© Jennifer Deschenes, www.exchangesolutions.com. Retrieved from Exchange Solutions website on May 17, 2017
When we think of social media, we often envision the curved necks, hunched shoulders and bent elbows of mobile phone users. These active, engaged audiences are liking, following, tweeting, and pinning their way through the day with ease. Social media provides incredible opportunities to create engaged communities. And companies are increasingly considering how to leverage these technologies to strengthen, widen and deepen their reach among a key stakeholder group: their own employees.
Would it be possible for employees to feel as engaged using social media at their place of work as they do on their mobile devices during leisure time? If so, how can companies develop a robust, successful employee involvement strategy around social media; the kind of strategy that could be a game-changer when it comes to reaching the highest heights of internal collaboration and external recruitment? Exchange Solutions, a software solutions company in Massachusetts and Toronto, has discovered some novel ways to promote the use of social media and technology tools to improve talent attraction, and increase collaboration across their organization.
Recent findings by the consulting group McKinsey reveal that employees who successfully collaborate using social media improve their productivity by 25-35% – a figure significant enough to suggest that getting a handle on “this stuff” is probably well worth a company’s investment.
One of the most effective tools for employee sharing and collaboration at Exchange Solutions is HipChat. Hipchat is a video chat, group chat and screen-sharing technology tool built for teams, and built for business. Mandy Bitar, Product Architect at Exchange Solutions, noted the organization’s very high adoption rate of HipChat. Mandy explains that within Exchange Solutions “everybody is on HipChat. This creates a very collaborative, creative, laid-back atmosphere because you can reach out to anyone whenever needed, and get things done quickly.”
© Jennifer Deschenes, Exchange Solutions Shares its Heart for the Holidays. Retrieved from Exchange Solutions Dec 22 blog post on May 17, 2017
In addition to Exchange Solutions’ use of HipChat as a technology tool to communicate within teams, the organization also uses social media to create awareness around company successes and accomplishments. Its LinkedIn profile is visually appealing. Featuring interesting content and graphics, the profile drives the user to take time exploring and gaining familiarity with the company, culture and services.
The profile also links to an Exchange Solutions’ blog. The blog offers further opportunities for employee involvement in social media through contributing to content creation, viewing and engaging with material, and gaining positive recognition for achievements, which is the subject of the final post of 2016.
Companies with a strong employer brand have three-times-more applicants per-post on LinkedIn. In fact, 69% of job seekers would not take a job with a company that has a weak brand, even if the job seeker is currently unemployed. What does this mean? It means that brand really matters, and employees’ use of social media is linked to that brand. Employees engaged as brand ambassadors increase a company’s recruitment success significantly.
Given how successfully Exchange Solutions uses its website, blog, and LinkedIn profile, it’s unsurprising, yet equally impressive, how the organization encourages its employees to participate in talent attraction using social media channels, particularly via LinkedIn. As Mandy explains, “we are encouraged to refer people through LinkedIn, to share postings, and to attract new talent.” When an employee posts an opening within their organization on a personal LinkedIn profile page, this sends a positive signal to job seekers about the organization. Most job seekers evaluate a potential employer’s attractiveness before deciding to apply for a position. Their top considerations are employer brand, company mission, values and vision, as well as employee input.
Lessons for Others
Research consistently indicates that companies most successful at attracting top talent have a strong employer brand. Through its website, blog and engaging LinkedIn profile, Exchange Solutions demonstrates how it successfully involves its employees in social media as a way to achieve its talent attraction goals.
The use of HipChat in the workplace as a technology tool to collaborate within teams makes connecting with fellow employees across the organization straightforward because the technology is simple and accessible. Within Exchange Solutions, it’s clear that HipChat has met with great success and is widely used to increase collaboration.
Exchange Solutions demonstrates how to embrace technology and make collaboration a way of doing business. The company is effectively leveraging employee involvement in social media and using technology tools to attract talent, and increase collaboration among employees. Going forward, we have every reason to expect that the technologies that empower our personal lives will also drive communication and innovation in the workplace.
Industry: Software Solutions
Name of Organization Contact: Mandy Bitar, Product Architect
Authored by: Jennifer Deschenes
If you have concerns as to the accuracy of anything posted on this site, please send your concerns to Peter Carr, Program Director, Social Media for Business Performance.
Chui, Michael, Manyika, James, Bughin, Jacques, et al. “The Social Economy: Unlocking Value and Productivity Through Social Technologies.” McKinsey. http://www.mckinsey.com/industries/high-tech/our-insights/the-social-economy (May 16, 2017).
Glassdoor for Employers. “50 HR & Recruiting Statistics for 2016.” Glassdoor. https://b2b-assets.glassdoor.com/50-hr-and-recruiting-stats-for-2016.pdf (May 15, 2017)
Graham, Shawn. “Using Social Media to Improve Employee Communication, Collaboration, and Even Compensation.” Fast Company. https://www.fastcompany.com/1770955/using-social-media-improve-employee-communication-collaboration-and-even-compensation (May 15, 2017)
Kosinski, Matthew. “If You Want to Engage Millennials, Flip Engagement on Its Head. Recruiter. https://www.recruiter.com/i/if-you-want-to-engage-millennials-flip-engagement-on-its-head/ (May 14, 2017)
Ryan, Liz. “Talent Retention Problems? Hint: Your Culture is Broken.” Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/lizryan/2016/10/02/why-healthy-companies-dont-fret-about-talent-retention/#5007135e6277 (May 15, 2017)