Readers of this blog will have been following the progress reports on the social recruiting project for the opening of Hard Rock Firenze. (Florence). This has been conducted entirely via a Facebook fan page,mashed in with a few other on-line tools over a 4 week period

. First the results:

: 10,222 fans on the page. (In 4 weeks!)

: 4000 job applications received (During a 2 week campaign.)

: 600 interviews completed (over 3 days)

: 120 Hires

The project had 2 objectives:

1: To create a buzz around the opening of the new Hard Rock Cafe in Firenze

2: To recruit 120 staff in 8 categories from waiting staff to accounting.

Pre-launch planning showed 1,900 profiles for people that:

1: Liked Rock and Roll

2: Lived within 100km of Firenze

3: Had some hospitality, catering or bar work in their background.

4:Spoke fluent Italian.

This was the basis of a Facebook ad campaign announcing the opening and invitation to be a fan that had a higher than average click-through rate. It was clear from the early sign-ups, 1000 on day one, that the majority were within the target group. The welcome page was built at low-cost, using pagemodo, with 2 pictures of the venue and 3 of typical Hard Rock staff from other venues, under the heading:

“For those about to rock we recruit you!

” Visitors then oet 2 choices, to either connect for news of the opening or apply for work via the work for us tab from Work4Labs. Interestingly, 50% of the fans applied for jobs, vindicating the decision to integrate the job application in to the venue fan page rather than building a separate careers page. I’m convinced this impacts on sign ups. My thinking is that working candidates are not comfortable liking careers pages orrecruitment sites, sharing the news that they may be looking with anyone watching. They are comfortable signing up for a “branded” site that gives no indication that they are looking. This iswhere the Work4Labs app comes in to it’s own. It’s simple to use for applying or sharing. (Interestingly the most liked job was for a finance assistant!)

Applications were open for 2 weeks only with a start and end date posted on the wall. What has been noticable throughout the whole project has been the high level of engagement between fans over the application process. No sooner had questions about any part of the process been posted on the wall, than another fan answered or offered help and encouragement. Candidates were encouraged to apply in Italian or English, whichever they were most comfortable with.

At the close of the application process, (15′th March) , a teamof recruiters and hiring managers from the UK and italy spent 3 days going through every application. The pledge was that every application would be read by a person and the decision over who to see would not be made by an A.T.S. It’s a painstaking task, but when your recruiting to culture rather than skill-set, a critical one. 700 candidates were invited to attend an interview. this mamoth communication was made simple by running the interviews as an event, using event platform Eventbrite. 20 tickets were made available per hour from 9.00 am – 7.00 PM over 3 days. All candidates were sent one instruction mail with a link to eventbrite. On booking a ticket, they were sent instructions, a map and a ticket by mail. (Eventbrite even sent out a reminder the day before each interview day!). The back-end produced an hourly schedule, you can even print name badges and communicate with candidates directly via mail chimp.It’s free as well as theres no fee for tick Despite the volume of candidates, only 15 people requested additional information or communication by e-mail. All other enquiries were answered mostly by other fans on the wall.

In the down time between the close of the application process and the start of the interviews, the italian managment team broadcast several live discussions about the interview process and working for Hard Rock. Livestream proved to be the perfect app for this process, allowing for streaming on the fan-page, sending invites to fans, and allowing them to postquestions on the wall, up to and during the streaming. This is the perfect app for this purpose, and I would expect this to become a regular feature of social recruiting via Facebook, as well as a great way to connect with fans on a more human level, without leaving the fanpage.

600 candidates took part in a 3 stage interview during the 3 days, first aimed at culture match followed by job fit. After this marathon effort, the 120 people were hired with a good reserve list for any drop outs. Theres also plenty of additional candidates in the database for future opportunities. The unsuccesful applicants have all been invited to attend the cafe after opening, and will get a drink and a welcome on presentation of their interview ticket. As they are all fans, theres also a ready made talent pool for future recruiting, and despite having to decline 3,880 applications, there are very few negative commentson the wall. Mostly its thanks for considering me, please consider me again in the future. Good luck to the lucky candidates. The succesful candidates have also beenposting the good news on the wall, one even saying “I will be ready to serve you from the 7′th May!”. All these announcments are applauded with likes and comments. It hasn’t all gone smoothly, but what is clear in using this mediumis that you can pick up and react toproblems quickly just by monitoring the comments on the wall, and when you put your hands up and apologise, without going in to excuses, the fans forgive you quickly. The next step is to invite all the succesful candidates to join an employee page, where they can be kept up to date on the progress of the building work and start networking, ready for on-boarding.

I’mnot sure o fa similar project of this volume or time-scale that has been conducted elsewhere, but there can’t be many. Well done to everyone in the Hard rock team who put all the real work in to the sifting and interviewing, and to Alison McCue in paticular who put her neck on theline in championing social recruiting, and went about making it happen. We always knew it wasn’t a risk! (Honestly :-) )

I will be sharing this story at #truAmsterdam on the 28′th/29′th Aprilin the Facebook recruiting track. If you can make it, come and hear it first hand!


PS: My friend Katharine Robinson (@TheSourceress), a great friend to #tru is conducting a 30 second survey on C.V.’s/resumes. Please take half a minute to add your thoughts HERE

. Links

Hard Rock Firenze Fan Page





Buy Tickets For #TruAmsterdam 28′th/29′th April