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Cisco IT University Program Innovation: Leveraging Social Media to Attract Top Talent

July 23, 2013 at 1:30 pm PST

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Are you an ambitious tech-savvy college student looking for an internship or full time career? Do you want to work for a company that has been ranked as one of the happiest places for young professionals? Then, Cisco IT is the place for you!

The Cisco IT University Program recruits college students from all over the world into Cisco IT for internship and full time opportunities. With a myriad of employers for college students to choose from, Cisco IT identified the need to innovate and explore new ways to become the employer of choice for the best and brightest of the millennial generation. This generation is leading the social media explosion today and is always connected. According to the Society of New Communications Research, 93% of people active online fully expect companies to be present in social media spaces and be willing to have a conversation with them. Therefore, the IT University Program decided to adapt to the communication preferences of this generation and enter the world of social media with full force delivering the Cisco IT experience right to their smart phones.

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What does the millennial generation seek in a potential employer?

  • The ability to work on innovative projects that make an impact
  • A start up environment that is fast paced, fun and exciting
  • The opportunity to change the world

This is exactly what Cisco IT has to offer! However, college students today maintain the outdated brand perception of Cisco being the godfather of routing and switching. They are oblivious to the cutting-edge initiatives going on within Cisco IT that are changing the way we work, live, play and learn more than ever before. The natural expertise of millennials must be leveraged for Cisco IT’s game changing initiatives such as the Internet of Everything, BYOD, user experience, collaboration and mobility.

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So, what does the IT University Program want to accomplish through the use of social media?

  • Create increased brand awareness among college students of the endless opportunities available in Cisco IT
  • Generate online buzz and excitement by showcasing the fun company culture

How does the IT University Program’s social media strategy meet and exceed these goals?

According to Ypulse, 62% of Millennials use Facebook and 22% use Twitter to keep up with a brand or company they like. Based on this research, the IT University Program built a robust online presence using their existing Facebook page with Twitter as a secondary communication platform. When the social media strategy was kicked off, the Cisco IT University Program Facebook page had only 200 likes with a sense of hesitance and uncertainty around the possibility of its success. Within a few short months, the Facebook page has over 1000 likes and the IT University Program has created an incredible amount of excitement internally and externally. The IT University Program’s online audience includes the company’s CIO, IT Executives, Managers, New Graduates and Interns, and even the parents of New Graduates and Interns.

Information distributed through the IT University Program’s social media channels is catered towards each one of these audiences. The IT University Program has engaged its audience and met its intended goals in the following ways:

Overall, implementing an extensive social media strategy to reach the millennial generation has been a big win for the IT University Program. Not only did it create buzz and excitement around Cisco IT externally but also earned the support and encouragement of executives within the organization. This is how the IT University Program is striving towards Cisco’s vision of becoming the #1 IT Company by innovating and finding new ways to recruit top talent into Cisco IT.

 

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How Telework Helps Cisco Recruit and Retain Employees

Why does top talent choose to join a company? Then, once they are employees, why do they stay?

At Cisco, one factor is consistent among our diverse, global workforce: the flexibility of our telework program and the Cisco technologies that enable it.

Recruiting the Best Workforce

As a global company, we know that talent lives everywhere in the world, but not always near a Cisco office. Our telework program helps us recruit the right employees because they won’t need to make a hard, long commute or face the life and family disruption of a relocation.

One employee wanted to raise his family in Illinois where he could be close to his extended family. Cisco supported his choice by allowing him to telework – one of the first employees to do so at Cisco – and was able to keep this valued technical employee with the company.

Other employees tell me that working from home enables them to work much more flexibly, and this motivates them to work even harder for their team, manager, and Cisco. The motivation produced by flexible working appears to play a role in our employees’ performance, with a higher percentage of mobile and remote employees receiving the top two performance evaluation rankings compared to traditional office workers.

Flexible work arrangements are also very important to the millennial generation that is now entering the workforce. Data in our 2011 Cisco Connected World Technology Report indicates that a majority of today's university students value unconventional work schedules and believe they can work more productively away from the office.

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What is the benefit of hiring for culture before hiring for skills?

"Every organization needs employees who mesh with its core values — the principles that define who you are as an organization and that shape day-to-day business decisions. Employees who do not adhere to a shared corporate culture dilute it, detracting from the essence that gives your company its identity and helps it achieve aggressive goals." - Harvard Business Review (HBR) Read More »

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