More stories

  • in

    A Strategic Approach to Employer Reputation Management

    What makes your campaigns instantly recognizable as belonging to your brand? When your employees talk about your brand online (and they do), do you know how and where? Your answers to these questions paint a picture of your brand consistency, a crucial element of a unified employer brand.

    These are also the questions Kirsten Bethmann has been asking as Global Employer Reputation Lead for Mars, Incorporated. Mars has set an inspiring goal for itself: to become one of the most attractive employers in the world by 2025. Achieving this goal, Bethmann believes, requires a renewed focus on brand consistency.
    Why Brand Consistency Is So Important to Growth
    The journey toward greater employer brand consistency supports greater brand awareness—often the biggest ongoing talent challenge organizations face. Unless you’re a beloved consumer brand with widespread name recognition, your employer brand team is likely all too familiar with this struggle.
    Establishing a Shared Vision
    A clear employee value proposition is the cornerstone of a consistent employer brand. For Mars, that EVP is built on three pillars: people, purpose, and development. The employer brand team took this EVP development a step further by adapting the Mars statement of purpose (“The world we want tomorrow starts with how you do business today”) into a tagline: “Your tomorrow starts today,” which personalizes and transforms the Mars mission into a call to action for its employees.
    Standardizing Brand Guidelines
    Companies that operate in multiple markets must walk a fine line between enforcing brand guidelines and empowering markets to represent themselves authentically. Mars began this work by creating a central platform for its guidelines, a “one-stop-shop” for learning how to use color, messaging, and more.
    Leaving Room for Personalization
    Within these brand guidelines, employer brand teams in each of Mars’ markets have the flexibility to make campaigns their own. Brand guidelines dictate certain standards for social media messaging, but Mars’ employer brand leaders recognize that messaging from sales employees may sound different from engineering’s messaging. Bethmann and her team welcome those differences.
    To follow Kirsten Bethmann’s work in employer brand, connect with her on LinkedIn. For help building your EVP, the foundation of your employer brand, get in touch with us.

    Share this post: More

  • in

    Creating an EVP That Serves Multiple Businesses

    What if your brand isn’t a single organization but a family of several brands, each with its own priorities, competitors, and target candidates? That’s the challenge LexisNexis Risk Solutions Group (RSG) faced in 2020.
    Under the leadership of Director for Employer Brand Shelley Jeffcoat, the company launched an EVP that served each of its eight brands while helping them distinguish themselves as employers. To do this, Jeffcoat’s team needed a strategy as unique as their organization.
    Get Brand-Specific as Early as Possible
    As early as the research stage, Jeffcoat’s team was organizing data by brand. With help from an external research firm, LexisNexis RSG explored each brand’s target candidates and demographics, its competitors, its functions, and more.
    Think Bigger Than Promotion
    The choice to equip each LexisNexis RSG sub-brand with its own EVP wasn’t simply marketing cleverness. Getting specific made the company more competitive as an employer and continues to impact the employee journey as well.
    Empower Employees to Participate
    Before the EVP launch, it was challenging for employees to engage with brand advocacy. They lacked clear pathways to actions like social promotion, leaving Glassdoor reviews (LexisNexis RSG had multiple Glassdoor profiles), and helping prospective candidates get in touch (there were multiple Careers web pages).
    Invest in Your Employee Advocates
    To generate internal momentum around brand advocacy, Jeffcoat knew she’d need to find employee advocates. She started her search with the talent acquisition team (a natural choice, as they were already skilled and experienced at representing the business to the public). But because of the company’s unique structure, Jeffcoat knew she couldn’t stop there; she’d need to pull in stakeholders from every brand and balance each brand’s representation.

    To follow Shelley Jeffcoat’s work in employer brand, connect with her on LinkedIn. To identify the values and culture you want to create in your own company, get in touch.

    Share this post: More

  • in

    Attracting Tech Talent in a New Location

    When reaching out to a new talent market, your existing recruitment marketing strategy may not cut it. New markets bring new competitors, new biases, and new questions to answer with your messaging. How can leaders in recruitment marketing and employer branding do it? That’s what Appian and its Recruitment Marketing Strategist, Chris Fitzner, are figuring out.
    Appian, a US-based tech brand that offers an automation platform to businesses, recently acquired a small company in Seville, Spain. Rather than simply absorb the Seville team, Appian decided to grow its presence in Seville—“to capture that spirit there, and capture that culture,” as Fitzner puts it.
    Research Your New Talent Market
    Fitzner’s team started with the facts: They researched tech professionals in the Seville area to build data-centered profiles of who they needed to reach. Using LinkedIn’s Talent Insights platform, Appian identified the market’s main hitters, broken out by title, industry, and experience.
    Learn What You’re Up Against in Your New Market
    Appian’s approach to sketching out its growth challenges provides a useful framework for other teams hoping to enter new talent markets. First, using the list of major players they’d built when researching their new talent market, Fitzner’s team categorized their competitors: home-grown Seville companies, companies (like Appian) that had recently acquired Seville companies, and large consultancies that hire remote talent from Seville.
    Then, to understand their biggest recruitment hurdles, Fitzner’s team returned to their data, specifically location data. Their website analytics revealed almost no visits from local talent, and Appian’s only Seville-based LinkedIn engagement was from the local employees they’d just acquired.
    Build Your Recruitment Marketing Strategy
    When entering a new talent market, posting a job listing to Glassdoor or Indeed isn’t enough. “You have to get into where they’re actively looking,” Fitzner advises, which means devoting more attention to local job boards.
    “Who is Appian?” was still an obstacle for Appian’s recruiters on LinkedIn, so they began serving ads to targeted audiences in advance of reaching out via InMail, which earned them higher open rates.
    Adapt What You Already Know About Good Marketing
    When building a recruitment marketing strategy, innovation is great, but Fitzner cautions against reinventing the wheel, especially for those coming from a recruiting background. “There are already a lot of existing resources out there,” he says. “Look at existing marketing principles. Learn email marketing. Learn content marketing. Learn the basics of SEO. Learn how to establish a good PR/media program.”

    To follow Chris Fitzner’s work in employer branding, connect with him on LinkedIn. For more strategies and data-driven insights that you can act on to improve your company, get in touch.

    Share this post: More

  • in

    Building Employer Brand at an Inclusive Tech Workplace

    Salesforce, the US tech company responsible for one of the world’s most popular CRM platforms, has earned more than 80 awards for its workplace culture. Its team has more than tripled in size in the past five years. Employer brand metrics may be infamously elusive, but these numbers paint a clear picture: Salesforce is doing something right.
    What makes a company an exceptionally good place to work? Chrissy Thornhill, Salesforce’s Global Senior Manager of Employer Brand and Recruitment, has identified a few of the characteristics that have helped its employer brand thrive.
    Intentional
    The environment at Salesforce isn’t a happy accident or convenient byproduct. “We are super intentional about our culture,” Thornhill says. “We write it down. We prioritize it. We build programs around it. We measure it. We constantly innovate on it.”
    Globally Aware
    Salesforce’s headquarters sits in the US, but it operates global offices on six continents. An innocuous piece of social media content may not strike the same tone from one region to the next. The past nine months, Thornhill says, have driven that fact home.
    Inclusive
    Workplace equity not only impacts employees who’ve already joined the team, but also those still in their recruitment journey. It’s why Salesforce made Tony Prophet its Chief Equality and Recruiting Officer, who works closely with Thornhill’s team.
    Accountable
    Thornhill’s team promises candidates big things during the recruitment process. Then, they hold themselves accountable for delivering.
    Frugal with Time
    Sometimes, the success of the Salesforce employer brand team lies in what they don’t do. Rather than spreading their small team thinly across as many efforts as possible, they’re choosy about where they invest their time.
    These traits have kept Thornhill at Salesforce as its employer brand team has doubled. If her own enthusiasm for her workplace is any indicator, that growth is just getting started: “It’s been quite the journey, and I don’t think it’s going to let up any time soon.”

    To follow Chrissy Thornhill’s work in employer brand, connect with her on LinkedIn. For help identifying the values and culture you want to create in your company, get in touch.

    Share this post: More

  • in

    How to Let Employees Generate Your Employer Brand Content

    Employee-generated content may not be as strategically crafted as something straight from your marketing department. Its messaging may be more candid than what your company usually posts to LinkedIn.
    But these markers of authenticity are exactly what make employee-generated content (EGC) such an effective advertising tool, and they’re also what makes it so impactful for your employer branding.
    This couldn’t be more true at PetSmart, a pet supply company that offers candidates an employee experience unlike many others—how many places let you cuddle with kittens on-the-job? By showcasing the uniqueness of a career at PetSmart through employee-generated content, the company has attracted better candidates, along with a host of other benefits.
    Here’s what other brands (even those of the puppy-less variety) stand to gain with EGC.
    1. Employee-Generated Content Builds Unity
    Employer brand leaders might assume that the DIY nature of employee-generated content leads to a less unified social feed or inconsistent brand voice. However, PetSmart’s Manager of Employer Brand and Recruitment Marketing, Dani Kaufman, sees a different story.
    2. EGC Attracts the Best Fits
    Kaufman’s team tracks common metrics like application conversions, hires, and retention to gauge the health of its employer brand. Higher applicant volume, however, isn’t a high-priority figure.
    Employee-generated content has been instrumental in attracting those best-fit candidates. After infusing PetSmart’s social timelines with more employee stories, Kaufman says, “People are able to see themselves in the role and make a more personal connection.” The employer brand team’s next project is a Careers website update, due to launch at the end of 2020, that foregrounds even more of those personal testimonies.
    3. Employee Stories Make Your Brand Unique
    Kaufman has observed that the things that make a career at PetSmart unlike a role anywhere else are the very things that attract their best hires. Walking dogs, caring for young animals, and assisting first-time pet parents are part of the job, but the employer brand team knows to frame these as strengths: “You can work at a place that you love. You can love the job, and you can also love the environment,” Kaufman says.
    4. EGC Keeps You Curious
    Kaufman strives to answer “Why here?” through PetSmart’s employer branding, and nowhere are the answers to that “why” on clearer display than in employee storytelling. Staying attuned to the culture in this way keeps Kaufman curious, an attitude she says is essential to successful employer brand leadership.
    Embracing EGC has helped PetSmart fine-tune its employer brand and attract candidates that share the company’s passion for animals, and the ripple effects have been obvious to Kaufman: “It brings our culture to life!”

    To follow Dani Kaufman’s work in employer brand, connect with her on LinkedIn. For more strategies and data-driven insights that you can act on to improve your company, get in touch.

    Share this post: More

  • in

    Top Employers for Working Mums in 2021

    The past year has been an extremely challenging one for recruitment in many ways and has tested the innovation and creativity of employers.
    Despite examples of bad practice, many teams and individuals have gone above and beyond in the way they have supported their employees through so much uncertainty, from online onboarding, virtual recruitment fairs, and hand-delivering laptops to setting up mental health champions and supporting line managers to help their teams through countless upheavals and anxiety.
    The 2021 workingmums.co.uk’s Top Employer Awards was adapted to reflect the issues that have been prominent during the pandemic – from mental wellbeing to employee engagement and diversity and inclusion – a huge topic following the Black Lives Matter movement.
    The overall winner was McDonald’s who also won the mental health category. It had everything from work-from-home toolkits and wellbeing hubs with support for managers to a staying connected group for furloughed workers and medical and sleep apps and had gone out of its way to tailor support to its wide range of workers, including young people and those on the autistic spectrum, and franchisees, despite considerable challenges in its sector. Ninety-two percent of workers felt happy to return to work.
    Other winners include IBM UK for Diversity & Inclusion, PwC for Flexible Working, Teach First for Family Support, Sky Betting & Gaming for Employee Engagement, and UBS for Line Manager Support.
    The judges found it hard to pick winners this year because so many had made Herculean efforts to keep their organizations going despite the pandemic. “The sheer effort and resilience was outstanding across the board,” said judge Jennifer Liston-Smith, Head of Thought Leadership at Bright Horizons. She praised, in particular, the creativity of some employers when it came to matching specific initiatives to their particular workforce, for instance, Sky Betting & Gaming’s weekly Wheel of Fortune game to connect remote workers, Atos’ virtual summer holiday club, SMS’s Sunrise competition to address mental health issues for field-based engineers and PwC’s virtual education initiatives.
    Other judges also selected their highlights. For Dave Dunbar, Head of Digital Workspace at the Department for Work and Pensions, the amount of employee engagement and the importance of senior leadership involvement stood out. 
    For Clare Kelliher, Professor of Work and Organisation at Cranfield School of Management, it was the impressive amount of innovation that showed what organizations could do if they were forced to rethink how they normally operate. 
    Andy Lake, editor of Flexibility.co.uk, remarked that the entries were “a showcase for business resilience under difficult circumstances”.
    So what are the challenges for the future? Here are some that the judges highlighted:
    There may be a rush back to the “straitjacket” of the office when many employees don’t want this. Employers need to adopt a tailored approach and ensure remote workers feel included.
    Pandemic working is not the same as remote working.
    Hybrid working should not simply mean putting a few meetings online. There is a need for transformative change, including modernizing working practices and designing smart working to ensure everyone has what they need to work effectively wherever they are working.
    Employers should think about the potential unintended consequences of their actions, for instance, when it comes to career progression and pay, treat employees fairly based on their overall track record, not just this year’s events.
    Employers should encourage employees to be upfront about their caring responsibilities through employee networks with senior leadership sponsorship.
    Employers should urgently address the mental health impact of the pandemic through regular check-ins, surveys, mental health champions, line manager support, and a focus on the work-based factors that contribute to mental ill-health.
    Mandy Garner is managing editor of workingmums.co.uk.

    Share this post: More

  • in

    How to Grow Awareness of Your Employer Brand

    Ashley Cheretes faces a challenge familiar to many employer brand leaders: Her company isn’t top-of-mind for many candidates, despite touching millions of lives. “Cigna is the most well-known unknown company,” jokes Cheretes, Cigna’s Head of Marketing, Talent Acquisition. “When you throw in the fact that we are technically an insurance company, we are often not…
    How to Grow Awareness of Your Employer Brand Undercover Recruiter – More

  • in

    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.

    Share this post: More