Krishnan Chatterjee, SVP & Global Head, Strategic Marketing, HCL Technologies On HCL’s #CoolestInterviewEver

Interview with Krishnan Chatterjee, SVP & Global Head, Strategic Marketing, HCL Technologies to understand the why and how of #CoolestInterviewEver, and what's next in recruitment for the IT giant

Krishnan Chatterjee

Krishnan Chatterjee

On February 12, 2014, IT company HCL Technologies created history with the launch of the world’s first ever Twitter recruitment campaign. Staying true to its employee-centric culture, HCL began the hunt for the coolest IT professionals through #CoolestInterviewEver on Twitter, where the winner lands a 12-month consulting project in a field of his/her choice. Additionally, the winner takes home USD 75,000 that includes USD 25,000 as prize money and USD 50,000 as the yearly compensation.

Interestingly, the cycle of recruitment would be completed on Twitter itself, including the one-on-one interviews with the top five applicants. While many appreciated the experimental social recruitment initiative, there were quite a few calling it a marketing gimmick by HCL

We caught up with Krishnan Chatterjee, Senior Vice President & Global Head, Strategic Marketing at HCL Technologies to understand the why and how of #CoolestInterviewEver, and what’s next in recruitment for the IT giant. Here is the Q&A:

Vinaya Naidu (VN): What is the business objective of the campaign?

Krishnan Chatterjee (KC): The objective of this campaign is to position HCL technologies as an “Employer of Choice” globally. We aim to create a first-of its kind initiative that positions us as a digital disruptor which is aligned to the new age requirements of Gen Y.

VN: Why Twitter when the network is yet to grow like Facebook or LinkedIn?

KC: At HCL Technologies, our constant endeavor has been to reinforce our position as a strong employer brand. We have explored various means of reaching out to the target audience and have realized that the majority of our target audience uses Twitter as a means of media consumption every day.

[pullquote=”lhipull” class=”center_pull”]In fact, 39% of all job seekers are on Twitter and 5 Mn Tweeters have used career search service in the last 6 months.[/pullquote]

After meticulous research and conversations with Twitter Inc, we learned that though a very powerful medium, Twitter has never been used as an end-to-end recruitment platform ever. More than 5,00,000 job openings are posted on Twitter every month, but no organization has ever completed the recruitment process online – perhaps due to apprehensions using a radically new mechanism.

HCL as a brand, has always been forward thinking, right from its Employees First philosophy, Ideapreneurship culture, to its signature Entrepreneur-in-Residence Programme. It bodes perfectly well for brand HCL Tech to create a new, never-been-used-before for end-to-end recruitment platform such as Twitter, to showcase them as a first mover in the field of recruiting exclusively via social media.

VN: How are you tracking responses at your end, what is the mechanism or products that you are using to track responses?

KC: We are using two social media analytics and measurement tools to track responses and analytics of the campaign – Simply Measured and Oracle SRM.

VN: Many are labeling the #CoolestInterviewEver as a marketing gimmick by HCL tech. What do you have to say to that?

KC: HCL Technologies has always been a progressive and forward looking organization and has used new & exciting trends especially in digital space to reach out to Gen Y who forms the bulk of our workforce. For example, we have launched Gamification, a tool using an online gamification process that combines both engagement and learning needs to engage with potential employees who have been made offers before their onboarding to impact renege rates.

VN: How has the response been till now, will you like to add some numbers to it?

KC: We’ve got phenomenal response from the campaign till now. Below are certain metrics to reflect the same:


1. Organic Reach of 336 Mn across 102 countries (Source: Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn Analytics). 250K total engagement.

2. Increase in number of followers on Twitter since launch of the campaign– 25,000 – 83%  increase in  follower rate in the last two months as compared to the last 10 months.

3. By the end of this campaign, HCL is leading the IT industry in reach on Twitter with more than 201,000 followers ahead of global competition. The campaign has enabled HCL to organically gain the highest number of followers during the campaign month.

4. With #coolestinterviewever trending across 19 cities & across the nation for 4 different days, the #CoolestInterviewEver campaign is an extension of HCL’s employee-centric culture, designed to uncover new talent in the IT field while strengthening its position as a progressive organization utilizing new age media to refresh the recruitment process.

5. Website Analytics for “” is very good for a campaign specific web-site. The website received 59,940 visits, 49,818 unique visitors and 104,465 pageviews. The website generated another 1034 referral visits to

6. Moreover, the “Coolest Interview Ever” web-site has been ranked at No. 1 on Google in just 21 days for keywords like Coolest Interview, coolest interview ever, etc.

VN: How do you wish to take the social recruitment further and integrate with offline?

KC: We have already integrated social recruitment with our recruitment effort. We have a Facebook app to generate customized responses to jobs based out of different geos. We have also successfully used LinkedIn and its multiple solutions to impact both recruitment and brand for our employer brand. Linkedin has even done a case study on our activity on their medium.

Apparently, a lot has been invested to make the #CoolestInterviewEver a cool recruitment campaign. HCL has certainly set a new trend in social recruitment, one that will continue to inspire recruiters over the globe.