Head of Recruitment, Carol White recognises that, “Social media has played a big part in how we have recruited over the past 3 years”, with 350 out of 780 direct hires from August 2014 to July 2015 being attributed to their social media recruitment efforts. WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff have noted a major transition in candidates’ behaviour from very receptive and active in 2012/13 to a near grinding halt in 2014. As the passive candidate became more prevalent, so did WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff’s driven social media presence.

Powered by core objectives of finding talent through all their available channels, they have found LinkedIn to be their most successful in terms of finding a company voice, nurturing followers and reaching out to talent. This marks a very interesting switch in graduate focus, as even though Facebook is still utilised to engage and retain candidates, the conversation has transitioned to taking place on LinkedIn.

The recruitment team works closely with the in-house marketing team to create content and candidate attraction strategy. As the market’s changed, WSP | PB have switched from a mainly transactional approach to implementing a recruitment marketing style of operations. Their social recruiting is always on, with a team of recruiters working consistently on sourcing and connecting with potential candidates through various channels.

“WSP | PB are practically best-practice in the way they utilise social media”

White cites one of their best social campaigns, an embedded video message talking to potential candidates in the US, Canada and Australia with a UK degree. Entitled ‘Come Home’, the recruitment team are still working through the responses having already repatriated ten candidates with forty more in the pipeline. WSP|PB focus on continuity across their platforms, ensuring that they are having fluid conversation with their community and linking back to both their main page and their careers page.

Followers are now engaged with in a controlled way, as each recruiter will send out a LinkedIn dispatch quarterly to relevant connections, sharing articles and insights to facilitate developing relationships with potential candidates. The recruitment team have also encouraged heads of departments and senior engineers to engage with social media, specifically LinkedIn, as a form of business development, with regular workshops now being run between marketing and recruitment.

Summary: WSP | PB are practically best-practice in the way they utilise social media; great focus on content, authenticity, audience, building 1:1 relationships and an intelligent approach to talent nurturing and pipelining.

Adam Gordon is founder of Social Media Search, a Norman Broadbent plc company, managing recruitment social media channels and talent pooling for some of the leading employers internationally.


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