Kevin Gill, the company’s director of global staffing, says the blog will give recruiters a contemporary talking point when they make pitches at colleges and universities. Those are important areas for the company’s hiring efforts. Each year, Honeywell hires more than 50 students from graduate schools and more than 250 from undergraduate institutions.
To reach candidates with different backgrounds, Honeywell has enlisted people from IT, human resources and the supply chain to write three weekly entries on topics they choose. The idea, Gill says, is for content to lean toward ideas about career development instead of dry talk about benefits. To keep content fresh, three people will blog for three months, then relinquish their duties to new bloggers. All writers are volunteers who are recent recruits to Honeywell and hold graduate degrees.
Gill says the bloggers will help one another to ensure that posts comply with corporate governance standards, decency and grammar. As long as those requirements are satisfied, bloggers will be free to write about anything that they want, including negative experiences. “The sites will exist to relay what’s gone on in your job,” Gill says, “whether something is working out well or not.”
The company’s approach builds on that of a well-known predecessor in the blogging community: Microsoft. Heather Hamilton, a manager in Microsoft’s marketing and finance recruiting division, started a blog mainly as an experiment, but she says it has buoyed the company’s brand with potential applicants, helped establish relationships with them and put a human face on the company’s recruiting efforts. Blogging is now part of her job description.
Although Hamilton struck gold with her blog, she says companies need to have a distinct audience and purpose in mind before they start one. “I advise them to know why they want to blog,” she says, “not to do it just because it’s a new thing.”