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Best HR Ideas for 2012: Edelman Meet-Ups

This idea by Edelman in Chicago is one of the Best HR Ideas for 2012. See the rest of them here.

Thursday, March 1, 2012
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At PR and marketing giant Edelman, the hunt is on for social-media-savvy PR experts -- so it's probably not surprising that the company is turning to social media to find them. What's different about Edelman's strategy is that it combines digital social media with face-to-face interactions at events called "Meet-Ups," in which Edelman staffers and potential job candidates mingle in different U.S. cities to get to know each other better and stay connected through social media.

The company uses a website called Eventbrite.com to create and distribute Meet-Up invitations, collect and manage RSVPs, and share logistical updates with potential attendees. Edelman relies heavily on its employees' Twitter networks to reach out to potential attendees.

At the events (typically held at trendy restaurants), Edelman employees and guests wear nametags emblazoned with their Twitter handles so they can easily recognize each other. Quirky snacks such as bacon doughnuts, cupcakes and blue sangria ("Edelman Kool-Aid") are served, and senior Edelman executives give brief presentations.

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"So much of recruiting is networking ... ," says Natasha Avery, Edelman's director of digital recruitment. "This is another way to do it, while building lasting relationships."

Seven Meet-Ups have been held so far, including one in Austin, Texas, coinciding with that city's SXSW social-media conference, that attracted 300 attendees. The events have resulted in 25 top-notch, digitally savvy hires ranging in level from intern to senior vice president.

"You can just feel the energy at these events," says Julie Biber, executive vice president and U.S. director of recruitment. "It lets these folks experience who we are and what we're about."

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