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    A Strategic Approach to Employer Reputation

    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?
    These are 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.
    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.
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    How Royal Caribbean Group Navigates Employer Branding

    “Adventure” isn’t just something Royal Caribbean Group offers its customers. It’s also a love shared by its employees, as well as the key to the brand’s exceptional success at engaging new and diverse talent.
    How do you find the perfect employee when you’re a company as intrepid as an international cruise line? Royal Caribbean Group’s Talent Marketing Manager, Thea Neal, has done it through practices like investing in team morale, practicing inclusion, taking a holistic view of the employee experience, and careful listening.
    The Challenge of Talent Marketing as a Cruise Line
    Building out an authentic employee value proposition for a single organization is difficult enough. It can be even harder when that organization houses six different brands, as is the case with Royal Caribbean Group. Employer brand leaders may encounter hesitancy, as Neal did, from more senior leaders who are wary of defining an EVP that may not feel relevant to all branches and levels.
    Invest in Morale
    To attract and retain the best talent, Royal Caribbean Group makes serious investments in its culture and employees’ well-being. Even during a pandemic, the company has found ways to preserve and adapt its office traditions, like happy hours (now virtual) and Halloween (a staff favorite).
    Practice Inclusion
    Prioritizing diversity and inclusion has helped Royal Caribbean Group attract employees from a range of backgrounds and identities. This has been a special focus of Neal’s team, which recruits talent from around the globe. Cultural context is always top-of-mind for Neal when formulating her employer brand strategy: “The employer brand that I put out in America needs to resonate just as well as the employer brand I put out in the Philippines or Indonesia,” she says.
    Consider the Whole Employee Journey
    Neal’s team frames the employee experience as a journey—in fact, the “Journey with us” tagline appears across Royal Caribbean Group’s careers site, social media accounts, and internal communications. This framing reflects the emphasis they place on supporting people throughout their time with the company, from candidate to alum, and not just on the recruitment process or the “sell.”
    Become a Better Listener
    Neal urges other employer brand leaders to listen to fellow employees as closely as possible, especially when their feedback disrupts your assumptions. “A lot of times, as employer brand folks, we have these rosy glasses on. Sometimes you need that real perspective from an employee to create something better, listen, and evolve,” Neal says.
    This approach to talent marketing has helped Royal Caribbean find perfect-fit candidates that join the family and stay for years (and voyages). These candidates-turned-colleagues share Neal’s love of seeing the world and helping others do the same. It’s a passion that unites the team, regardless of role; as Neal puts it, “Who doesn’t want to sell amazing memories and experiences?”

    To follow Thea Neal’s work in employer brand, connect with her on LinkedIn. For data-driven insights into your company that you can act on, get in touch. We can help you develop strategies for making real change.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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

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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.

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    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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    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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