5 Hiring Lessons We Can Learn From Dell

online resume formatting systemDell is usually considered one of the best companies to work for, so they make an excellent source of inspiration for ways to improve recruiting practices and employee management. A smaller company might learn from Dell how to give candidates a 3-dimensional view of the workplace before applying, to supply candidates with tips on how to apply, the importance of merging recruiting and marketing efforts, and how crucial a defined company culture is. If you’re searching for a mobile ready online resume formatting system to making hiring easy in 2018, check out Recruiteze. Start your free trial here.

5 Hiring Lessons We Can Learn From Dell

#1. Let Candidates Get To Know You

Many companies employ the tactic of giving candidates a day-in-the-life view of their company. It helps candidates self-screen, and it makes the ones who do fit even more invested in your company.

Dell’s careers page is chock-full of opportunities to get candidates acquainted with the life at Dell.

As soon as you open the page, you see four things:

  • A description of the Dell mindset
  • A video representing the Dell workplace
  • Links to discover more about “life at Dell”
  • Buttons to search for jobs and learn how to apply

The entire above-the-fold section of their careers page is almost completely devoted to learning about, as they put it, “life at Dell.” But that’s not all.

The next section when you scroll down covers nine topics including:

  • Our People
  • Our Workplace
  • Our Company History
  • Our Culture Code
  • Employee Benefits and Rewards
  • Development Programs

Below that, Dell has placed a link to their vast selection of social media accounts, ranging from Facebook to Twitter to Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Glassdoor. And guess why they say you should follow them on social media?

“Connect with Dell Careers to learn more about #LifeAtDell.”

The Senior Manager Global Candidate Attraction, Engagement and Experience at Dell, Jennifer Jones Newbill, gave an interview to Coachify in 2016. As would be expected after looking at Dell’s careers page, Newbill discussed life at Dell and how she made sure the company’s vibe is made visible to the public.

She said, “our people are our greatest asset (and really the best asset of any company!) – this helps drive our referrals and trust in our brand so it creates a super healthy eco-system. We create not only videos but social testimonials showcasing people in different markets sharing what they value about Dell. This includes flexible work, work-life balance, etc. The key is to share stories and share content that is honest.”

When asked about the best topics for blogging, Newbill said, “Our people stories – we feature our early in career hires about how Dell has helped them launch their career. Also stories about our connected and flexible work where team members share their personal stories and how flexibility has benefited their professional and personal lives.”

#2. Play Matchmaker to Recruiting and Marketing

One of Dell’s strong suits is combining their recruiting and marketing efforts into a streamlined force. When the two roles are separated, potential candidates see a conflicted message that weakens a company’s employer brand, not to mention that money could best be spent streamlining the two efforts. You don’t want recruiters creating their own ads when marketers are also creating ads.

Newbill was quoted on HR Open Source, “We thought about it differently. At Dell, we all own the brand, whether in an official marketing capacity or just being social media certified and talking about the company on our own personal profiles. So, while one team focuses on end users like customers of our products and services, another team focuses on our employee narrative for internal team members and candidates who may become team members. These are not in conflict with each other and, in fact, complement each other quite well.”

The writer on that same page said, “We began by forming relationships with our internal agency, Dell Blue, when we realized we needed a distinct employer brand campaign to communicate why Dell is a great place to work to candidates.”

“Dell Blue has put in a lot of effort into understanding the recruiting landscape as well as our employment value proposition and how we talk to candidates about working at Dell. From the beginning, they have agreed that having an authentic employment brand rooted in reality is the best way to show candidates who Dell is as a company. That approach has informed all of the content our team produces and shares.”

Also, “Partnering with Marketing has allowed us to support and maintain a consistent, globally relevant employer brand identity at an affordable rate with rapid turnaround times. It’s allowed us to move more quickly and innovate.“

“We have an employer brand that is rooted in our employer value proposition, is authentic and true to the employee experience, and aligned with our company look and feel.“

“What resulted was even better than we could have imagined – a collaborative partnership where both teams benefit from content and insight when it comes to marketing and recruiting best practices.”

In her Coachify interview, Newbill described this marketing and recruiting marriage, “Our team is all tasked with candidate attraction (messaging including digital and, print as well as technologies used) engagement (social media and employee advocacy in partnership with our marketing team) and analyzing and improving the overall candidate experience.”

And went on to talk about how Dell uses their varied social media platforms.

“Facebook and Twitter continue to have very inexpensive promotional solutions and we absolutely see hires through those platforms. Other social platforms are still important but play more of an influencing/branding role than direct hires. We don’t see people, for example, going to a job directly from Pinterest. However, we just hired someone onto our global social media team who specifically mentioned our Pinterest page and our Careers channel specifically. The mention was all praise and how it created more positive sentiment of Dell in their mind. This is a win even if we didn’t hire the person ‘from’ Pinterest.”

Dell also has a unique social media training technique to encourage employees to share their stories.

Coachify asked, “Dell trains their employees to become “Dell Certified Social Media and Community Professionals.” So far around 10,000 employees were trained to augment their jobs via social media. What are the biggest successes of SMaC U program and what things you would do differently, if you could turn back time?”

And Newbill replied,We have actually trained to date over 16,000 employees! We also train our summer interns as part of their development and introduction to Dell.“

Dell’s branding strategies make up one unified force, one convincing story, sort of like how a sales funnel works. Every tactic moves people closer to one end goal, loyalty to Dell, as a customer, an employee, or both.

#3. See Candidates and Customers as One Group

Dell recognizes that you can combine two efforts into one, attracting customers and attracting employees, by seeing these efforts as the same thing.

In her Coachify interview, Newbill explained it, “Marketing and HR have very similar goals – in a nutshell – candidate and customer attraction and retention. And it is clear that candidates and customers are frequently one in the same. Current or potential future customers can have their sentiment about your company influenced if they are referred to a job or interview with the company – very powerful stuff… There is huge opportunity for Marketing and HR to partner and collaborate in a way that is mutually beneficial.”

When looking for job candidates, you want someone who is invested in your company’s vision, and who is more likely to be invested than someone who already loves what you do?

#4. Give Them Tips

Right at the top of the careers page, just below the search for open positions button, there’s a button for instructions and tips on applying. They also outline internship opportunities so candidates can quickly learn their options.

Giving candidates information on how to apply and what to expect from the hiring process will serve several functions.

First, it will help them determine if they think they’ll be hired. They may discover that there isn’t any point in applying because they can’t do something that will be asked of them.

Second, it will point out to them whether they are invested enough in the job to try for it. If they start reading and it sounds like more work than they feel like the job is worth to them, they can back out right away without wasting anyone’s time.

Third, it will eliminate problems. Tips prevent confusion that could run candidates away, like wondering why it’s taking two weeks to hear back from their resume or discovering midway that there will be two interviews. They also help the candidate write the best resume and present themselves in their best light for your particular company, creating a more rewarding hiring process for all involved.

#5. Define Your Company Culture

Dell learned the importance of company culture, and they have some great advice to share on the subject.

Strategy+Business wrote a post in 2004 entitled, How Dell Got Soul.

In it they explained how Dell developed a strong company culture at a time when few understood the concept,

“It was late 2000, and Dell Inc. was hurting — badly. A favorite of personal computer buyers since its founding in 1984 and a darling of investors since its initial public offering in 1988, Dell, renowned for the supply chain expertise that allowed it to customize and deliver PCs for every purse and purpose, had stalled. With the bursting of the Internet bubble, the company’s growth stopped. It announced its first layoffs, and proceeded to fall short of Wall Street estimates and internal earnings estimates for five consecutive quarters. The company’s share price tumbled from the high $50s to $17.”

Kevin B. Rollins(senior vice president transitioning to CEO) said, “I realized that we had created a culture of stock price, a culture of financial performance, and a culture of ‘what’s in it for me?’ throughout our employee base. There had to be something more in this institution that we loved and enjoyed than just making money or just having a stock price that went up.”

At the time he described the culture he wanted to define and build on was the “culture of winning”.


Dell shows business owners how to improve their recruiting techniques with both their successes and their opportunities to grow. Over the years, this powerful company learned to give candidates a 3D view of the business before they apply, to inform them of how Dell hires, to combine the forces of recruiting and marketing, to see candidates and customers as one group, and to make defining the company culture a priority.

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