The problem JC Penney faced, was a very different one to most businesses. People want to die with the company, and retention is excellent. this is brilliant for the employer brand, because people love the business, but not so good for creating opportunity for new blood and fresh thinking.
to counter this, they offered early retirement to anyone who wanted it. This created a big hiring requirement, from a team that hadn’t needed to do much hiring in the recent past. it also meant a complete overhaul of recruiting process.
step one started with the ATS. The recruiters hated it, and so did the job seekers. The team chose avature.
In the view of Davis, ATS are about workflow and compliance, where as recruiting needed something closer to a recruiting CRM, that was more about engagement, communication and community. Avature was, in his view, the closest fit.
Davis commented that they had to make use of the ATS compulsory in order to make it work, and police it. there will be resistance, and different levels of adoption, but making it compulsory, means that a minimum level of use is established as standard. Whatever recruiters may think of an ATS, if it is part of the process, it’s not negotiable.
next up was looking at the employer brand and image. while they had a great consumer brand and employee retention, the reputation as an employer in the outside world was a bit stayed. this meant an overhaul, with an introduction of social, and in particular video content.
i was impressed how JC Penney are using their CRM. this means capturing and tagging anyone who comes in to contact with the employer brand. this makes the people in the CRM easy to organise and communicate with. i see this as being closer to the talent network approach, rather than a community, with targeted content being pushed out to a targeted audience of potential job seekers or possible future employees.
this is an example of one of the video’s they created. it’s long at 6 minutes, but very, very funny.

The content drove candidates to individual micro-sites, powered by jobs2web. The idea of micro sites was that candidates get driven to relevant content for the target audience.
This also means that they can invest in SEO, to make sure targeted content tops the searches.
Jason was good enough to recognise that this is mostly push communication, and the next step is to move to a more collaborative community.
i really like this guy, you should follow him. my suggestion to Jason, perhaps you should take a look at tribepad, would do the job for you.