Engaging, dynamic and operationally focused: these are the top 3 attributes that I believe best describe Christine. She possesses a rare ability to connect people development with real, tangible operational priorities.
Jeff Fielding, Insurance Corporation of BC

Social Media & HR: What we can learn from Hyatt Hotels

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In my continued search for innovative HR departments tapping into the OPPORTUNITY that comes from becoming more social and open I found the Facebook page for HYATT CAREERS. The man behind the page, which now boasts over 19,000 fans and counting is Randy Goldberg VP of Recruiting for Hyatt Hotels.

For those of you not familiar with the Hyatt Hotel brand, here is a little snapshot.


 

Choosing those incredible employees who can deliver on this powerful brand promise is no small task. I was really interested in their use of Social Media to create deeper engagement with potential applicants and guests alike. I spoke with Randy at length over skype and asked him the questions I thought other HR executives would find valuable to get perspective on.

What follows summarizes the conversation between Impact People Practices and Hyatt Careers VP.

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What was the trigger that made you decide you wanted/needed to be out there on social media as Hyatt Careers?

Randy: I have worked for Hyatt most of my career, we have a lot of great people that are very passionate about hospitality.  I simply wanted to find a way to share this with people who might be interested in our industry.Social Media seemed to be the best way to do that.

 

You mentioned there wasn’t a “strategy”… yet you are at 19,000 fans and counting….. You have obviously done a lot of things right… looking back what have been some of the things that have made that page successful?

Randy: Yes, in the beginning we were just attempting to understand the social media space.  We have been fortunate that we have a great brand and people seemed to be interested in what we and our 25,000 fans have to say.

One of the things Hyatt employees speak about is providing authentic hospitality.  When we started with our Facebook fan page, the people managing it were just a few Hyatt employees who really understood the company and our workforce.. not experts in social media.

We decided on day one that we were just going to be ourselves, share some great Hyatt stories and do our best to respond to those who have questions about Hyatt in a simple transparent matter.

I think it was this lack of polished responses… an authentic voice that really made the difference for us.

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You went from Facebook to Twitter. How was your strategy similar or different on twitter?

Randy: There are definitely similarities between the two platforms but we found Twitter to be most effective for us as a place to listen to conversation and respond when appropriate.

On Facebook you typically respond to your fans, on Twitter you have the opportunity to respond to anyone.

Facebook fans expect a response.  Someone tweeting about Hyatt who is not following us really does not expect to hear from anyone. This is what makes Twitter so much fun.

Nothing like finding someone tweeting about hoping to get a job with Hyatt and then having the company respond to their tweet.  It’s unexpected and thus makes it that much more rewarding.

What’s a memorable TWEET or twitter story you can tell me ?

(note from Christine- this is a blog post within a blog post, but shows indeed a very memorable twitter experience Hyatt Careers had with Twitter).

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Where does HYATT HR go from here? What are the opportunities to explore?

Randy: There is so much opportunity here but I think the next step revolves around learning. We are learn best through experiential learning harnessing additional collaboration through social media should be very helpful in the learning and development area.

Other than recruiting, are there other parts of Hyatt HR team that leverage “social” or technology tohyattmobile 300x145 Social Media & HR: What we can learn from Hyatt Hotels communicate, share, listen etc.. (ie. intranet, newsletters etc..)

Randy: We are currently using social media to connect employees who have similar interests (Employee Network Groups).  We have also utilized social networking to assist with on-boarding employees.

We do a lot of college hiring and connecting these new Hyatt Employees to other new employees as well as current employees who have recently completed the same experience really helps with getting them comfortable in their new workplace.

What do you think HR leaders and senior executives need to hear and internalize that might help them see the value of dipping their toes into social?

Randy: The word of the day is engagement… engaging our customers and employees.  A quick search on YouTube for “social media revolution” will show a quick video that highlights the power of these platforms and how so many people are utilizing it.  Hopefully most leaders will see the power behind connecting your employees to your customers (real engagement).

hyatttweet Social Media & HR: What we can learn from Hyatt HotelsOne of the reasons I hear all too often for NOT going there is “what if one of our employees says something bad” what if our customers slam us…. how do we make people realize people are saying these things ANYWAYS do you want to be part of turning it around..

What are your thoughts?

Randy: I hear this pretty often as well.  What I can tell you is that while this will probably happen there will be much more positively said about your company and brand. At the end of the day, employees and customers will speak about your brand wither way.  The choice is whether you want to be a part of the conversation

Last words of wisdom? advice for taking the FIRST baby step?

Randy: You should really think about what you are trying to accomplish by being in this space and formulate a strategy.  Other than that you just need to get started.

 

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Posted in HR 2.0 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments
  • Nora

    Love this interview and kudos to Hyatt for being open.  My favorite phrase from above?  “authentic hospitality”.  Being authentic is the key.

    • Christine McLeod

      Authentic Hospitality. I agree very cool .

  • http://www.HowToBuildYourOnlineEmpire.com/blog Joshua Zamora

    Wow what an amazing interview Christine! Hyatt is definitely doing it right. There are way too many brands who do NOT respond to tweets.

    My girlfriend is on twitter more then I and when she gets a response she flips out LOL not to mention she writes to a lot of music artists and celebrities and the occassional local restaurant.

    • Christine McLeod

      Joshua- I am actually liking twitter more and more myself as I get to know it- it really is a different platform and I too took away from that interview an admiration of how they aren’t using Twitter to Broadcast but to LISTEN.

  • Mitch

    Excellent interview Christine.
    Your questions for Randy show your
    Indepth knowledge of H.R. and Social.
    Randy’ answers provide the reader with
    an inside look at Hyatt Hotel’ leadership
    in the use of Social Media.

    • Christine McLeod

      Thanks Mitch- I was impressed with the Facebook page and what I saw of the brand- but when the Senior VP of HR made himself so easily available via skype and email to do this interview.. saw the brand come to life as an employer brand as well led by an awesome leader.

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