Stand Out From The Crowd: Employer Branding
Hosted by PayPal
We had the pleasure of bringing together Senior Talent Acquisition Leaders from our network in APAC at PayPal’s new innovation lab in Singapore. PayPal launched their innovation lab in August of 2016 as an incubator for Singapore-based fintech start-ups. There were many companies in attendance, including Accenture, Bloomberg, Dimension Data, IBM Mondelez, Publicis and Syngenta.
Employer Value… What?
We can all agree it’s challenging to articulate your employer value proposition if it isn’t already clearly part of your culture.Your values around collaboration, inclusion, innovation and wellness will be hard to showcase and embed into your employer brand if you aren’t actively living them. But there are a number of orgnisations who “walk-the-walk”, if you will, but aren’t exactly sure how to create the link between their culture and their employer value proposition.
PayPal, for example, with over twenty thousand employees still feels like a start up. Unfortunately, many prospective employees won’t know this unless they are invited to an interview (or attend one of our HR leader sessions). Too many organistions face this issue: how to effectively communicate their culture and their values to attract the kinds of talent they need.
Enter Social Media
We all know LinkedIn for its job search potential. As a job seeker, it’s a great place to start, but is that all it’s good for? Savvy TA leaders are using it more than just a place to list a certain type of role. They are using it as a platform to showcase their values and create a virtual organisational story about life as an employee at their organisations. And those who get it right—who make it authentic—have equal (and in some cases stronger) engagement (likes/comments) for postings that exemplify their workplace culture than the actual job postings.
In fairness, a lot of companies struggle to communicate their EVP to the outside world. But there are a few things that can be done at almost a no-cost/low-cost budget. For example, adding social media links to your email signatures, ensuring regular and consistent updates with information that is authentic, informative and tells a story.
Most leaders are involved in summits and conferences outside the workplace, and this is not only interesting, but important information about your organisation’s leadership team. Having your leaders share on the company social media platforms their key learnings and their opinions on what those learnings mean for the future of the business (and industry) is a great way to show that you’re organisation’s leadership team is comprised of engaged thought leaders.
But for this approach to be successful, it has to be an integrated approach where HR and TA leaders work closely with the marketing and corporate communications teams to get that message out there.
PayPal, for example, have leveraged Glassdoor (a website that contains millions of company reviews and more) for a few internal competitions between managers. While this works in the Americas, where Glassdoor is a lot more popular, PayPal also customises their programs for employee- and family-oriented events in India and other Asian markets, for example.
The Candidate Experience
A lot of organisations talk about improving the candidate experience, but do they really mean it? Are they giving an opportunity for all applicants, whether accepted or rejected, to provide feedback on their experience?
Bloomberg is! They have a thorough feedback process for anyone who has come through their doors—and here’s the best part: the feedback is also factored into the hiring manager’s performance metrics. Interviewees answer questions like Did they receive enough information about the role? Was there prompt and detailed feedback? Did they get a sense of the Bloomberg culture?
Companies need to be thinking about their online presence outside of Linkedin. Let’s remember that the peple who are active on Linkedin tend to be active job seekers mostly. But if we are looking to attract the passive talent, position our EVP accordingly this needs to move out to other social media platforms too.
The Keys to Success
Effectively communicating your employer value proposition is multifaceted. But a cornerstone is having a story to tell—about the company and its employees. Find your ambassadors within the organisation who are inspiring and then customise those stories for the different geographies. While your offices may all look the same around the world, it’s impossible for them to operate homogenously. Cultural differences and different market capabilities will necessitate a relevant story for each geography. Know which social media tools are prevalent in other markets, for example WeChat in China.
An interesting question that was raised was whether companies should or do they link the employee CRM to the business CRM. A negative applicant experience could, in some cases, lead to a negative business impact. Therefore, are the two always separate? An example given was how a hotel chain gave a voucher to every applicant who had a face-to-face interview, whether accepted or rejected. In this particular case, the hotel chain was able to directly track the ROI related to the voucher.
The key takeaway was that organistaions can no longer separate EVP from marketing/PR. Today’s world where anyone with a cellphone could damage your organisation’s reputation (think United Airlines).
Should we then be spending more on collaborating PR with EVP? Can they continue to work separately? Leaders in attendance agreed that the link between the two was strengthening and it was becoming more important to train leaders to be effective brand ambassadors and engage in authentic communications. This would not only impact the employer brand, but also the employer’s brand reputation.