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How Social Media Powers Global Hiring for Royal Caribbean

Posted Under: Social Pros Podcast
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Anna Hrach

Convince & Convert
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Daniel Lemin

Convince & Convert
10XMarketing

Erika Lovegreen

ICUC Social
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Thea Neal, Global Talent Marketing Manager for Royal Caribbean Group, joined this episode of Social Pros to share how she’s utilizing the power of social for recruitment.

Sharing the Journey of Working at Sea on SocialHow Social Media Powers Global Hiring for Royal Caribbean

Thea Neal, Global Talent Marketing Manager at Royal Caribbean Group, is on the Social Pros Podcast to share the inventive ways Royal Caribbean Group recruits staff.
With a constant need to fill roles on the many ships within the Royal Caribbean Group family, recruitment is a huge priority. But rather than simply throwing up a few job adverts, Royal Caribbean has turned to social media to really drive that hiring push.
Thea explains how they use user-generated content from existing staff members to paint a picture of life at sea for potential candidates. She believes this goes way further than what marketing campaigns can produce because it’s authentic content that people really want to see.
Thea also shares how recruitment is a long game for Royal Caribbean Group and how social is currently driving around 20% of referrals to job applications. We also hear a bit about the struggles during COVID, including visa changes, recruitment competition from other brands, and how the travel industry is recovering.

In This Episode:

  • 4:39 – How Thea is managing a huge hiring push after a COVID pause
  • 7:27 – How being a talent marketer differs from being a regular marketer
  • 9:39 – The ways talent marketing has changed over social media
  • 11:27 – Why Royal Caribbean’s social recruitment push is a long game
  • 12:40 – How Thea works with her counterparts to ensure the messaging is consistent
  • 14:21 – What the pandemic taught Thea about the challenges of global hiring
  • 16:20 – How Royal Caribbean manages a constant recruitment push worldwide
  • 18:01 – How Royal Caribbean uses specific and targeted hiring campaigns
  • 20:06 – Why Glassdoor ratings were such a big priority for Thea
  • 24:10 – How user generated content gives insights into job roles that marketing campaigns can’t
  • 26:08 – Why most UGC is created organically at Royal Caribbean
  • 27:04 – Thea explains the ‘Journey with Us’ campaign
  • 29:04 – How Thea measures success with recruitment campaigns
  • 35:20 – Royal Caribbean’s hiring campaign plan post-COVID
  • 36:50 – How Royal Caribbean competes with other companies for the best talent
  • 38:54 – Thea’s one tip for those looking to become a social pro

Quotes From This Episode:

Our content is so authentic because it was made by the people who are actually working at Royal. Click To Tweet
“Finding ways where we can save money by using social is really helpful for us.”@nealthea
“We want to convince more people all over the world that working on a cruise is really cool. It’s an experience you will get nowhere else.”@nealthea

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Episode Transcript

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Thea

Neal:

Basically

asking people to marry me on the internet, because I’m saying, I want you to leave your family. I want you to go be on a ship for four months at a time. I want you to maybe have a roommate. I want you to probably work long hours. And I’m hoping that the words that I’m telling you and the words that my team is creating make you want to do all of that.

Jay

Baer:

I

tell you what Adam, our guests this week nails it. So many of our guests on social pros are responsible for you know, selling a widget or selling a hamburger or, or some other kind of transaction with their audience, consumers, customers, and fans. But our guests this week, the Aneel from the Royal Caribbean cruise lines group is responsible for getting people to make decisions of a much larger consequence.

Adam

Brown:

Jay,

I think only if we had the head of talent acquisition, social talent acquisition for one of the armed services would we be talking about more of a commitment? I mean, that involves gunfire. But yes, what a story and Thea talks about the scale of what she does with the impressive statistics you will here and doing it with an extremely, extremely small team, what an exciting guest, what an exciting topic and the nuances of being in talent marketing versus general marketing were something I learned from today personally.

Jay

Baer:

Yeah,

no question. I think Adam and I, after 500 episodes nearly are a little jaded from time to time. But I was blown away by this episode by the work that Thea and her very small team are doing all around the world and the, and the, and the results, like what they’re able to accomplish and the, and the math of it. It’s, it’s, it’s really jaw-dropping so listen closely in this episode because you’re going to learn some things that will serve you well down the road. Speaking of which, if you haven’t had a chance to download and consume the new Salesforce state of marketing report, it is a barn burner I’ve been citing this report quite literally multiple times a week in webinars and other speaking engagements that I’m doing blog posts my newsletter. It is just, chock-a-block full of really fascinated and very real time statistics because this research just came out it’s it’s you know, took place during the pandemic.

Jay

Baer:

So

it it’s reflective of the times we live in right now, for example this report found that 84% of marketers say that customer expectations are changing their digital strategy. And this is exactly what FIA talked about in today’s episode. This report from Salesforce is very comprehensive. I suggest that you read it in batches, can, you know, take one of the six or so trends consume it, then move on to the next one the best way to kind of think it through and contextualize it in your own head. It won’t cost you anything, which is very kind to go to Bitly slash state of marketing report. That’s bit dot L Y slash state of marketing report. That’s all lower case. My friends upper case should be the name of this week’s guest FIA Neil from Royal Caribbean group cruise line specialists right here on social pros.

Speaker

4:

[Inaudible]
Jay

Baer:

Yes,

social pros, mateys. We are with you on the seven CS of [inaudible]. We are joking this week by somebody with a fascinating, fascinating jobs. She’s the Neil, she’s the global talent marketing manager for the Royal Caribbean group, which is a whole collection of cruise lines that, you know, love and support the welcome to social pros For individuals who are listening to the program who perhaps have not been on a Royal Caribbean cruise or one of your other lines, maybe frame it up for them and give them a little overview of the Royal Caribbean group, please.

Thea

Neal:

Yeah,

for sure. So Royal Caribbean group is a brand we’re based in Miami, Florida, and we own and operate some of your favorite cruise lines like Royal Caribbean, international celebrity cruises, silver sea. And then we have some other groups that we work with out of Europe. And it’s, I mean, it’s awesome. We have floating cities that go all around the world and you get to sleep on the ocean. I mean, it’s wonderful.

Jay

Baer:

This

is a wonderful indeed. You run all the talent marketing for the brand. So that’s social media advertising career fairs, websites, all that. It’s a big, big job, especially now with cruising kind of spinning back up after a COVID related pause. You you’ve got to staff or restaff a whole bunch of, of, of ships and supplies. And that, that seems to be a large mountain to climb.

Thea

Neal:

Yeah.

Yeah. I think really, we were kind of the poster children of paused industries during the pandemic. So we didn’t stay on for 15 months which I would, I think we all feel it was a very stressful, crazy time. And now it’s super exciting where we love that we’re hiring like crazy, just like everyone else’s. But I think our roles are even more exciting because you know, working in travel and working in the cruise industry is so cool. I mean, I’ve learned so much. I came from a consumer background and now I get to have weeks where, oh, I’m going to go work on a ship for a week and I get to do it in Honduras and Mexico and The Bahamas. And those are definitely like opportunities I didn’t have in previous roles

Jay

Baer:

Within

the basket of brands. That is the Royal Caribbean group. As you mentioned, you’ve got Royal Caribbean and celebrity and other brands. When, when you’re looking for talent, is it just joined the group and we’ll figure out sort of which cruise line to put you in or do people switch back and forth between cruise lines. So, or is it all right? We have these roles for Royal Caribbean international. We have these roles for celebrity and you’re sort of thinking brand specific in that regard.

Thea

Neal:

Yeah.

So it’s a little bit of both, but our main thing is, is if you’re applying to work on a ship, so let’s say you want to be a bartender. If you want to be a bartender, you apply to work for Royal Caribbean group as a whole. So we look at your experience. We look where you’ve worked, we look to look at your type of personality. We look at languages, you speak all of that fun stuff, and then we place you with a group. So, you know, it can kind of depend on what your personality fit is where we have openings. What’s close to where you’re at. You know, what’s ported near you, depending on what country you live in. And so we use all these different factors to really place folks in places.

Jay

Baer:

I

just want to throw my hat in the metaphorical ring. Now, if you’re looking for a tequila, Somalia only speaks English, but is pretty good at social media and knows how to produce a podcast. Just, just let me out.

Thea

Neal:

That's

a new role for us, but I feel like I should

Jay

Baer:

Propose

it talking to the right person

Adam

Brown:

That

this could niche. Yeah. I’m thinking about job opportunities here as well. So that’s, that’s good stuff. It’s great to have you on the show. You mentioned something that, that caught my interest. You talked very briefly there about your background and said you were in a kind of consumer type marketing. In fact, I do believe Jay, you’re the first Forbes 30 under 30, 20 18 to be on the show. So congratulations to those that that is huge. Yeah. But talk about, you know, here you are, you’re in a talent marketing position, so you have a very distinct, specific audience that you’re trying to market to. And you’re not necessarily trying to get them on board to come and join and have fun, but you’re having, you want them to come on board and join the company. How is that different being a talent marketer than just a general marketer?

Thea

Neal:

Yeah.

I love this question because I, I started my career working in a social media agency, ignite social media in North Carolina. They’re awesome. I was on Proctor and gamble, beauty brands. And so, and I had the coolest job. Like I got to go to the Oscars. I was literally a red carpet correspondent at the Oscars, the people’s choice awards. I got to meet like incredible celebrities and my whole thing all the time was, oh, I need to sell an $8 mascara. Like whatever I can do to make women feel beautiful and want to buy this $8 mascara. And so as my career kind of went on, I worked at another agency. I worked at hallmark where I, you know, did the Forbes stuff was social media leader there. And then when this role came to me Royal Caribbean group, it’s so different because I’m no longer selling an $8 mascara, basically asking people to marry me on the internet, because I’m saying, I want you to leave your family.

Thea

Neal:

I

want you to go be on a ship for four months at a time. I want you to maybe have a roommate. I want you to probably work long hours. And I’m hoping that the words that I’m telling you, the words that my team is creating make you want to do all of that. So it is so different, but it’s also like so much more fulfilling because to see the content from our crew of being all over the world and in these places, they never would have visited or meeting people they never would have met. Normally it’s just, it feels honestly a little bit better than when I was selling $8 messier as

Adam

Brown:

Certainly.

So, and I never really thought about it that way, but you are, this is not a nine to five type job. These people are on six months, nine months, 12 month contracts, and they’re there. They are, they are marrying if they’re not marrying you, they’re marrying the ship. And, and, and the, and the whole lifestyle that, that encompasses that, Jay and I certainly talk about on this show, how social media marketing has changed. I want to specifically ask you, how have you seen talent marketing in social media change? I mean, it used to be you’d Nicco talent marketing. Oh, that’s just LinkedIn. Everything else is everything else that seems to be changing and certainly in your situation changing pretty dramatically.

Thea

Neal:

Yeah.

I think that the expectation even, you know, five, 10 years ago was you use your LinkedIn a lot for corporate news. Like corporate comms comes in there, you share, you know, important things for your investors. And now it’s really, we use our LinkedIn. We post about new jobs almost every single day, but instead of just us posting like, oh, here’s a job, like, please apply. Hope you have, you know, four to 10 years of experience or whatever, where we’re sharing content. That is from our crew. So we use user generated content, the same way that we use content, consumer marketing to really make people see like, oh, this is a person in this job having a really good time. Well, I want to be like that person having a really good time in that job too. So I think it’s, it’s so much more casual and like face to face almost instead of this, like, oh, I’m going to apply the bureaucracy of the, of the corporate world, this job instead I’m applying because I can see myself in that position

Jay

Baer:

From

a social media perspective. Thea, do you, do you see social as a direct recruiting platform? Like we’re going to talk about specific roles or, or working for your collection of brands in general and in social creates that sort of interest in actually yields applications, or is social more of the employer of choice kind of let’s position the brands as a great place to work. Does that make sense? Is it sort of more of a, a branding mechanism or a direct response mechanism?

Thea

Neal:

I

think if you’re doing it well, it can be both. So all of your content shouldn’t be like directly apply to this job because really that is it’s farther down on the funnel. And even then in social, you can’t really guarantee that the quality of people that are applying are a hundred percent what you’re looking for. But it should also be employer brand content and that awareness so that when folks are happy in their job, now, they’re like, oh, cool. I saw a post from Royal Caribbean group, whatever. And then in six months when they’re tired of the job that they’re in and they remember like, oh, well, I saw that really good post from Royal Caribbean. So I should probably consider going there. So I think it’s, it’s a long game to, instead of just being, you know, directly pleased apply. Now, I also want you to be thinking about us in six months

Adam

Brown:

To

that point, Thea, it would seem as though many of your messages could be construed as true, just general branding. Hey, I’m not interested in getting job, but gosh, we’re all Caribbean. Sure. Looks neat. Vice versa. You’re your traditional marketers over there, their messages say, Hey, it’s so much fun to go on a cruise or I might want to work on it. How do you work with your counterparts in the other sides of marketing to make sure your messages are aligned or does that just kind of happen organically naturally?

Thea

Neal:

I

think a lot of it does happen organically naturally, but also we engage with each other and use in like learn from each other. So when the ships weren’t sailing, but we were getting ready to sail a gun, our, our marketing people in celebrity, they were like, Hey, do we have any content from crew members that we can share to share with, you know, consumers? Because they, th there’s always someone on a ship, even when we weren’t sailing, there was still like a very small skeleton crew on our ships. So there were still taking pictures. They were sleeping in like nicer guests rooms. They were spending time in like the same restaurants and everything, just to make sure, you know, nothing stops working. And so we use them to get content for consumer marketing because consumer marketing didn’t have anyone on those ships because they didn’t have guests on there or influencers on there right before sailing. So that was really helpful to kind of push things together.

Jay

Baer:

I

think it’s been true historically in the cruise industry that a number of your onboard crew members have have been from all around the world is, is that still the direction that you had from a recruiting standpoint, that, that you are actually using social media, digital advertising, special websites, et cetera, to, to find people sort of everywhere. And, and does that encourage you to use some of the, maybe social networks that we don’t pay as much attention to here in the United States?

Thea

Neal:

Yeah,

yeah, for sure. So we hire from almost every country in the world and what you’re saying is exactly true. And so with the pandemic, we learned a lot. I learned a lot about visas and one thing we ran into recently is we had a ship that was leaving out of Italy. And then Italy said, people with Indian visas couldn’t leave. Couldn’t come basically. And so since a large portion of our staff were Italian, we had to figure out or, sorry, we’re Indian. We had to figure how to get Italian people to come work on our shifts. A lot of them who had worked on shifts before, so we had an in-person hiring event, Italy, we post, we did a Facebook event. We did ads. We only spent a thousand dollars. So we spent a very small amount of money. We had two weeks to put this whole thing together, and we ended up hiring more than 30 different food and beverage attendants, two that were from Italy that allowed the ship to sail.

Thea

Neal:

So

those are the kinds of things that without thinking quickly on your feet and social, you can’t, it’s much harder to have an event like that with no promotion of it. And even though our budget was really small, we got, we had to take that information back to our leadership and be like, Hey, look how well this works, because we use things like hiring partners, those costs money that we have hiring partners all over the world and per hire, you know, we have to pay a few hundred dollars per hire. So, you know, finding ways where we can save money on using social is, is really helpful for us because you never know with, you know, different countries changing. That’s why it’s important for us to, to have a very diverse group of crew, because you don’t want to hear one day, oh, this country is mad at us and you can’t have any, you know, staff or crew from there anymore. So yeah,

Jay

Baer:

Because

you have different ships that are coming online in different céline’s and, and I’m sure different jobs that have to be filled in different cadences. Do you think about your digital program as a sort of, always on or more campaign driven like this situation with, with Italy? Is it sort of a whole basket of, of campaigns that you’re sort of running interlace? Or is it like we’re always doing stuff all the time for everybody?

Thea

Neal:

I

would say we’re always doing stuff all the time for everybody. We have so much going on. I mean, we, so just for a number we hire more than 20,000 people a year and that’s just for ships. And then shore-side, we hire about 1800 and 2000 people every year. And so yeah, when you’re hiring that many people at a time, I think also we have a lot of reactive moments, like, you know, the situation in Italy where we were like, okay, we have to do this. Now, another thing that we, that has been really intense is right now, we know there’s a shortage of medical professionals that are open to new jobs right now. And we have to have a doctor and nurses on all of our ships. So figuring out how we can compete with, you know, working at a hospital, which has huge budgets versus going on a ship and working for, you know, four months at a time. That’s been a fun thing for us to try to figure out like how we can compete with those industries too, for the same kind of roles

Adam

Brown:

That

scale is absolutely mind breaking 20,000 roles, just, just at sea. You mentioned there Thea kind of your Etsy folks, and you had some kind of app port or back in the, in the corporate office types of people too, which kind of leads me to my next question as marketers. We certainly have target audiences and we’ll have different products in different marketing messages for different people. Do you, as you market working at Royal Caribbean, get specific, in other words, do you have kind of your hotel and hospitality, you know, messages and ways that you attract them versus more of your, your officer’s or your, your, your not ankle folks versus your corporate executives? How, how nuanced do your messages get for reaching and attracting specific candidates for, for the very, very different roles on a ship, like you said, someone who has an MD versus, you know, someone who’s going to to work in a restaurant.

Thea

Neal:

Yeah,

yeah. We for sure do that. And so one good thing that, that we always try to do is when we get a request from someone. So an example of this I’ll take on my finance department right now. So our finance department has a ton of open roles. And one of the things that they’re seeing candidates say is they’re like, well, we’re nervous to come to the cruise industry because you guys didn’t sell for 15 months. And so we don’t know if this is a stable industry. And so we’ve created a bunch of, of messaging that’s based around finance specific. So we share things. And I would say like, these are stats that finance people will appreciate that I necessarily don’t appreciate it because I’m not a finance person. So I don’t under, I don’t know what it means to have unsecured notes and all of that stuff.

Thea

Neal:

But

we know when a finance person reads that we know that’s going to resonate with them more. So we do create like very specific messages based off of reasons why people have had issues with it in the past. And that’s not like consumer marketing too. So, you know, when you have I think about, I used to do marketing for toothpaste and when we took microbeads out, we made sure all of the content after that talks about how we didn’t have microbeads, because we knew that was something that was triggering folks. So it’s, yeah, it’s exact same way for us. We will create specific content specific campaigns that are based on, you know, oh bad feelings or hesitations that we get from, you know, previous candidates or folks who have sadly told us now,

Jay

Baer:

Potential

job candidates have additional sources of information now that they didn’t have a few years ago, most notably platforms like Glassdoor, which a rate and review employers and CEOs, et cetera. And there’s been a huge rise of those kind of platforms, sort of Yelp for employers, if you will. How important are platforms like Glassdoor for the work that you do and are there sort of glass door equivalents in, in other parts of the world?

Thea

Neal:

Yeah,

so I, I love Glassdoor and I think that’s too, because I, when I was a job candidate, I looked at it all the time. Like I, every time I would interview somewhere, I would go and creep on their glass door. So when I started at Royal, that was a big priority for me because our Glassdoor review was our rating was like 3.4. We were like, well, that’s weird. Cause like, people seem pretty happy around here. Like what’s the deal. And so we put together a campaign asking our employee resource groups, Hey, will you review, review us on Glassdoor? So we started telling more people internally, Hey, check out Glassdoor. Because before we were just getting lots of reviews from disgruntled folks. And so now we have a ton of reviews in a year. We went from a 3.4 to a 4.4 because people, when they see positive reviews on there, they want to leave positive reviews too.

Thea

Neal:

And

so when we got that to a 4.4, we ended up being on a glass door as best places to work. So we’re number 30 in the country for 2021 was very cool. And something that glass door does that I really liked. Cause when you get that award, they give you a badge that stays on your profile forever. So whenever someone goes back, they can see like, oh, in 2021, this is a great place to work. Hopefully in 2022, we’ll have the exact same thing. We also know that we were rated our CEO, Richard Fain. He was on there for, you know, best CEO’s to work for. So I honestly, I don’t see a ton of competition in other countries with glass door. I think it’s interesting to look at how they’ve integrated with fishbowl. So fishbowl ha I think is a little bit more of a I think that audience little snarkier, so you see a lot more, like, it reminds me a little bit of Reddit. You see a lot more like questions that are being directly answered. If you look at tech companies with fishbowl on their glass door, those those are, are even more, you know, transparent. So I think we’ll see more of that come through. We’ll see more platforms kind of like last or pop up around the world because it is a really good platform. And, and I love the honest honesty.

Adam

Brown:

I

agree about that transparency thing on so many different levels. But I think with, with recruiting, it’s a it’s paramount. And one of the things that I’ve noticed, and this is, this is a 32nd, Adam is going to geek out for a second. My, my wife tells me that, you know, if anybody looking at my YouTube history would think I’m the most weird person, because about a year ago, I started watching videos from employees of travel and hospitality companies. You’d follow a copilot, you know, on American Eagle, you know, as he or she travels around the country and the trials and tribulations cruises is another area that I’m fascinated about. And you have some cruise employees, not necessarily all of the Royal Caribbean there there’s some in there I’m, I’m, I’m very aware who are getting hundreds of thousands of views a week of them telling the story of their job on a Royal Caribbean or a celebrity or any other brand cruise. I’m curious, how much is this kind of looked upon positively versus negatively? It seems like great publicity. And for the most part, everything I’ve seen has been very positive or very honest, but how do you kind of from a management of, of marketing, as it relates to HR and recognizing that you’re not an HR person per se, how does that all fit in with user generated content and how you empower your employees, but also keep a watchful eye on what they’re doing when they’re representing the brand.

Thea

Neal:

I

love this too. I love, it’s funny. Same thing with my YouTube, like all of the like, oh, watch the next video. It’s just so many, you know, crews grew and there is one girl that I love you should add to your Roundup, her name’s Jordan. And in her thing is a board with Jordan and she is a figure skater on our RCI ships. So, which is wild that we have an ice skating ring on ships. And then imagine like, you’re on a ship that’s moving and you’re ice skating on it. Like incredible, incredible athleticism there.

Adam

Brown:

I

can’t, I can’t ice skate on a still.

Thea

Neal:

Right,

right. And I love her content because she shows all kinds of intricacies that us as talent marketers, I would have to spend so much to go do that. Like it would be so hard for me to get me and my crew on a ship to follow her around for a day to interrupt her schedule, then come back, have to edit it, have to get our bosses to approve it. I mean, that’s a month later before we’re finally getting something done. She makes a new video at least once a week. She did one recently that was like here. Here’s what it’s like when you do your two week quarantine, because obviously with COVID we have lots of rules right now for our crew members and how they get on ships. So she did this really great walkthrough of here. Here’s what she did.

Thea

Neal:

Here's

when she was in the hotel, here’s her taking her tests every day. Like that kind of content is so much more authentic to come from a person who’s living it. Then from the marketing team that’s coming in to shoot it and we’re going to write our own kind of narrative. So we have a ton of really great ones Martina from Argentina. She’s another one that we use a lot. She has really great content and she’s RCI as well. So yeah, I love it. I think we encourage it is to a certain degree and I haven’t knock on wood, had an instance yet where, you know, something has been shared that we’ve been like clutching our pearls over

Jay

Baer:

How

much of that employee generated content or EDC is just, they’re just doing it because they want to do it. Or how much of it is programs that you put into place to facilitate or encourage that.

Thea

Neal:

Yeah.

So RCI, they have a program where they have like official ambassadors. They are, their marketing team handles all of that. A celebrity doesn’t quite have one yet. And so for us, I would say 99% of our content is just from people who are working on our ships that have a gorgeous view or want to take a cool picture in their uniform, in front of a gorgeous view or doing cool things at work. And they just want to share it. So really, I mean, I say it when you’re on a ship, it’s the most photogenic place in the world. So it’s really great for us to see how, you know, they’re living that authentically and then we get the best content because it’s so authentic.

Jay

Baer:

One

of your big initiatives in this regard is the journey with us campaign. It’s amazing what you’ve been able to accomplish with that. We’d love for you to break it down for the social pros audience, please.

Thea

Neal:

Yeah.

So I love journey with us too. So journey with us as really the employer brand that we use across all of our recruitment marketing, whether it’s shipboard or side, any of our ships, any of our brands, any country, because really working for Royal Caribbean group, it does feel like this incredible adventure awesome journey. Like no two days are the same. It’s always exciting. It’s so cool. And one of the coolest things about that program is we developed it in-house, we didn’t hire an agency. We didn’t pay for anyone else to tell us how to put it together. And we really ran with it. So right before COVID we were going to redo all of our career sites. And so we got this great agency, we were telling them we wanted to do journey with us. And then COVID happened and all of our funding was like, bye, good luck.

Thea

Neal:

We'll

figure it out someday. And so what we did is we ended up bringing all of that website redesign in-house. So I’m our web master. I learned how to use a custom WordPress. And we saved a lot of money by doing that. But journey with us is so cool. Cause it just feels it’s so authentic because it was made by the people who are actually working at Royal. And so when we started using journey with us more, we played with journeys and sometimes it’s succeed with us or inspire with us, or learn with us depending on the role kind of what the vibe is. But we’ve seen since 2019, this is my favorite stat that our link clicks have gone up 38000% on social. So at least 20% of all of our referrals to apply for a job come from social.

Jay

Baer:

Wow.
Thea

Neal:

Yeah,

that’s pretty cool.

Jay

Baer:

That's

wild. I would never have expected that.

Adam

Brown:

You

may have just answered the question Thea, but I’m curious, as you said, with the measurement with, on the traditional marketing sense, it’s pretty easy. Okay. We’ve, we’ve, we’ve put out this many messages. How many people came to our website? How many people clicked on the green button to buy, how many people made reservations for a, for an embarking, how are you measuring success? Are you measuring sexually just the number of applicants or the quality of the applicants or how many of those actual applicants actually took a job, stayed at the job and and they’re still with you a year or so afterwards. I don’t know. You know what the question may be, but I’m curious how you measure it.

Thea

Neal:

Yeah,

yeah. So we primarily think of ourselves as awareness drivers course because we don’t want to measure our content. That’s more employer brand focused in the same way that we measure a piece of content. That’s a straight job posting, like please come work with us. We of course look at the same things like, you know, engagement rate, new follows. I mean, we have over a million followers just on our careers channels, which is huge. It’s the most, we’re the most followed and most engaged of all cruise career industries. And so some of our content we look at are a good piece of measurement. We look at is really when you apply and you fill out that thing that says, how did you hear about this job? And then we look at, oh, did they hear about us from Facebook, Instagram? We also added like Instagram stories.

Thea

Neal:

We

added Facebook stories in there because those shockingly drive a decent number of applications, which surprises me because filling out an application, honestly on your phone can take a while. And if you’re being referred, I say, we probably get at least a hundred referrals a month from those stories channels. So people are still making the effort to do that. We haven’t quite figured out a way. And if someone knows who’s listening, please send me an idea. But how to measure, oh, this person applied from this referral from this post and then they got hired and then they’re still with us. Like I think in the long-term, there’s definitely progress we could make in terms of like seeing the actual quality and longevity and all of that in the long run.

Jay

Baer:

Yeah.

It’s tricky because you’ve got so many different platforms involved, right? You’ve got, you know, you could do individual link tracking in the social media post. So then you have that part, but then that’s got a role into your recruiting database, which then Astro and your ERP system, all of which are going to be different software platforms. And so until, or unless the ERP system has a flag file or a tag for original source you know, you’ll never get it is, it is definitely possible technically. And maybe a company like Salesforce could I don’t know. Maybe Adam Brown could be your savior in this.

Thea

Neal:

Yeah.

Yeah. If Salesforce wanted to help us for a discount for a company that hasn’t been a, an operation for 15 months, that’d be really,

Jay

Baer:

I

don’t treat an animal traded out for cruises. I’m not true about Marc Benioff, but Adam will definitely hear anything for crews. All right. We’re good to know. We’ll follow up on that for sure. Speaking of travel, I want you to briefly describe, because you mentioned it off air and I was fascinated by the tail of, of you being saved by the Heimlich maneuver by, by your husband in a remote village in Norway. That is a, a background, a note that most guests have had on the podcast.

Thea

Neal:

I

was trying to think of a really fun, random thing. And usually, and you’ll see in my Twitter too, I usually say that I was on a cruise and John C, I met John Stamos and he told me I was pretty because it’s, and that actually did happen. It’s just like in mean girls, but this one I thought was relevant because, so I really liked doing outdoorsy things. And so my boyfriend at the time, and I, we went to Norway we flew into Oslo and then we had a six hour drive across the country to go to this town hall audit because we wanted to hike Trolltunga, which is like that very famous cliff that like juts out over the fjords. And it’s like a troll tongue. And it, we were way in over our heads. So the hike is 14 hours total. You do it in one day, you go up and back and the up part you think is hard, but going back after your legs are literally jelly is the worst part. And so we did it, we were emotional at the bottom. Oh, also we got engaged on troll Tonga. That’s kind of the key fact there. So got engaged, feeling good, you know, Molly’s endorsements.

Jay

Baer:

Yeah,
Thea

Neal:

Yeah,

exactly. And so I think there was a point where I told them I was like, I don’t want to hike anymore. Even though we’ve gotten engaged at this point, I should be very happy. I was like, just call the helicopter to come get me I’m over this. My watch had told me we did 498 flights of stairs. So my legs are shot family. Get back to the Airbnb. And, and my fiance at the time has these big, like 800 milligram like painkillers. And I was like, oh, my legs are up. My legs hurt so bad. I can just take one, take one, choke on it, straight up, like can’t breathe. Can’t swallow, nothing look crazy. And he’s like on his phone, scrolling just looks up at me, walks over, gives me the Heimlich maneuver. I spit it out. I’m like coming to like, oh my God, that’s insane.

Thea

Neal:

Cause

I don’t, I don’t know the 9 1, 1 number in Norway. I speak no Norwegian. We’re in this remote little village. I’ve no idea what I would’ve done if he wasn’t there. And he just like sits back in bed and he’s like, oh, are you good? Cool. And so of course I’m texting my family and I’m like, Brian, you just saved my life on the day we got engaged. Like that was a good choice. I picked the right one. And it literally, this was, yeah, this was like six years ago. I brought it up the other day and he goes, you know, I had no idea how to do the Heimlich maneuver. None didn’t

Jay

Baer:

Have

no clue.

Thea

Neal:

Yeah.

So thanks Ronnie here, because of that guy,

Jay

Baer:

The

job, the show would be a lot less interesting if you’re not here with us, for sure. That sounds like a hike that I do not want to do. And speaking on behalf of Adam Brown, he also does not want to do it.

Adam

Brown:

Yes.

Although not Norway is beautiful. Beautiful,

Thea

Neal:

Beautiful.
Jay

Baer:

What

happens when you sort of get back to full pool here in the cruising industry and, and, and you sort of kind of get to equilibrium where things were kind of pre COVID, are you thinking strategically sort of, how does that impact your hiring and recruiting at that point? Are you going to have to make kind of big changes to the strategy and the operations at that point? You sort of get out of that. We gotta bring them all back mindset.

Thea

Neal:

Yeah.

I think that there are so many layers to, to that because it’s really wondering, you know, all the time we’re developing bigger and better and more incredible cruise ships. And so it sounds really exciting for consumers sometimes for the HR function. We’re like, okay, well that’s a whole nother ship of, you know, 6,000 crew that we have to get. And so we have a gap pool of people that have,

Jay

Baer:

We've

got an ice skater, we got to get them all. Yay. This is, you’re putting a lot of pressure on Thea and her team.

Thea

Neal:

Right?

Exactly. And so, and honestly, my team is three people. It’s me. And it’s two people in Manila. And so we,

Jay

Baer:

20,000

people a year just on spirits 1800 on shore,

Thea

Neal:

And

then we’re up and then we’re trying to hire, you know, doctors. And then I recently talked to you a huge healthcare chain, the me there. And I asked her, I was like, well, how big is your team? And she goes, oh, we have 26 people. And I was like,

Jay

Baer:

We're

also competing for talent, not just against all companies, but there’s other cruise companies out there that are in the same sort of existential percolation, right? You don’t have a doctor, you don’t sail. Right. There’s, it’s, it’s going to be a tricky proposition,

Thea

Neal:

How

fast you can move to because these people, the hiring partners, aren’t exclusive to one different, you know, Norwegian or Disney or carnival or us like they’re hiring for all of them. So if you know, Disney is quicker than I am to hire someone and they’re going to get that great person. And if Norwegian as quicker, they’re going to get that person instead of Disney. Like, so it’s, it’s so competitive and crazy and wild. I think just one of the big things for us is I want to convince more people, you know, all over the world that working on a cruise is really cool. Like the stuff on a cruise is, is, is an experience you will get nowhere else. And I think a lot about people in the United States that are like in sororities or fraternities, like if you enjoyed that, you’re going to love working on a cruise even more. Cause it is this crazy rad fund family. And it’s not, of course they work long hours, but they also crew crew have their own bars on ships. They have their own parties, they have their own entire floors, entire areas of shifts that you never see that like, it’s this whole fun, you know, crazy family, wild atmosphere. And if you liked being in a fraternity, then you’ll definitely love that

Jay

Baer:

Social

pros at C 2022, Adam we’ll invite our fans and listeners to the podcast to join us on a Royal sailing you know, bands do that all the time and comedians authors.

Thea

Neal:

Yes.
Jay

Baer:

Right.

Well, yeah, we’re going to rely on you. So yeah. You have an inbox Theo. We’re going to ask you the two questions. We ask everybody here on social pros, going back to January of 2012 friends. We are actually closing in on our 500th episode. I think it’s early December. If memory serves, we’re going to have a whole bunch of special stuff for you in commemoration of the 500 episode of this podcast. So put a pin in that and and circle back in a few weeks. And I’ll tell you more, but first I want to ask you what one tip would you give somebody who’s looking to become a social pro?

Thea

Neal:

Okay.

My one tip, I would give someone who’s looking to become a social pro is to get agency and corporate experience. I don’t think that you’re a fully rounded social person unless you’ve worked in an agency and worked, you know, corporate or brand side or one nonprofit. You learn so much on both sides that they help you back and forth your entire career. So keep that an option.

Jay

Baer:

That

is very good advice. I certainly agree with that as somebody who founded a number of professional services firms, I think having both sides of that experience is, is really important. Certainly when you’re on the corporate side and you’ve worked in an agency, you tend to have a little bit more empathy for the agency, which is which is nice. Last question for,

Thea

Neal:

Sorry.

I don’t remember when I was in the agency side that the, my clients that used to work at agencies were always way cooler than the ones that

Jay

Baer:

See,

there you go. That’s a that’s unsolicited testimonial right there. Last question for Danielle who runs a global talent for Royal Caribbean group. If you could do a video call with any living person Dr. Heimlich I believe has passed on. So what do you need parade or of the entrepreneur? Any living person who would it be?

Thea

Neal:

I

think I’m going to pick a mark Zuckerberg because I want to ask him to be totally transparent and to see how he feels about this whole wild, you know, sphere that he’s created.

Jay

Baer:

I

thought you were going to ask him how come your ads are so expensive, but I think, you know, a full transparency query would probably be more interesting.

Thea

Neal:

Yeah.

Yeah. Do you feel good? You feel good, Mr. Zuckerberg?

Jay

Baer:

I

think a lot of people would have some questions for Mr. Zuckerberg when P In case some of our listeners, and this is not impossible. Some of our listeners either are interested in joining your band of geniuses at Royal Caribbean group, or know somebody who is what’s the best place to direct folks.

Thea

Neal:

Well,

if you’re interested, definitely just reach out to me. If you’re listening to this T Neil rccl.com. That’s my email. I respond to everyone who sends me an email about, you know, a work opportunity, not necessarily vendor things, but a work opportunity. Yes, I will look into and then also just visit our career sites. So it’s careers that Royal Caribbean group.com and you know, the webmaster

Jay

Baer:

Webmaster

at RCCL dot thanks so much for being here. It’s been an absolute pleasure, really fun episode, congratulations on all the success and doing, doing great things over there at the Royal Caribbean group. Thanks a lot. Thanks for having me. I’m Jay Baer from convince and convert. He is the one, the only the unstoppable Adam Brown from sales force. This has hopefully been your favorite podcast in the whole world. Tell your friends, if you would please, about social pros, we’ll be back next week with another exciting episode. See you then. Thanks.

CC

EP 495 – Edited (Completed 11/04/21)

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