Article: Connecting the social dots

Talent Acquisition

Connecting the social dots

Tata Consultancy Services won the Best in Social Hiring Award at the 2013 TA Leadership League Awards
Connecting the social dots

Through the BYB Connect, the company has received a huge inflow of profiles through social media


Established in 1968 as a division of Tata Sons Limited, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) is an IT services, consulting and business solutions organization that services global businesses. It is among the top 10 technology companies in the world and offers a consulting-led integrated portfolio of IT and IT-enabled services and has more than 300,000 of the best-trained IT consultants in 46 countries. For the financial year ended March 31, 2014, TCS has clocked revenues of $13.4 billion and a net income at $3.1 billion.

Over the past few years, TCS has been increasingly working on cost control with focus on cost optimization and hiring candidates with niche skills and middle management experience. The company fulfilled its talent requirements through various channels such as employee referrals, advertisements, commercial job sites, vendor placements etc. Since employee referrals proved to be a dependable source of hiring, TCS introduced employee referrals through the social networking media branded as ‘BYB Connect’ (Bring Your Buddy Connect). In order to make sure that the recruitment team gave a timely response, they imposed a condition on themselves that any complete referral received will have an update against it within the 14-day deadline, failing which the recruitment team will pay a penalty of Rs 5,000.

While employees created buddy profiles in the internal recruitment portal, BYB Connect allowed employees to post the job openings on various social media platforms. In order to easily track the applications, each job opening had a unique code that would help the TA team identify the source of the post and any applications received from any of the other platforms could be traced back to the employee who first put up the opening.

The one key learning from the best practice was to leverage an existing system (employee referrals) and promote that on already existing social media platforms. The second learning for a TA leader is that the company had already identified which hiring channel worked best for them.

The employees are rewarded, based on the experience of the referred candidate. The TA team also ensured that the communication about the BYB program was spot on. BYB mailers were used to spread the message throughout the company and they were published across TCS India as a part of the weekly branch recruitment calendar.

Since the referral system was entirely online, it proved to be a seamless experience for those who wanted to refer. It also allowed employees to quickly share feedback about any glitches in BYB Connect and help improve the overall TCS Employee Referral Policy. TCS has also kept in mind that every product has to go through an evolution – this program started as the Buddy Lao program in 2006. It was rebranded as Bring Your Buddy in 2007 and went online in 2009. TA leaders of TCS got the business buy-in by highlighting the key benefits of such a referral program: High quality of candidates, lower attrition and cost-saving measures. The social media platforms also allowed the company a wider reach in terms of a talent base and also addressed the medium’s increasing influence on business.

Through the BYB Connect, the company has received a huge inflow of profiles through social media and consequently the involvement and support of the business has also increased. The ease of the medium ensured that employees did not find it difficult in propelling it with the required momentum. The program ensured greater visibility of the company and the employees. TCS is now planning to extend the employee referral system to candidates who are yet to join the company. That is a learning that a TA leader can definitely look at – sourcing candidates through unorthodox means.

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Topics: Talent Acquisition, #BestPractices

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