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SA’s Telkom taps social media for recruiting millennials

In its drive to attract new talent to be part of its transforming business, South Africa’s Telkom recently launched a campaign that used social media posts, Google ads, and email marketing to attract potential hires. By Staff Writer

The telco has recently hired eight interns through an online guerrilla marketing campaign that seeks to reward new ways of approaching business challenges.

The campaign generated over 38 000 hits in a two-month period.

“We recognise that our industry – and our company – is in the midst of a profound transformation. We wanted new perspectives and to reward unconventional thinking, so we took a chance with a new approach to talent acquisition,” said Ian Russell, chief administration officer at Telkom.

The campaign used social media posts, Google ads, and email marketing.

The ad copy read: “We’re looking for bright young minds. If you think you’re the smartest person in the room, answer this question.”

Participants who successfully completed the brainteaser were then given a set of 12 questions measuring problem-solving ability.

The final stage revealed that “a JSE-listed organisation” was looking for interns and asked them to submit personal details along with a 60 second video clip outlining their recommended solution to a business challenge.

Unusually, academic qualifications and area of study were not a consideration for eligibility.

Around 2 000 people completed the brainteaser and questionnaire between December 2015 and January 2016. Of these, 260 people submitted a video clip, and were then invited to a three-day selection camp where the company behind the campaign was revealed as Telkom, and the final nine were shortlisted.

The last hurdle was a pitch session where Telkom executives would be present. One person dropped out, and of the remaining eight, all were selected as the inaugural interns for 2016.

The interns are:

Bojosi Morule, 23, BA Economics, works for the digital business unit at Telkom

Ovashen Naidoo, 24, who has a BCom Information Management degree and works in the finance and technology division at Telkom.

Toni Nkosi, 21, who is currently studying towards her BSc Biochemistry & Human Physiology degree. She works on Telkom FutureMakers, the enterprise and supplier development initiative.

Anand Hadebe, 22, studying towards her BCom Accounting degree, works in e-commerce and helps to evaluate potential partnerships for Telkom.

Oreratile Itumeleng, 23, BCom Financial Accounting, who works in the marketing department on Telkom’s gaming strategy.

Narina Nel, BA Languages, BA English (Hons), and Higher Certificate in Marketing. Narina works in Telkom’s customer experience team.

Lior Sinai, 23, BSc Mechanical Engineering, assists the transformation office with strategy and regulatory initiatives.

Francois Neethling, 23, who has a Bsc Actuarial & Mathematical Science degree. Francois assists Telkom’s transformation office with data analysis and pricing.

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