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Social Media and Recruitment at Walmart Asia (1): Being Everyday Low Cost

F.Y. Teng | March 30, 2012
Simon Heaton, Head of Executive Recruiting at the retail giant talks about the eminent usefulness of social media channels for sourcing talent in markets new and unfamiliar.

Also, with something like e-commerce, there tends to be a bigger proportion of people who have profiles in LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Spoke or some of the other places where people put information about themselves. All those resources give us access to the information we need straightaway. If we can get it there, we won't need to go to a third-party recruiter, who will give us about the same amount of information before we start our recruitment process anyway.

Comment on the accuracy of the information you can get off a LinkedIn profile.
When someone applies for a job with you and posts you a resume or a CV, the information you get there and then is still at face value. What we do as recruiters is we don't just take the information off a LinkedIn profile and make our hiring decisions based on it, just like we don't just take the information off a resume an applicant sends to us at face value. We actually take references in the marketplace on people and start to connect the dots.

Walmart hires people from a lot of different organisations. Sometimes we might talk to someone who we recently hired from an organisation, and we ask him or her for opinions on certain people. We were doing that before social media became commonplace. Now social media has made it somewhat faster and easier.

Walmart, and most other organisations, rely on referrals as one of its biggest ways to recruit people. Something like LinkedIn actually helps systemise some of the processes for finding people and generating referrals.

We don't just hire people. We put potentials through a process.

LinkedIn is a source of information to find people.

You still have to assess them against the capability sets that you look for as an organisation. You have to look for a cultural fit. That's very important for an organisation with Walmart, because we have a very strong corporate culture. Sometimes the cultural fit is more important than the skillsets of the candidate. We can train skills. You can't train cultural fit.

And then we take references and then we use third party companies to go out and check for criminal and other types of records before we make an offer.

So LinkedIn is all of that upfront sourcing process, and is a part of an integrated way of finding people to come in and join us.


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