are doing a takeover. And you invite everybody in your community to go over to the Life at AT&T Snapchat and join you.

Most of those people don’t leave. And so every day a new person comes and takes over that account and does the same thing. And so they have been able to brow their following really quickly. These spectacles were under – they were about $100.00, and so if they bought 20 of them, it is a relatively minimum investment, and then would just ship them all over the country to the different brand ambassadors who took over their account for the day.

I love this example because it gets employees involved, empowers them, and that organization is giving them a huge amount of trust to – which is then, again, just like Edelman trust monitor – is all about building that trust and then driving those buy-in decisions, those applying decisions directly to your career site.

One other tool I want to talk about is virtual reality. This is a growing area, and not just in the areas of training, and development, and sort of storytelling. But I am seeing a number of companies providing sort of virtual career fairs, or virtual tours of their organization. One of those companies is Gap. And at South by Southwest they had a virtual reality experience. Basically you went to their job fair booth, and stopped by, strapped on a VR headset, and I was able to experience a 360-degree virtual tour of the San Francisco and New York offices. I mean I could see the bridge out the window and felt like I was sitting in their coffee bar right in San Francisco. It was – it was amazing. And you wear the glasses, you have the headset on, and then you go through the tour.

This, for them, was a success. It was somewhat expensive. However, you can purchase kind of the cardboard branded version of the VR headsets and use them at career fairs. I have seen a number of organizations do that.

With Gap, they chose to do this at a number of small events that were really specialized, so engineers, the STEM community. But then also like fashion designers that they wanted to court and bring, so they wanted to say, here is how we are different than, you know, the competition down the street, come with us and you can see what it is really like in New York fashion week.

So this was a great example, and they saw some really great success from it.

I also want to talk a little bit about is Programmatic. I think Programmatic is a great way to be able to target candidates using a pay-for-click model similar to what happens on social media, Facebook and Instagram and Twitter.

So you can target candidates, either on job postings or through social media. You can pop a pixel into some of these social profiles, and then what ends up happening, and I’m sure you have seen this happen when you have been at Nordstrom’s or Amazon online and suddenly this purse or these shoes or whatever gadget follows you over the internet. You can use programmatic job postings, or retargeting, or targeted social ads to be able to engage these job seekers. So if they visit a specific landing page on your career site or attend a certain event, you add a code and then allow that candidate to be able to follow – you follow them all over the web. And so they continue to see your job ad or opportunities or invitation to a career fair. The experience is – is completely up to you.

When your (inaudible) tags, it just pops up all over the web. And with programmatic in particular, you have the ability to dial your activity up or down. So programmatic really allows you to give visibility pay-per-click model on some of these job boards providing candidates a real targeted experience. The number of people who go beyond the first page in a Google search or even a job board list is relatively minimal. So these sponsored ads allow you to be able to reach those candidates that are searching for a series of specific keywords and hopefully visit your profile or the specific job posting, you convert them to a candidate, and then once you have enough candidates, say you just needed 20, you just shut that off and then send it over to another job posting.

This has proved very – very useful, and I am able to – to using KPIs – assume that what my cost-per-applicant is based on previous activity. And when you think about some of these organizations or some of these roles, if you use a third-party headhunter or you are using a traditional job board, you now how expensive they can be. And so you just need 30 candidates to be able to make a hire because you know what your ratios are, you just spend $6.00 per click, that’s going to net you 18 candidates. It might lead to a specific hire. And the cost for that is relatively small when you think about a third-party agency or even some of these job boards or a LinkedIn recruiter seat.

Before we kind of dive into some other areas, I do want to talk about knowing your audience. I think that, you know, we have talked about some sexy, cool stuff here, VR, programmatic, and you are saying, well, Snapchat sounds fun, but I don’t know if this is for me. I don’t know if my employees or my candidates are using virtual reality or are they really using Facebook in their everyday lives.

The key for you is to start with a survey. So talk with your existing candidates or recent hires. I have a 20-question survey that I use with my clients. You put them through and ask them what they do in their job search, the tools that they use, what did they use personally versus professionally, and you gain all this information.

What is nice is that when you have this information you have – you are able to go to an executive sponsor in your organization, could be the COO or the VP of sales that keeps bugging you because he needs, you know, 15 sales person – people tomorrow. Pull them in and say, hey, I’m working on something, I have a good idea, I would like to lighthouse this with your team, but I need your executive support.

So this executive sponsor goes to bat for you in these critical meetings and will be willing to maybe front a little bit of the budget and some experimentation with this lighthouse.

It is critical to have a senior leader on your side in these closed-door confrontations that you might not be a part of. And so once you get that relationship and that participation with the sponsor, right, because they want their hires – they want better quality hires, they want them trained faster, they want to spend less money, and they don’t want to spend all this time sorting through all these candidates. You can help them with that. You want to do some experimentation with your lighthouse, which is what you are shining a spotlight on. It’s not a pilot, it’s a lighthouse. And you are shining a spotlight on something that you are working on.

It can be a 30-, 60-, or 90-day program. Maybe it is around programmatic or maybe you are doing some social targeting or some advertising. But that allows you to have a plan and then have a sponsor. And then you can start to focus on the metrics to measurement, like how you prove your model, your assumption. And then you can kind of work through your success, failures, but you have your KPI so you will be able to monitor your progress.

Before we go on to some additional reporting, I do want to talk about activities and times – peak times – you should be posting on social media because I think, again, just like assuming that there are only 12-year-old girls on Snapchat or Facebook, the time to post on social media is often surprising. And what I have found is the busiest day is Facebook and Twitter is on Sunday. And candidates are sharing and connecting with friends. This is personal conversations, not necessarily job-search related. However, there is something that normally happens, and I have seen it happen on Twitter in my research. It is called the Sunday Blues. And it normally peaks on Twitter around 2:00 p.m. their time when the realization hits them that they have to go back to work on Monday. And so they post – tend to post more negative things about their business, or their organization, their work, or their boss on Sundays at 2:00 p.m.

And then on Monday, that is the busiest day across the board applying for jobs. So my point to you is engagement doesn’t necessarily happen Monday through Friday from 8:00 to 5:00. So consider adding some of these well-thought-out scheduled activities maybe on those peak times on social media, which are the weekend.

As far as organization of content on social media, it is really critical not only to be automated as much as possible, but to have a plan. And that starts with what I call an editorial calendar. I like to use a Google spreadsheet template to track conversations. It helps to decide the types of content of social media so you can share with your team. But one example of this is pie day, which happens on March 14th. Also AT&T, they use this across all social media channels with regard to their STEM recruiting efforts.

I thought it was cool. It was planned out in advance, and they worked directly with the corporate, marketing, and communications team to build out the graphics and associated media assets that they needed. And then they were able to tag team a little bit on the different social profiles.

By having a plan you can do that, and it keeps you from kind of running around with your hair on fire last minute. So the ed cal is a great way to collaborate with marketing and communications sort of trying to build that relationship because so much of what we do – I know we know this – is marketing and communications related, but not everybody outside of recruitment and talent acquisition necessarily gets that – that’s a lot of what we are doing.

When it comes to candidate engagement, I do want to just say that I hear you. I know that you are working with teams that were less than two years ago and seven years ago, and we have all of these tools and technology. So automation is your best friend. And there are some different ways to be able to tackle that so that you aren’t responding – you don’t have to be on Twitter every day, every five minutes, tweeting something amazing. It is important to use different tools, like your ATF, so set up some different automation messaging. Drive them to access once they apply for a role. Have a Frequently Asked Questions asset that you have listed on your career site or your blog that you can drive people to. Or maybe it is a video directly from an employee or the CEO, someone within your organization, that can talk about what they can expect throughout the hiring and recruitment process. Give them that information that they need so they feel like that they are getting sort of that humanized personal touch even though you are kind of intimating that on the back end.

Also you can automate your social feeds a little bit. And I think that is a totally acceptable thing to do. And that could be using some tools like MeetEdgar or some Hootsuite are a couple of my favorite ones.

All right. I know we are getting close on time, so I am just going to talk briefly about text messaging and then we can kind of move through to some metrics here.

I have seen some real success with text messaging where we have had an 80% response rate from cold text message to candidates who had never engaged with a recruiter before. So this is a great way to be able to engage candidates at a different level in a different way.

So just quickly here, this is just an email confirma – or a text message confirmation just confirming with the candidate that they have an interview. I have seen this done a number of different ways. Another one is just a cold text message. Again, 80% response rate that I have seen with a couple of different clients just strictly using text messaging.

Keep in mind that text messaging itself has a 99% read rate within 60 seconds. So people are reading the texts. They are choosing not to respond or to respond. But it so much higher than an email, or a voicemail, or sometimes even a social media message.

Here is another one that is talking about completing your onboarding packet. So pushing people through the hiring process.

Another example of using text messaging is through like a digital business card. I know that a lot of us don’t have business cards handy, or maybe sometimes we are in place where we don’t one on our person, so you can create a virtual text business card. You can test it out. Just text JMM to 55678, and then you will see what pops up on the screen.

Jessie, I’ll just jump in there and I know text messaging, (a) you gave the metrics for why it is useful and important. I have seen it increasingly used. It is definitely where folks are going because it is where their audience is. I just have to say, make a plug, that that is highly accessible. I, again, mention about the smartphone. But if you just – as long as you are mindful of the text you are putting in there. I saw some abbreviations, I would avoid that, but, you know, anyone can read it. The phones themselves can speak the text message. So I think it is a great way to reach a broad audience.

Hadn’t thought about the abbreviations. So you are limited to characters with a standard text message. It’s 160 characters.

People are used to that, so they can work through it. There’s a screen reader. But best practice is definitely to be mindful of those.

That’s a great suggestion.

Let’s talk a little bit about metrics here quickly.

Things that you need to measure in terms of visual recruiting include source of hire. More than just a drop down. We should be cooking these candidates and be able to measure where they are coming from to determine what candidates are the highest-quality candidates and highest-quality hires, what are those sources.

Another common term you will see is impressions, and that is just kind of the possibility, like somebody scrolling through. They are not stopping, but your ad or your article or your blog or your tweet is an impression popping through the screen.

And conversion is when they actually have a call to action and they do something. They subscribe to your newsletter. They apply for job. They join your online digital career event that you are having.

Engagements are conversations that are happening, so they tweet you a question, what is the status on my resume? You respond. That’s an engagement.

Clicks are clicks. They are clicking through your URL, and then a common metric that we have for us is time to fill.

One tool that I think that all of us should be taking advantage of is Google Analytics. If you get anything from this presentation other than Josh’s amazing tips on accessibility which are certainly important, and it would be interesting to see – I don’t think we have this capability in Google Analytics – but I would love to see the metrics around candidates who are using a website that is accessible versus one that is not accessible because I would gather to think that your time on site is going to be longer, candidates are going to be more engaged, they are going to be viewing more pages, they are not just going to be leaving the site.

But Google Analytics is a free tool. It is easy to set up. You just pop some code into your existing career site, and then using a Gmail account, you can understand and see the number of views on your page, where they are going to next, the amount of time that they are spending on those pages and on your career site overall, as well as the type of devices that they are using.

Some final thoughts before we take some questions here.

I think that social recruiting is a creative activity, so kind of art and science. I like the arts, quite obviously, but it is the science side that really drives the business case and gets the ROI so that we can begin to experiment and evolve our digital strategies even more.

What is important is don’t be afraid to spotlight these small projects and plans that you have.

And be okay with mistakes because I – in my experience – have learned more through my failures than I have with my successes. And that is a lot of what this digital recruiting space is. It’s not a science yet. You can look at metrics and measurements, but really be prepared for it to go sideways or a different way. That is where that good executive sponsor is going to come in to be able to really help you.

Awesome. Thank you, Jessica.


So we did have a couple more minutes left, and I would love for people to chime in with your own questions, whether it be around accessibility or around recruiting in the digital age. You can use the Chat window there to put your questions in, and we will try to get to some of them if we can. I see someone is typing now. I’ll wait one second.

While we are waiting, actually, I will go ahead and plug to save time for next month’s call. Wo we won’t be – we won’t be meeting in December, we won’t have a PEAT TALKS. But in January, on the third Thursday, the 18th, we are going to have Oath’s Senior Director, which used to be Yahoo, Senior Director of Accessibility Media Larry Goldberg and Facebook’s Director of Accessibility Jeff Wieland. They lead up a program called Teach Access. And they are working with industry, academia, action groups to expand the quality and quantity of undergraduate programs to teach the fundamentals of accessibility and universal design.

So I really encourage folks to come and learn. Larry and Jeff are awesome. That will be in the new year. I am looking forward to having them on here.

Looks like we got a question here that says, you mentioned the importance of source of hire. Some people are having trouble getting their HR officers to understand “drop down” menu isn’t an accurate way to collect true source of hire. Do you have any resources that I can explore for a better way to capture this information?

I’m going to – that seems squarely in more of Jessica HR expertise area. Does that translate for you, Jessica, and can you approach Rachel’s question?

Yeah. Thanks, Rachel, I can definitely help you with this.

So I think that the dropdown menu – number one, at least they are using a dropdown menu, so they have some information. But that information is fatally flawed. Most candidates will pick either, one, the easiest one, which normally is the first one that you have listed on your dropdown. Or two, they will pick the one that they think is most likely to get them hired, right? So it’s not accurate information.

And one thing that we have done in the past with a company that I was working with, is we added a fake job site that we don’t even recruit on as the first option. And 70% of the candidates, during like a 60-day window that we tested this out, they picked option one, which was one that didn’t even exist.

So you are correct in that the dropdown menu is not an accurate way to really assess source of hire.

The best strategy to use is cookie-ing the sources. So you drop a little code on a job posting, and then it will pull that information back. And so then you – depending upon the actual tracking system that you are using – it will be able to recognize that cookie and say, okay, this person came from, you know, XYZ website, or this Twitter account, or Facebook. Cookie-ing is the best way to be able to get that information. You are going to only really be able to get the final destination. So you don’t get the full picture unless you use some of these new age career sites that are in existence right now where you cookie your site and you can track some of the activities. There are number of technologies that are available right now for career site optimization that you can use that will be able to show you, in some cases, the path that the candidate took, the number of sites that they visited, the Glass Door account that they have used before the application.

If you want resources, I can kind of talk more offline about it. I can put you in touch with one of my talent acquisition friends that is all over this, and she has some really fascinating research that she has done on her own with her organization.


Well, thanks for the question answer, and really I think we can probably go to the next slide which has – Jessica shares her contact information. And so if there are further questions, you can capture it there. Again, you can download this on our website, and this will be archived, the whole presentation, online before too long. But she has kindly offered up her information there for follow-up questions.

We can also be reached at, or replying to the – well not (inaudible) to Adobe. Let’s stick to But any questions, feel free to follow up.

So thank you very much, everyone, for joining us. Thank you, Jessica. I plugged the PEAT Talk in January. We are taking December off. But I did want to plug – just highlight an online course that I think a lot of people here may be interested in. it is for hiring managers and recruiters, and it is called Introduction to Inclusive Talent Acquisition. It is a free online course. Self-paced. It is put out by the Harvard School in partnership with the Perkins School for the Blind. And it really helps people learn about inclusion and really how to best attract and hire people with disabilities during that part of the process. So we tell people to check that out. And you can enroll up until December 12th. And we have got a link up on our website. So I wanted to plug that. I thought some of our audience members from today might be interested.

Definitely give a special thanks to Jessica for speaking with us today, for sharing her insights and expertise from the HR world. All of you who took time to join us. We – we are – as I mentioned, this is the beginning of our partnership. Jessica and PEAT, we are going to work on – we are currently working on a podcast series called the Future of Work. We are going to talk about artificial intelligence and more about virtual reality, live videos, the gig economy. Lots of cutting edge stuff that is going to impact employers and the accessibility issues with those.

So stay tuned to Workology. Stay tuned to PEAT Works. And we will be getting those out, hopefully some this year and definitely on into the new year if you are interested in those topics.

So thanks so much. Thank you again, Jessica, and I hope everybody has a great rest of the day.