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LONDON, England – It’s not just marketing and PR that can benefit from social media. Almost every other business function can be done better. One area that’s made particularly significant strides in recent years is recruitment. We spoke to Nokia’s Global Talent Acquisition Manager for Digital Marketing, Rebecca Folb  to find out more.

Nokia Conversations: Tell us what social media recruitment involves.

Rebecca Folb: When I joined the company, our recruitment process was very old-fashioned. We relied on employment agencies and job boards to bring talent to us. It was also extremely reactive: HR would be given a brief for a position and only then would we start looking for people. Nowadays, the competition for top talent is so fierce that the old ways don’t work anymore. We needed to jump two generations forward and transform the way Nokia sources talent, builds talent pipelines and raise our employer image.


NC: So how has that changed the way you do things?

RF: There’s a number of things involved. The mantra is “network, network, network”. For a start, I abandoned my desk in the HR department and went to sit with the digital marketing people. I needed to live and breathe that area and understand the chemistry of those teams to be able to select good potential recruits. What’s more, we want the things that HR do to align themselves with what the brand is doing.

Social media recruiting is not our answer to all our recruitment needs, it’s simply another channel we must use now. We use platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn, but also go to networking events in the sector to meet people face-to-face. That gives Nokia a credible voice and face at these events as well, which people appreciate.

A lot of this is about “passive recruiting” – we might not have a job opening right now, but by getting to know a lot of people in the field and building their passion for our brand, then it becomes a lot easier when you do need to find someone.

So one thing that we’ve done is to start building talent communities on LinkedIn. Here, people can discuss things that are going on within their field like any other professional group. But there’s the added benefit that Nokia opportunities are advertised there and although we can’t control all online conversations, here we can join and engage with people in an authentic way. Also, I might directly approach people I know from their previous activity who are well-qualified, either to see if they’re interested themselves, or if they know someone who’d be suitable.

Similarly, we’ve developed – very recently – some Twitter accounts that will not just be broadcasting job adverts, but talk about what Nokia is up to in a broader way.


NC: Some people find being approached by recruiters objectionable. How do you tackle that?

RF: I think that was definitely true in the bad old days. I used to work at a recruitment agency and have to phone people up at their desks to ask if they were interested in a different job. Thankfully, things have moved on. If someone joins a LinkedIn group that’s transparently run by Nokia Talent, then they know that there’s a possibility that they’ll receive emails about job openings and that’s part of why they’ve joined. But I have to make sure all communications are relevant: if I started blasting out emails about openings for an analytics position to a bunch of creative people, then clearly that would be wrong.


NC: We know that a number of Conversations readers would be interested in working for Nokia. How might they go about that?

RF:  That’s great to hear. There’s two things really.

The first is to get onto our global careers page to see if there’s anything relevant.

If there isn’t, then join our talent communities on LinkedIn and Facebook. Follow our Twitter account – either the main one or the one specifically for digital people.  These will help you learn about any upcoming opportunities and also help you to get to know us better. When people come along to interview and they already know a lot about the company, then that gives them a real leg-up – we’re really not that impressed by someone who comes along and says “what do you do apart from making phones?”

NC: Thanks for your time, Rebecca.

Rebecca is speaking for Nokia as part of Social Media Week later on today at a London seminar on social recruiting.

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