A recruitment lesson from a top world brand

Submitted by Mark on 09th September 2019

Attracting and keeping the best employees - expert HR support

We can all learn … especially when it’s a recruitment lesson from the world’s no. 1 beverage brand.

In 1886, a certain John Stith Pemberton invented a medicinal beverage you may have heard of. He called it Coca Cola.

Whether you’re in the supermarket, at the pub on your lunch break or are seeking rapid refreshment from a train station vending machine, Coca Cola is never far away.

Over the years, along with its other soft drink brands, such as Powerade, Sprite, Lilt and Oasis, the Coca Cola Company has seen unprecedented growth. There are now over 900 manufacturing facilities across the globe. On top of that, the company has hundreds of marketing and sales offices - a lot of positions to keep filled!

Clearly, a company that successful needs to employ, and keep happy, a large number of top calibre people. How do they do it?

Well, here are a few answers …

Generous employee perks

Increasingly, work benefits are a significant factor for prospective employees - not ranking as highly as career progression and salary but getting closer. People are realising that, as they spend so much of their lives at work, they want to be sure they’re living it to the max! Providing strong work benefits is increasingly shown to keep staff turnover rates low.

At Coca Cola, the benefits include handsome pension packages, as well as plenty of attractive little add-ons, such as travel insurance, health screening and cinema tickets.

How about the benefits in your workplace? 

Here a few of the most popular (the first might surprise you) -

- Book and knitting clubs

- Social and learning-based activities

- Salary sacrifice schemes. Employees accept a lower salary (and so pay less tax and National Insurance). Instead, they receive benefits such as an increased pension, childcare vouchers, etc. 

Getting social – saving millions on recruitment costs

The Coca Cola Company makes serious use of social media as part of its recruitment policy. The director of global talent acquisition at Coca Cola, Kevin Shigley says - 

“Tracking down the right people or opportunities used to require hours of phone calls and private-investigator-type legwork. Now, the barrier to entry – information – is no longer a barrier. The internet is the great democratiser of data.”

In other words, by making careful use of social media, Coca Cola has been able to cut its recruitment costs by as much as $8 million. If your company can achieve similar savings - great, but there’s no doubt that by using LinkedIn and even Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, you can find out a good deal about your prospective candidates.

Invest in the future of new employees

Naturally, employees like to feel valued. Who doesn’t? By creating training opportunities for your people, you’ll add to that sense of value. The Coca Cola Company gives its staff access to a virtual global university for all learning and career-building activities called the Coca Cola University (CCU). In this way, they equip their staff with practical skills and knowledge to succeed. This might include leadership, marketing and HR.

Training opportunities in your company could be as simple as sending your people on courses or providing reading materials.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that, by providing such opportunities, you’ll simply be encouraging them to move on. Yes - this is always a possibility, but at the same time, you’ll be increasing their value to your business and raising their self-esteem and sense of loyalty.

Responding positively to unsuccessful candidates

Apparently, in the Pakistan and Afghanistan region, The Coca Cola Company has been known to send a detailed letter explaining candidates’ rejections, along with … a crate of Coca Cola cans!

OK - a small gesture perhaps. But we all know that small gestures can make a big difference. Of course, in your company, we’re not saying you should send out goodies. But - a personal letter, with a clear explanation as to why the unsuccessful candidates didn’t get through shows consideration, respect and good manners. This will help to mitigate any feelings of resentment and might encourage the employee to improve in weaker areas, maybe to return another day.

Get the basics right

That’s what The Coca Cola Company does. This great big global business is built on the philosophy of making people smile. They’ve created an appealing community feel around their recruitment processes. In theory, this is something any business can implement. Make professionals want to apply and you’ll have a much better chance of attracting the very best. There’s no reason why your company can’t d be seen from both inside and out as ‘the real thing’.

Here to help

As employment specialists, we’re here to support you in every aspect of people management.

For straight-talking advice, call us - 01604 763494

Or email - info@GravitasHR.co.uk