What’s that Employer Branding?
Over the last seven months, we’ve worked at EmbedIT on all fronts to dig out the basis of what it means to work on employer branding.
You can take this article as an imaginary start and a kick-start for a debate. We’d be very happy if you could write to us what’s your experience… and, from time to time, we’ll try to write down what steps we take, what goes smoothly and what doesn’t. What were our first steps?
The cross-functional team as a key unit
At the very beginning, we named the long-term challenge that we would follow. We also created an action team and set the way of working in six-week sprints. How does such a cross-functional team look like? There are representatives from recruitment, employer branding, internal communication, team leader from one of our teams, business partner and 4 designers from Pábení who have been sitting with us at the company since last December. Every team member brings a certain specialization and a certain point of view on the challenge that is currently being dealt with.
Principles that we build on
Besides the team and long-term vision, we also named the way we wanted to work and how it would eventually imprint on communication — inside and outside the company.
We agreed that:
1) Decisions that we make will be based on data
2) We want to engage people across all the company in all the stages of the process
3) We will speak the truth and describe things as they are
4) We don’t perceive employer branding as a marketing tool for recruitment — for us, it’s an umbrella topic that should help unify the company
I realized that we go the right direction at the World Employer Branding Day conference that I participated in this May in Lisbon. It’s the biggest event of its kind in the world and, every year, approximately a thousand people from 45 countries meet to share their experience. At the event, the importance of research, focus groups with employees, and narrow collaboration across all the company were accentuated as well as why it’s important to think in the context of the whole employee cycle — not only the recruitment.
Talent Acquisition & Employer Branding Manager
How do the principles imprint on our work?
1/ At first, get the input and create an assignment, then look for a solution
We knew that we needed a new website. But we didn’t have a detailed assignment for it and didn’t know what information the candidates needed to know at this stage. We started by mapping the ground and stakeholders’ needs to check if the website is really needed, at what stage of communication it’s needed, whom and what it serves.
The thing is that the new website was just the beginning. Up to this day, we’ve been through 50 in-depth interviews across the whole company and even outside it. With team leaders, developers in teams, members of management, recruiters… but also with the agencies that we work with. We tested the sub-output with potential candidates who figure in our segment but work at other companies.
Data that we dutifully collect and evaluate help us identify and name opportunities as well as prioritize assignments that are ahead — not only in the field of recruitment but also during onboarding, internal communication, or training of the employees.
2/ We invite experts from different parts of the company for workshops
We invited Java Developer Miloš as a partner at Design Sprint that dealt with challenges towards developers. When we created the first concepts for the new website, we organized ideational workshops in all divisions. We launched one version of the prototypes of the new website for the whole company and collected feedback through Hotjar.
We organized focus groups and checked if the picture of the company as we described it corresponds with the reality experienced by the employees. Internal debates and feedback are not always a walk in the park but it kick-started the debate which was exactly what we wanted.
3/ We learn to speak the truth and show things as they really are
When we started the in-depth interviews in December, it was said that Pábení is at EmbedIT to think out the marketing and lighten the company presentation. By the way, it pointed out how employees and potential colleagues perceive company presentations in general. It’s an advertisement. It can’t be believed.
What if you entice a candidate into something that s/he will not get — what will happen? S/he will run away. We have a big ambition– describe things as they really are. On the website, in recruitment adds, in social networking. And also here on the blog where we want to share how it works at ours, how we dealt with transformation, or how individual teams work (together) at the moment.
4/ Strategy for Employer Branding stands on employees’ and business needs
It’s great to have an elaborate career website. It’s also worth to have a nice add in a magazine or metro. But the biggest challenge in the process of employer banding is systematic and conscious work with colleagues at the company — to engage all the key departments and stakeholders that are involved in it. To communicate constantly why this or that is happening. To talk to the teams, ask for feedback, be able to react to business needs.
It’s a great deal of work and we’re very well aware that we’re at its beginning.
So keep your fingers crossed for us and read our blog.
EmbedIT Team & Pábení