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    Creating an EVP with Design Thinking

    In building an EVP for Ritchie Bros, an online auction platform for heavy equipment, Employer Brand Specialist Thomas Reneau drew from his experience with design thinking firm IDEO. Reneau saw an opportunity to marry this innovative perspective with the company’s employer brand strategy and, in the process, enhanced the Ritchie Bros’ voice, values, and culture.
    A more traditional approach to EVP might assume your team is already crystal-clear on what your company offers to candidates and what your ideal candidate is looking for. A design thinking approach to EVP, however, flips that on its head.
    Design thinking encourages continually asking questions, rather than assuming your employer brand team already has all the data it needs. Design thinking highlights the difference between saying, “We need to attract this specific demographic,” and turning to current employees from that demographic to ask, “Why did you choose to work here?”
    “Think of it as reverse engineering,” says Reneau. “We need to enable the team to attract the right candidates.”
    Empathy and comfort with vulnerability are critical to this approach. When asking a colleague, “How does it feel to be in your shoes?” employer brand teams must be ready for honest and personal answers. They’re also responsible for creating channels and nurturing relationships where that kind of trust is possible.
    Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or Soundcloud.

    To follow Thomas Reneau’s work in employer brand, connect with him on LinkedIn. To get started on your EVP, get in touch with us. We’ll help you identify the values and culture you want to create in your company.

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    4 Ways to Attract and Retain Top Tech Talent Better Than Your Competition

    One of the big lessons learned in 2020 was to be prepared for the unprepared. With so much uncertainty still in the market, employers should proceed the recruiting landscape in 2021 with caution. Doing so means learning how to enhance and improve relationships with tech talent – prospective candidates and current employees alike. Tech talent is always in-demand, and as such, attraction and retention will be more important than ever before.
    With that in mind, we’re here to offer strategies that will position you as the employer of choice for top tech talent, from your initial interaction through to the final offer.
    Want to find out how to source and attract top tech talent and edge out the competition?
    Download the guide  More

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    How to Invest in Employer Branding

    When Aaron Kraljev left Wells Fargo in 2019, he left behind many of the comforts that come with working for a large organization: a familiar order of operations, significant resources, the security of knowing where to turn for answers, and the stability offered by a company that’s been around for over one hundred years. Fisher Investments, where he now serves as GVP Talent Acquisition and Employer Brand, was uncharted territory and a fraction of the size of Wells Fargo.
    As Kraljev discovered, however, a smaller firm doesn’t always mean leaner resources. In fact, he found a wealth of possibilities and advantages at Fisher. The move has given him valuable insight into leading employer brand at a small firm and building employer brand strategy from the ground up.

    Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or Soundcloud.
    The percentage of employees dedicated to employer brand management at a given organization isn’t universal. Relative to its size, Fisher Investments has a large employer brand management team. This gave Kraljev and his department significant resources and capacity to make a change, despite starting from scratch.
    Being small also allows for greater agility and faster growth. “Huge companies, they grow, they change, they evolve, but they don’t grow as quickly,” says Kraljev. Working for a company of 3,700—as opposed to multinational Wells Fargo, which employs hundreds of thousands—means signs of change have been more immediate, more visible, and more exciting to be a part of.
    In addition, younger doesn’t always mean inexperienced and untested when it comes to the age of an institution. Though not as old as many finance industry giants, Fisher has been around since the late 1970s and is no stranger to hardship. When Kraljev stepped in to lead employer brand, he learned Fisher’s brand values were not unlike those at Wells Fargo, despite the many differences in their size, age, and client demographics.
    To learn more about Aaron’s work in employer brand, follow him on LinkedIn, or listen to his previous episode on working with Wells Fargo. For help building an EVP and identifying the values you want to create at your company, reach out to us.

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    Leading Employer Brand in a Tech Company

    Thanks to media and the headline-grabbing office quirks of industry giants like Google, tech culture’s reputation precedes it. Jobseekers perceive tech companies as fast-paced, innovative places to work, and many assume a “work hard, play hard” attitude is a necessity. These preconceptions have a major impact on employer brand, as Klook’s Marilyn Yee knows well.
    Yee serves as Senior Manager of Global Employer Branding and People Communications at Klook, a travel tech company. With over 10 years of experience in the industry, she’s an expert on what tech demands from leadership. Employer branding, Yee reminds us, is a long game—even in a field that embraces rapid growth.
    Tech culture isn’t a monolith, but there are a few characteristics that unite most tech workplaces. These characteristics inform employer brand, what being a “culture fit” means at a particular company, and who self-selects to apply.
    Moving fast is one of those characteristics. “If you’re someone who gets bored easily, or you love a challenge, consider a career in tech,” Yee says. “Change is the only constant. It’s like an organized mess every day.”
    Another is the tendency for teams to skew young. At many top tech companies, the median age of employees falls in the late 20s. While those in management positions tend to be slightly older, tech employees above the age of 50 are in the minority.
    Tech also has a different relationship to diversity. According to Yee, a diverse team is a must-have, rather than a nice-to-have. “If you’re building global products,” she says, “you need diversity of perspective.”

    Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or Soundcloud.
    To follow Marilyn’s work in employer brand, follow her on LinkedIn. If you want to know how your employer brand measures up to others in your industry, talk to us about the Employer Brand Index.

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    How to Design the Total Employee Journey

    At packaging solutions company Sonoco, employer brand management is tackling the “total employee journey,” from candidate to alum. Rather than taking a recruitment-focused approach to employer brand, Global Lead for Employee Experience Kristi Raines embraces a “start to finish” view of the employee experience. In her own words, “We’re looking at opportunities to engage at every stage.”
    Retooling the recruitment process at Sonoco started with a question: “How do we get our recruiters thinking like marketers?” Raines observed that recruiters tend to be much more analytical and process-driven than marketers. To serve the total employee journey, however, their relationship with candidates can’t end with the “sell.”

    Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or Soundcloud.
    “Candidates rely on recruiters for much more than just selling them a job,” Raines says. The bond an employee forms with their recruiter may be the closest HR relationship they have during their tenure with a company. When given the opportunity, employees often return to them for career advice, networking opportunities, and more.
    To get Sonoco’s recruitment team thinking more like marketers, Raines offered them a curated collection of content to share, along with the freedom to pick whichever resources resonated most and adapt copy to fit their personal voice. This strategy saw results, and the team began forging more connections with new and different people.
    “Don’t go in with one idea,” she recommends. “Go in with eight.” That flexibility will pay off in the long run—for your employer brand and your employee experience.
    To follow more of Kristi Raines’ work in employer brand, connect with her on LinkedIn. For help developing data-driven employer brand strategies to make real change, talk to us—the right data provides insight that you can act on to improve your company.

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    A Guide to Remote Employer Branding

    For years, we’ve framed the virtual workplace as “the future of work”—a distant vision, and one many employer brand managers overlooked, despite the fact that more than half of workers worldwide were spending at least half their workweek telecommuting. However, as HubSpot’s Senior Manager of Employer Brand Hannah Fleishman reminds us, “The future is here.”
    COVID-19 has forced companies with little experience supporting a remote workforce to embrace working from home. Some were better equipped to make this transition in stride. Before COVID-19 closed offices around the world, HubSpot was already positioning itself as a leader in remote employee experience. Of its 3,500 employees around the world, 400 were full-time remote, making HubSpot’s remote workforce its third-largest “office.” That success wasn’t an accident—a major component of its success was its commitment to remote employer brand.

    Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or Soundcloud.
    If employer brand describes how your values and culture differentiate you competitively, then remote employer brand describes your remote workforce’s place in that culture, as well as the competitive advantage you offer to remote candidates. As Fleishman puts it, “How you market and position your company, not only as a great place to work but a great place to work remotely, is really important as that becomes more competitive.”
    Before 2020, the remote employee experience was an afterthought at many companies. For years, HubSpot was no exception. Framing remote work as “the future of work” allowed companies to deprioritize it in favor of more immediate goals and concerns.
    However, supporting remote employees is becoming increasingly urgent as more and more job seekers opt to work from home for health and safety reasons. “Because of this pandemic, we can expect that candidates are going to expect more remote work opportunities.”
    Employers shouldn’t expect the importance of remote employer brand to subside as the pandemic subsides, either. According to Fleishman, an internal survey revealed that 61% of HubSpot employees are planning to work remotely more even after in-person office life resumes.
    To follow Hannah Fleishman’s work on remote employer brand, follow her on LinkedIn. You may also want to check out her previous interview Inbound Recruiting: HubSpot’s Approach to Employer Branding. For help creating data-driven, actionable strategies you can use to make real change in your company, talk to us.

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    Giving Back: The Importance of CSR Efforts During COVID-19 Restrictions

    Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a measure of how businesses stay socially accountable. It is a cornerstone of the identity of many brands, helping shape a positive reputation.
    It is also a key tool in the war for talent, with modern employees valuing companies that make a positive impact and give back to society.
    So, as the current coronavirus pandemic continues to impact businesses, it is crucial CSR efforts aren’t put on the back burner. Instead, businesses should tailor their plans to meet the demands of the new normal.
    The value of CSR
    Modern consumers are more socially conscious than ever, with 70 percent claiming they want to know the brands they shop with are doing their bit to support social and environmental issues.
    Businesses who neglect their responsibility – without a clear and actionable plan for giving back to the local and wider community – are at risk of being left behind and suffering a damaged reputation.
    CSR isn’t just a box-ticking exercise but provides demonstrable value for people. And while it may not be measurable for businesses in revenue or ROI, without it, they will see consumers heading elsewhere.
    Among the benefits of investing in a CSR strategy is creating an accessible ‘human’ identity, which offers valued personalization for consumers. Shoppers enjoy playing their part by supporting businesses that share their success with those who need it.
    It also allows businesses to meet the needs of modern employees. These days, workers want to feel they are part of something bigger than just an office. CSR efforts allow employees to channel empathy, understanding, and support into their work.
    Now more than ever, with so many impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, it’s important those with the resources to provide support to others, do so. While some businesses may not be able to maintain pre-pandemic efforts, they can adjust their CSR offering to provide support in different ways.
    Addressing the challenges
    For thriving businesses, CSR efforts become more viable – whether it’s contributing a more substantial charity pot, or employing a larger team, freeing up members to engage in community work.
    However, when circumstances change, it’s often these non-core business activities that suffer. For example, firms actively cut down on CSR activities during the 2008 global recession.
    As businesses look to cut costs and get back in the green, leaders are forced to justify every outgoing to stakeholders. For these investors – who are often further removed from the business and its local community – CSR efforts can appear a justifiable cutback.
    Not only has the coronavirus pandemic delivered these harsh economic challenges but it also creates additional roadblocks in health and safety. For those which focus their efforts on in-kind giving – for example, volunteering in the community or hosting fundraising events – it’s not safe to continue these efforts in the short-term.
    Shifting the CSR approach
    In times like these, CSR is more important than ever. Businesses have a chance to give back to those who have supported their growth pre-pandemic. Leaders must simply realign their efforts to suit the current climate.
    While some in-person initiatives may be ruled out, like local volunteering days or community clean-up schemes, businesses can still contribute to their communities.
    For example, businesses could take advantage of the office being closed by donating their typical utility fees to local charities.
    Some of our clients have even donated their Christmas party budgets this year – with traditional large office gatherings not possible – and have welcomed positive feedback from employees who are on-board with the gesture.
    However, it doesn’t have to be financial support. The software company, R3, redirected their fortnightly kitchen delivery to three homeless shelters over the pandemic. This saw over £15,000 worth of cereals, fruits, drinks, and more donated to those in need. They also redirected fruit deliveries to local NHS services as a token of their appreciation.
    Consider how your business can give back. Donating items or surplus stock to those hit by the pandemic or offering a discount to local customers or emergency services staff are examples of gestures available to those unable to make financial contributions.
    It’s also important to understand the indirect impact of the business. For example, some of our clients have conducted audits of their partners and suppliers to make sure they’re working with like-minded firms that place similar emphasis on CSR.
    The employee impact
    Considering the importance of social responsibility to modern workers, it’s crucial businesses communicate ongoing CSR strategies and commitments, even as they change.
    This may include inviting employees to participate in the strategy from the start. Consider sending an email to staff, discussing the company’s ongoing CSR policy. Welcome suggestions on new initiatives and local causes which the business can support.
    While it may not be possible to act on every suggestion, businesses can still work with employees to find different ways to make a difference or plan for future efforts. It’s not about solving all the world’s problems but making a genuine difference to as many people as possible.
    Publish a regular round-up of business CSR activities for interested employees. This could be via email and include case studies and images of activities undertaken by the business, as well as information on how individuals can get involved.
    This should also include quotes and case studies from recipients or scheme partners, to help readers understand the scale, reach, and impact of the work.
    It’s been a challenging year and one which has reminded us of the importance of social awareness and support. Businesses currently have a real opportunity to use their CSR efforts to unite the workforce.
    Those able to effectively communicate an accessible and relevant CSR strategy will reap the rewards of an engaged and fulfilled workforce, in talent retention and productivity.
     By Andrew Jones, Head of Everyday Essentials, Express Vending.

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    How Experian Boosts Its Employer Brand

    Like most of us in 2020, this credit rating company has experienced its share of challenges; subpar Glassdoor reviews, a pandemic, confronting workplace bias, and more. The strength of its employer brand helped weather them.
    Lena Lotsey’s role was born out of need. Social media management was becoming too much of a full-time job for Experian’s employee acquisition team, and they needed someone to focus solely on employer brand.

    Over the next two years, Lotsey grew employer branding’s ranks to include 30 brand managers in each of Experian’s regions around the globe, expanded Experian’s social reach, transformed its onboarding process, and much more. Along the way, she encountered many of the most common challenges employer brand leaders face: engaging stakeholders, scoring those first quick wins, proving growth, and attracting niche talent. Here’s how her employer brand team tackled them.
    Identifying Employer Brand Stakeholders
    When Lotsey stepped into her role as Global Employer Brand Director, she knew a key to kickstarting Experian’s employer brand strategy was identifying internal stakeholders. Knowing where to turn for advocacy and resources was essential if her small team was going to be successful.
    Scoring Your First Wins
    Lotsey knew that early wins would be key to building momentum and proving the importance of employer brand to Experian’s executive leadership. She also knew going too big too fast could lead to disappointment. “You can get lost in the details in employer branding,” she says. “You can spend all day working on a social post.” Instead, Lotsey started with small goals—ones that were simple to execute but would yield the most visible, significant results.
    Demonstrating Growth
    An internal survey told Lotsey that 96% of her fellow employees were happy at Experian. That satisfaction, however, wasn’t reflected accurately in Experian’s Glassdoor rating, which sat at 3.4 out of 5 stars in January 2019. Lotsey knew this was one metric her employer brand team needed to prioritize.
    Attracting Specific Talent
    When competing for the attention of tech talent, Experian (like many companies) faces an uphill battle. “It’s hard to reach tech talent. They’re not responding to LinkedIn—they’re hardly even on LinkedIn anymore,” Lotsey observes. To attract these highly sought-after candidates, Lotsey turns to storytelling.
    To follow Lena Lotsey’s work in employer brand, connect with her on LinkedIn. For help measuring your employer brand, reach out to us about the Employer Brand Index. Our EBI uses 16 key attributes that measure how you compare with others in your industry.

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