HR’s efforts to attract top talent results in national acclaim and significant savings
CLEMSON — The Office of Human Resources includes a small team of employment recruiters that is garnering national attention. Recently, Clemson learned that the team had been recognized with a 2019 Ragan’s PR Daily Award, The Workforce Optimas Gold Award, the National 2020 Military Friendly Employer Designation and was deemed a certified Palmetto Military Employer.
On any given day, the University’s Talent Acquisition Team in the Office of Human Resources works to get the very best faculty and staff to picture themselves at Clemson.
“As Clemson University’s brand grows, it’s not only important to attract recruits from the Southeast, but to attract top global talent,” said Josh Brown, director of talent acquisition. Brown further notes that over the past 12 months, HR has assembled highly competitive applicant pools for an array of positions, drawn top talent and saved the University just south of $750,000 —money traditionally paid to search firms.
“The fact Clemson’s Office of Human Resources has won national recognition is no surprise to me,” said Executive Vice President of Finance and Operations Tony Wagner. “Highly qualified candidate pools are formed for each position, drawing superior talent to Clemson through HR’s marketing efforts. Add to this that finalists are treated to the finest of recruitment experiences, and you can see why our top candidates routinely accept.”
Recently, Tyler Saas was selected from a strong candidate pool of more than 100 highly qualified candidates to became Clemson’s associate vice president of budget, financial planning and analytics. Clemson recruited Saas from a key position at Deloitte Consulting because of his specific experiences there and at his previous employer, Columbia University.
“The recruitment process was focused on helping me understand how Clemson’s unique culture, locale, and strategic priorities, combined with my background and professional experiences, would enable me to be effective in my new role,” said Saas. Saas added “now that I’m here, I can confidently say the recruiting experience painted an authentic picture of my role, the opportunities, and the impact I could have to make a difference.”
An example of the winning innovation that shows candidates just how great it is to work and live in Clemson was the recent adoption of virtual reality headsets sent to finalists of executive searches. As Chief Human Resource Officer Emily Watrous points out, “The team’s creative recruiting strategies and cost-effective ways to simulate what’s it like to live and work at Clemson are very effective. While nothing beats the actual ‘boots on the ground’ experience of being in Tiger Town, no matter where our candidates are, the virtual reality headset allows top recruits the ability to experience campus and the area.”
“It’s amazing to me what this small, but mighty team does in HR,” said Lee Gill, the University’s chief inclusion officer. In February 2016, Lee was hired to close the opportunity gap for the University’s underrepresented faculty, staff and students, allowing access to all to maximize their potential for success. As Lee explains, “There are so many reasons to point to HR gaining national recognition for efforts in recruitment, engagement and retention. I was amazed at the many personal touches and extra miles the team took to make me know this was a great place to work. Our collaborative work with the recruitment team since then will have additional lasting impacts when you consider the value the Search Advocates Program will have to promote equity in Clemson University faculty and staff searches.”
Clemson receives approximately 35,000 job applications each year.
The Workforce Optimas Gold Award 2019
By winning the Workforce Optimas Gold Award, Clemson joined a list of recognizable names such as Bristol-Myers Squibb and AT&T.
Clemson’s Picture Yourself Here campaign provided members of Clemson’s talent acquisition team with key recruitment materials they could share with top candidates, lessening what could be a disconnect by miles with respect to Clemson’s worldwide recruiting efforts. Workforce cited Clemson’s ability to leverage technology by using virtual reality as part of its recruitment campaigns to build a national pool of candidates as a benchmark solution that solves some of the biggest contemporary challenges.
Ragan’s PR Daily Award ‘Honorable Mention’
Sharing the spotlight with global companies with significantly larger marketing and recruitment budgets—companies such as T-Mobile and Cisco—Clemson received Ragan’s PR Daily Award ‘Honorable Mention’ for its #ClemsonWorks campaign. HR expanded its recruitment reach through more than 147,000 social media impressions as a result of an innovative campaign that leveraged its own workforce when close to 200 of Clemson’s faculty and staff used their social media platforms to personalize what makes Clemson work for them.
National 2020 Military Friendly Employer
Certified Palmetto Military Employer
Gov. Henry McMaster, the S.C. National Guard, and the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce will recognize Clemson University as the only South Carolina university to be recognized as a certified Palmetto Military Employer.