Leveraging Internal Talent
Applied Materials is a semiconductor manufacturer with a global presence (over 84 locations in 18 countries.) Theres no dearth of innovative ideas within its 13,700-strong employee base and it has over 10,000 patents to prove it.
With such a diverse workforce employed across different continents, the global manufacturer decided it needed to leverage enterprisewide social media tools to increase internal collaboration across its multiple team teams and business segments. It also wanted to tap into the minds of its thousands of employees.
As a global initiative, we developed an internal crowdsourcing and social innovation platform known as Ideabuilder, to improve productivity and customer satisfaction, says Nagraj Bhat, senior director, Global Information Services Group, Applied Materials India.
In 2012, the company also rolled out a knowledge management portal known an Applied Rapid Knowledge that enabled field engineers to search and find product documentation across multiple data sources through a single interface. It was an important project given how dispersed the company was globally. As a result, the project singlehandedly reduced their search time by 50 percent.
Startling results like that created an excitement around the possibility of social media within the enterprise and soon Applied Materials global HR department requested its IT team to conduct a pilot and give a small group of employees the ability to upload their LinkedIn profiles to the companys internal HR management portal. The company also noticed that a majority of its employees already had public LinkedIn profiles, so the capability to integrate LinkedIn to the HR talent profile seemed like a potential time-saver in terms of building a better employee profile.
For instance, an employee had the option to create a professional job profile on the HR platform from scratch or better still, by connecting his LinkedIn profile. In turn, the HR team was able to facilitate, to an extent, the buildup of internal talent profiles of their employees and identify opportunities for internal employees and potential candidates for expanded global reach, says Bhat.
Applied Materials isnt alone in its push to derive more value from its employees. According to Nishant K. Rao, country manager, LinkedIn India, companies are quickly realizing the power of their internal employee base and leveraging the integration capabilities of external tools to enable a seamless hiring experience.
Creating Social Collaboration
If you belong to the Tata Group and operate as one of its 450,000 employees across its 100 companies worldwide, it would be easy to be lost. Given the size of the group (its got as many people as a small Indian town) its easy for different groups within companies to never see each other, or communicate less than optimal. Therefore, four years ago, when a global initiative demanded a need to change old ways of connecting within the conglomerate, there were challenges.
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