Questions for…Peter Moore, Senior Manager of Talent Acquisition at Sony Electronics
February 21, 2012
Since he joined Sony Electronics (SEL) in March 2011, Peter Moore has revamped his company’s employment brand, driven incredible scale in his team’s recruiting activities, and re-positioned Talent Acquisition as a strategic partner to the business. We recently spoke with Peter to learn more about his transformational first year at SEL.
How did you come to work at Sony Electronics?
I was actually identified by Sony Electronics through LinkedIn in December 2010. Sony was looking to hire someone who had a strong presence in social media and was active within the LinkedIn community, and my profile came to the surface. I was based out of Chicago at the time, working for a major retailer. Sony was interested in my background in social media and in retail (given SEL’s retail presence)—the two worlds came together and here I am in San Diego a year later!
Tell us about your role and your team.
I head up Talent Acquisition at SEL. My focus is on positioning our employment brand, attracting candidates, driving recruiter metrics, and managing my team of 14 direct reports.
In my short time at Sony I’ve restructured our talent organization and rolled out a research model. We now have a department of two researchers who are responsible for sourcing and pipelining talent, in addition to recruiters (each carrying about 30-40 reqs), coordinators, and a department admin.
What challenges did you face when you joined SEL?
Up until four years ago, SEL’s corporate headquarters was based out of Park Ridge, New Jersey. Once we moved to San Diego, not many people even knew we were there. We were trying to tap into a market and people just didn’t know we were recruiting.
When I joined the organization, Sony had a post-and-pray approach to recruiting. That lack of awareness in the market obviously worked against us when we were posting and praying. My recruiters couldn’t fill positions because no one was applying, and we didn’t really have an effective approach to sourcing.
What did you do to drive awareness and build your employment brand in the San Diego market?
We’ve focused on a number of initiatives to get the message out there that we are local, and we are recruiting. We’ve partnered with several local organizations, but we’re also spending a lot of time with our recruiters to get the message out to the candidate population—and to those passive candidates—that we are recruiting and we’ll continue to grow. It’s not just about messaging candidates through LinkedIn to say, “we have this opportunity available”—it’s about messaging them to talk about Sony and the exciting things going on here.
You noted that when you joined SEL the recruiting organization didn’t have an effective approach to sourcing. How have you changed that and encouraged direct sourcing within your team?
The first thing I did on arrival was to make sure we had a LinkedIn Recruiter license for each of our recruiters and researchers. We took them through training and coaching so they knew how to use it. Within five months, LinkedIn had become the source of 25% of our hires.
My recruiters now go to requisition meetings with a slate of candidates that are applicable for that role. They sit down to talk to the hiring managers about the market, what the trends are, where we think we can find the people for this opportunity or where we think we’re going to struggle. We’re becoming much more strategic in supporting the business—not just sitting down and asking what the hiring manager needs, but advising them on how we can recruit exactly what they’re looking for.
Tell us about your approach to social media for recruiting at SEL.
When I joined SEL, our social media was very consumer-centric: we had no focus on employment branding. My focus was to come up with a very simple social media strategy. I didn’t want to make it overly complicated, and didn’t have a huge budget to spend.
I’m the type of person who asks for forgiveness instead of permission, and I was really trying to go it alone—which wasn’t easy. Now, we’re beginning to partner much more closely with our social media and communications team to leverage their resources. I can’t go it alone; my team is small, and there’s no way I can go out there and do everything we want to do with social media, and still recruit the top talent that we need to go for. That’s why leveraging our internal workforce has been key.
How have you leveraged your employee base to drive scale in recruiting?
One of my goals at the beginning of our fiscal year was to enhance what we were doing with LinkedIn. The biggest advancement for me has been our use of Work with Us Ads. These ads appear on the profiles of all 4,000 SEL employees across North America, and they target our opportunities to the individuals viewing our employee profiles, encouraging them to “Picture Yourself” working at SEL. It’s allowed us to utilize our employees to promote our opportunities without them having to do anything!
Every time someone clicks on one of our employees and then sees a relevant opportunity, it brings them to the business faster than we can find them. In my mind, that doubles our workforce. It does a lot of the heavy lifting for us so we can focus on other strategic projects and on collaborating with our hiring managers, because we know LinkedIn is hard at work for us behind the scenes. LinkedIn is working when I’m sleeping. To me, that’s a huge takeaway for anyone in our business when we’re always being asked to do more with less.
How has LinkedIn transformed recruiting at SEL?
All in all, LinkedIn has made us look more intelligent to the business. With LinkedIn’s help, we’ve become a strategic partner versus just an order taker.
To learn more about Peter’s story, visit our resources page.