1 Employer Branding Anno 3 - Numero 06 Luglio 2012 Review Social Recruiting Placement Campus Recruiting Employer Branding Metrics
2 Al via la Prima Edizione del Brand Storytelling Awards L osservatorio di Corporate Storytelling e Anthea Communications lanciano il primo contest italiano rivolto ad aziende, agenzie di comunicazione e media, case di produzione, etc, che nel 2011 abbiano realizzato progetti o svolto attività di branding nelle quali sia stato predominante l utilizzo dello storytelling come fattore guida. Si contenderanno il premio progetti o attività di branding nelle quali sia stato predominante l utilizzo dello storytelling come fattore guida L obiettivo dell iniziativa è stimolare l attenzione dell industria della comunicazione e, in generale, delle aziende verso l importanza dello storytelling quale fattore critico del successo di una strategia di branding, qualunque ne sia il suo oggetto prevalente (prodotto, corporate, employer). Gli Awards sono stati suddivisi in tre categorie : 1 Brand Storyteling Award per il Product Branding 2 Brand Storytelling Award per il Corporate Branding 3 Brand Storytelling Award per l Employer Branding Le iniziative che si candideranno al premio devono essere state realizzate nel periodo compreso tra il 1 gennaio ed il 31 Dicembre I materiali relativi ai progetti oggetto della candidatura dovranno essere inviati entro e non oltre il 30 Novembre Ogni progetto o attività svolta verrà giudicato in base a 4 criteri: 1. Innovazione Valutazione dell idea creativa insita nella storia che si è deciso di raccontare. 3. Coerenza. Valutazione della pertinenza del contenuto narrativo con gli strumenti di comunicazione utilizzati 2. Struttura Valutazione dell architettura con cui si è realizzato il processo narrativo 4. Engagement Valutazione del grado di coinvolgimento del target A seguito della valutazione della Giuria saranno individuate 3 Nominations per ciascuna delle 3 categorie. Queste verranno poi presentate nel corso del Forum previsto per Febbraio 2013 al termine del quale saranno decretati i vincitori per ogni categoria e consegnati i Brand Storytelling Awards.
3 Employer Branding Review Editore Anthea Consulting srl Diretto Responsabile Eugenio Amendola Coordinatore di Redazione Simona Benini Comitato di Redazione Eugenio Amendola (Anthea Consulting) Barbara Demi (Etline e Associati) Enzo Spaltro (Università delle Persone) Brett Minchington (Employer Brand International) Silvia Zanella (Adecco) Alberto Padula (Università Tor Vergata) Simona Benini Silvia Nardini A questo numero hanno collaborato: Eugenio Amendola, Brett Minchington, Patrick Tissngton, Nicola Turner, Simona Benini, Redazione Employer Branding Review Via Toscana, Monte San Pietro (BO) TEL: La rivista è pubblicata su: Progetto grafico Vitoria Muzi Registrazione Tribunale di Bologna N 8076 del 24 Aprile 2010
4 Editoriale In questo numero cercheremo di capire come si possa adottare una strategia di employer branding considerando le criticità dell attuale economia globale. Abbiamo più volte scritto, nel corso di questa nostra avventura editoriale, quanto sia importante avere consapevolezza del valore strategico dell employer branding. Grazie al contributo di Minchington, di Itiat ma anche di Sullivan (riproponendo un articolo scritto qualche anno fa dall archivio di ere.com) andremo a sottolineare, ulteriormente, questo aspetto guardando soprattutto a ciò che le aziende devono fare perché possano preservare al meglio e/o consolidare il proprio employer brand durante i periodi di crisi. Una maggiore attenzione, quindi, alla formazione, alla leadership ed all engagement (non semplice recruiting a breve) che, come affermano gli autori, rappresentano alcuni degli aspetti di maggiore criticità necessari per affrontare l attuale recessione mantenendo mantenere inalterato il valore del proprio employer brand. Ma anche, perché no, all uso dei nuovi social media, in particolare Pinterest, che stanno emergendo velocemente e che sembra stiamo diventando straordinari tools per comunicare l employer brand in chiave innovativa. Affronteremo, inoltre, un tema sicuramente non nuovo ma di grande interesse che sta crescendo, sempre di più, soprattutto nelle Università. Parleremo di placement ma anche di campus recruiting. Due facce, come indica l ottimo articolo di Simona Benini, di una stessa medaglia. Lo faremo raccontando la 1 edizione del Global Placement & Campus Recruiting Forum, tenutosi il 5 Luglio a Roma presso la sede di P&G. Il convegno ha visto in rassegna alcune delle best practice sul tema sia italiane che straniere. Dalle iniziative innovative messe in campo da Vodafone al rigore delle strategie di college recruiting adottate dalla Deloitte & Touche LLP e Tax LLP USA fino all efficiente modello di placement messo a punto dal Politecnico di Milano e alla creatività con cui la Aston Business School della Aston University è riuscita a gestire l employability della propria popolazione di studenti. Buona lettura Eugenio Amendola Direttore Responsabile 3
5 Employer Branding Review Indice Numero 6 LUGLIO 2012 Editoriale (a cura di Eugenio Amendola)...03 Scenari e Nuove tendenze Catturare l attenzione dei Job Seekers con le immagini. L uso di Pinterest nelle attività di employer branding...05 (di Eugenio Amendola) Some of the useful strategies and concepts organisation can apply in recessionary times to streghten its employer branding...08 (di Anthony Itiat) Where to next! 12 ways to optimise your employer brand strategy in the coming year (di Brett Minchington MBA) Articles reprinted with permission of ERE Media, Employment Branding: the Only Long-Term Recruiting Strategy...22 (di John Sullivan) Do You Have Ineffective HR Metrics? 25 Reasons Why You Might...26 (di John Sullivan) Speciale Placement & Campus Recruiting Placement e Campus Recruiting. Due facce della stessa medaglia (di Simona Benini) Creating employable graduates by connecting students with employers...34 (di Patrick Tissington e Nicola Turner, Aston University) 4
6 Scenari e Nuove Tendenze Catturare l attenzione dei Job Seekers con le immagini. L uso di Pinterest nelle attività di employer branding La maggior parte dei recruiters non riesce a comprendere il valore di alcuni social network (Pinterest, Instagram, etc) che si stanno affermando con grande forza nell ormai complesso mondo del social web. Eugenio Amendola Direttore Employer Branding Review Ancora più difficile è riuscire ad inquadrarli come possibili strumenti di recruiting o meglio come strumenti di engagement per lo sviluppo di azioni efficaci di employer branding. Tale miopia è giustificata dal fatto che questi nuovi social network non sono stati progettati principalmente per supportare le tradizionali attività di recruiting impedendone di vedere il suo valore strategico. Quindi se si vuole innovare anche nel recruiting e se si vuole iniziare a sperimentare nuovi strumenti per promuovere il proprio employer brand vale la pena di impegnarsi un po di più cercando di capire come funzionino e quali vantaggi questo nuovi social media possano produrre realmente. Iniziare per primi a sperimentare strumenti di questo tipo potrebbe già portare alcuni vantaggi, in termini di rafforzamento del proprio employer brand, grazie al ruolo assunto di first mover e/o al semplice fatto che si venga percepiti come impresa innovativa. Si potrebbe pensare inizialmente che sia strano utilizzare questi siti il cui contenuto è fatto prevalentemente di immagini. Ma questo è un approccio completamente sbagliato se consideriamo che una foto o un video spesso valgono più di 1000 parole. Semplicemente perché sono in grado di trasferire meglio le emozioni che possono scaturire da un immagine o un video con i quali è possibile sintetizzare il proprio ambiente di lavoro in un attraente esperienza visiva. 5
7 Employer Branding Review In realtà le aziende hanno già avuto modo di sperimentare con successo l efficacia di strumenti di questo genere con YouTube. Per anni è stato uno dei principali volani promozionali dell employer brand per finalità di recruiting. Ma chi sono questi nuovi social network? Come usarli al meglio e soprattutto quali reali vantaggi possono portare? Stiamo parlando principalmente di Pinterest la cui crescita è stata esponenziale negli ultimi mesi. Il primo ha già in attivo, solo negli USA, circa 12milioni di utenti registrati di cui l 87% è composto da donne e tra queste la maggior parte ha tra i 18 e i 34 anni. In UK sono circa 200mila e prevalgono i maschi. Pinterest permette agli utenti di inserire immagini di proprio interesse (pin a picture), che corrisponde al post che si fa su Facebook o Twitter. Ma mente su questi ultimi si postano commenti o dichiarazioni testuali su Pinterest si postano (pin) immagini. Ciascun utente può quindi inserire sulla propria bacheca o board tutte le immagini che vuole e che possano, in qualche modo, raccontare i momenti della propria vita. Nel caso di un azienda, ad esempio, i suoi dipendenti possono essere incentivati dai recruiters a pubblicare foto e immagini che descrivano il loro ambiente di lavoro contribuendo al processo di employer brand building. Pinterest infatti offre enormi opportunità per quelle aziende che desiderano far crescere la propria rete soprattutto in un ottica di engagement e di sviluppo di relazioni di lungo periodo (TRM). I recruiters possono fare ricerche mirate di potenziali candidati usando parole chiavi oppure argomenti contenuti nei post lasciati dagli utenti o nelle descrizioni che solitamente vengono fatte a seguito della pubblicazione di foto e immagini. In questo senso Pinterest può rappresentare un valido strumento per lo sviluppo di azioni di employer branding nel lungo periodo perché permette di essere trovati da potenziali candidati, sia attivi che passivi, grazie ai vantaggi che si possono ottenere sulle attività di SEO (Search Engine Optimization) che come si sa tendono a indicizzare il proprio web site o le proprie offerte di lavoro ed in generale aiutano a rendere migliore il posizionamento del proprio employer brand sui motori di ricerca. Ma per ottenere questi enormi vantaggi è necessario sfruttare al meglio tutte le potenzialità che Pinterest offre e cioè: 1. Scegliere key words in maniera accurata. Se ad un immagine o video che mostra o racconta, ad esempio, un aspetto interessante del proprio ambiente di lavoro, associo una descrizione usando non solo il nome dell azienda ma anche parole che descrivono specifiche posizioni aperte, le possibilità di essere trovati aumentano. 2. Creare link ai job posting o al career web site. Nel momento in cui si pubblica una foto o un immagine (pin) 6 su Pinterest si può aggiungere un link che permette di accedere direttamente o all offerta di lavoro oppure alla sezione career del proprio web site. 3. Aprire schede tematiche o pin boards. Pinterest permette di aprire schede su specifici temi che possono essere facilmente condivise da altri dipendenti di un azienda. Ad esempio si può aprire una scheda (pin board) sul tema del clima aziendale di uno specifico reparto o settore e successivamente aggiungere a questa scheda la partecipazione dei dipendenti di quel reparto. In questo modo le immagini e foto inserite da ciascuno vanno a costruire gradualmente un mosaico con il quale si tende a raccontare un pezzo di storia aziendale. Il vantaggio è quello di avere un gruppo di persone che, accomunati dagli stessi interessi per l azienda, non fanno altro che raccontare attraverso le immagini la loro storia e così facendo tendono a promuovere ulteriormente il brand della stessa (brand ambassador) migliorandone la percezione da parte di chi è in cerca di lavoro. 4. Ovviamente per aumentare la visibilità in rete sarà necessario una maggiore personalizzazione delle pin board create individuando specifiche key words o delle immagini allineate con la il reparto o settore che si vuole mettere in evidenza o ancora identificando hashtag che consentono al contento descrittivo e alle immagini di beneficiare della viralità garantita da Twitter. Per chi volesse rendere più palese le ragioni del recruiting è possibile anche pubblicare uno screen shot della job description con un link diretto al proprio web site. 5. Aumentare la viralità con il repin. Allo stesso modo come si può fare un re-twitt (RT) su Twitter è possibile fare lo stesso su Pinterest, con la differenza che
8 in questo caso si va a diffondere ulteriormente non un commento o articolo ma un immagine o una foto. 6. Integrazione con gli altri social media (Facebook e Twitter. E evidente che ogni foto o immagine pubblicata su Pinterest può essere pubblicata anche su Facebook come il link relativo può essere inserito all interno di un tweet. Questo produce un inevitabile spinta alla diffusione in rete grazie al processo virale che ne consegue. 7. Pubblicare QR Code. Una dei vantaggi di Pinterest è la forte integrazione non solo con gli altri social media, come visto prima, ma anche con altri device ed in particolare il mobile. La pubblicazione del QR Code e cioè quel particolare codice associato ad un web site rende più facile e comodo per l utente/job seeker il collegamento diretto tra il proprio smartphone e il sito dell azienda. 8. Allineare le immagini con il target e con i temi principali di Pinterest. Negli Usa la % delle donne che usano Pinterest è prevalente rispetto agli uomini. Questo può essere un opportunità per pubblicare immagini più in linea con questo specifico target al fine di aumentare la propria attrattività e rendere più evidente la propria politica sulla diversity. Ma è anche possibile rendere più appealing le proprie immagini se queste sono in grado di evocare i temi principali maggiormente presenti su Pinterest. Ad esempio i viaggi sono uno degli argomenti più gettonati. Gli utenti di Pinterest amano pubblicare prevalentemente foto delle proprie esperienze di viaggio. Pubblicare quindi immagini che mostrano la location aziendale (soprattutto se è gradevole e confortevole) o aree di lavoro curate in modo particolare nel design o ancora strutture adibite alle attività sportive, etc può sicuramente fare la differenze in termini di attrattività in linea con i gusti del target. La grande opportunità di questo social network sta anche nella sua capacità di andare a scovare quelle persone che non sono attive nella ricerca del lavoro (candidati passivi) e allo stesso tempo sono anche innovatori e creativi visto che sono stati i primi ad utilizzarlo. In generale questo riguarda un po tutti i social media che nascono non necessariamente come recruiting tools ma come strumenti per la condivisione sociale di informazioni, immagini, foto ed esperienze. Questo significa che quando si decide di usarli per finalità di recruiting o di employer branding bisogna saperli usare bene pena la possibilità di non godere dei possibili vantaggi di cui abbiamo parlato prima. 7 Quindi l approccio giusto per chi si appresta ad usare Pinterest è: avere una prospettiva finalizzata all engagement piuttosto che al recruiting diretto; avere molta pazienza nell ottenere risultati i quali si faranno vedere solo gradualmente e nel lungo periodo; non puntare sulla quantità ma sulla qualità dei risultati; usarle il social network principalmente per raccontare una storia attraverso la quale trasferire quei passaggi salienti in grado di sintetizzare al meglio l immagine della propria realtà ed, in particolare, del proprio ambiente di lavoro; avere coraggio nell iniziare ad usarlo ma con un approccio creativo che richiede un processo fatto di tentativi ed errori.
9 Scenari e Nuove Tendenze Employer Branding Review Some of the useful strategies and concepts organisation can apply in recessionary times to streghten its employer branding Anthony Itiat Founder / Independent strategy analyst at Employer Branding Focus Ireland What organisations need in order to survive the turbulent times are tactical skills that will help everyone at every level to do their job effectively. In addition to this, organisations need to adopt a democratic leadership style in which every managers and leaders are participative, supportive, considerate, and humanistic in their management of people. Furthermore, recession does not necessarily have to mean reduced engagement in fact it can mean that engagement rises if employees see that it is tough outside and that all of them inside the company are standing together. It is evident that during economic downturn organisations rely on their employees as a key asset in order to keep their business doors open, and the recent global recession has created interest and concern for many organisations to question how they can keep their reputation. The solution to this question is for organisation to realise that human capital is the soul of the company, and following this context, human resources is important to companies, thus, companies must do all they can to retain all good and productive employees. EMPLOYMENT VALUE PROPOSITION An employment value proposition (EVP) is a value benefit an employee obtains through employment experience. A strong EVP builds and reinforces the public image of the organisation s vision, culture, work practices, management style and growth opportunities. It builds the perception that people are motivated, proud and happy to work and willing to go the extra mile for the company. 8
11 Employer Branding Review Employment Value Proposition helps to attract, motivate and retain the most valuable assets of a company its employees. Employment branding and EVP are not just or mainly about attracting new talent but also about engaging, motivating, and retaining existing talent. People expect to achieve certain ideals from their job, employers, and careers. These workplace values, concepts, and ideas that people hold dear have a direct impact on people s satisfaction with their job. This is very significance to organisations willing to survive the wavy economy if a strong EVP can provide what people expects from work despite economic crisis. To enhance employment brand in recessionary times, organisations need to create a unique EVP and communicate well to it existing and potential employees these are the keys to retaining and attracting talent in a recession. Hereto, it is important for an organisation to have a strong EVP in the current economic climate for several reasons. Retaining the right people and getting the most from them: a strong EVP will help organisation retains those employees who will ultimately deliver for the customer by living the brand and displaying their real engagement and loyalty. This also means higher performance levels and lower turnover rates for organisation crucial in recessionary times Improving organisation external image a strong EVP will help to build and reinforce the public image of organisation s vision, culture, work practices, management style and growth opportunity which in turn will help to support corporate and consumer brands (important at a time when competition for consumer loyalty is being sorely tested) Attracting the right talent even if organisation is not currently recruiting, organisation may well be before too long and a strong, positive EVP will ensure that organisation has remained front of mind for that pool of job seeking talent who are aligned with organisation and believe in its vision, values, commitment to its employees and customers, ensuring those organisation do recruit are a good fit. The importance of EVP stems not from the continuing shortage of talent but also from the realisation that value is created not so much by organisations themselves, but by the talented people within them. ENGAGEMENT Engagement reflects alignment of each employee s very personal goals and drives job satisfaction with organisation s strategy and contribution requirements. It is imperative to note that individuals do not leave companies they leave poor managers. Organisational mismanagement contributes to negative moral. Managers can assist with performance and motivate employees by taking time to build relationships through personal interaction, giving objective and constructive feedback to employees in order for them to understand that their work matters. Engaged workers perform better and give extra discretionary effort. But keeping high levels of engagement in uncertain times is tricky. Positive psychology research has suggested that part of the answer lies in psychological and social processes. This research outlines nine ways in which psychological and social 10 processes can be used at work by employers namely: Create a positive culture Affirm the best Turn strengths into talent Help team play to individual strengths Adjust roles Increase flow Build rewards Understand goal seeking The concept of SWOT analysis has shed light into how organisations can use this analysis to scan the environments it is operating. The merit of this analysis is that, it collects data from external and internal environments which enables organisation to formulate strategies that address critical aspects of its operation. Data from SWOT analysis of the environment identify new technologies, market trends, new competitors, and employee morale trends. This data is a feedback and is important input from the frontline staff - this feedback as high morale signifies that employee morale is working hard and winning the market place. Integrating employee feedback into the SWOT process is the true success of any business because employees are engaged in their activities. The use of SWOT analysis to proof the point of how this concept can contribute to employee engagement, employee retention, and employee motivation was used by How Ritz-Carlton Hotel. The luxury brand hotel uses hard data on employee and customer engagement to create its image and ambience and to drive measurable result. Employee engagement shows that engaged employees perform better and
12 are less likely to quit, they are more satisfied with their job. When people are engaged to deliver what the business needs, it is ready for an upturn. When the economy recovers, employees will vote with their feet if they are unhappy with the way organisation treated them in difficult times. LEADERSHIP People manage organisation, and are managers or leaders who play diverse roles in organisation. The role managers or leaders play in an organisation is propelled by their goal set by their organisations, the end being profit making and the means being the methods employed to achieve the end. This profit making establishes the purpose for which organisations exist. Sartain and Schumann define employer branding as how a business builds and packages its identity, from its origins and values, what it promises to emotionally connects employees so that they in turn deliver what a business promises to customers. A strong leadership role is paramount to cement the meaning of employer branding in recessionary times. Emotional intelligence is what leaders should have in order to be able to manage people. Emotional intelligence is about four things namely: self - awareness and recognising the inner feelings, 11 self - management, social awareness or empathy for other s feelings, managing relationships by guiding, motivating, working with, and living with others. Hard times call for tough leaders; leaders need to have self belief, resilience, focus, drive, control, resolve, nerves of steel, independence, competitiveness and chill ability. Leaders who focus on strategy, people and values are likely to fail when confronted with a world that we are now experiencing. Leaders in turbulent times should simultaneously focus on strategy, people and value if they are to be successful. Research conducted at Kemmy Business School, University of Limerick in collaboration
13 Employer Branding Review with CIPD Ireland and Edinburg Napier Business School highlights the types of leadership challenges associated with increasing complexity, turbulence and uncertainty. Three themes emerged: authenticity, resilience, and trust. Authenticity involves showing passion for the business, it purpose and its people. Without passion, there is a tendency to become complacent and routine. These behaviours do not inspire a team approach, nor do they motivate people to achieve. When leaders demonstrate a genuine passion for their people and contributions, people are likely to feel more valued and be willing to take more risks to perform. Resilience provides leaders with the ability to recover quickly from challenging hardships and misfortune. Resilience allows leaders to let go and to allow others to contribute to the process. It opens the door the door to hearing the views of others and can lead to enhanced strategic thinking. Trust involves telling the truth and revealing feelings. People deserve and need plenty of information about what is happening, why a particular course of action is necessary for their organisation to pursue, and what are the steps. Telling the truth involves admitting in some cases that the leader does not have all the answers. It gives faith in the face of uncertainty, it gives employees hope. TRAINING A report prepared by Delloite and Haskin and Sell in conjunction with IFF Research Ltd, defines training as the process of acquiring the knowledge and skills related to work requirements by formal, structured or guided means. Training is the main source of delivering skills to people who is seen as the floating device, agent of contributory factors to organisation success in wavy economic times. Training would make employees feel comfortable in the workplace and have the opportunity to excel, connect, and achieve their career goals particularly in recessionary times. Training is related to organisational culture. Training is the ritual that can reinforce the perception of how things are done just like personal procedures. The relationship between satisfaction with workplace training and overall job satisfaction are: Satisfaction with training and development is a major factor in decision regarding peoples career Training increases skills and abilities to a job Training gives employees the opportunity to learn new skills which is the most important factor in job satisfaction. Employer branding is an emerging discipline with its roots in classical marketing and brand management principles. To support this view, it is imperative that in recessionary times training needs should focus on customer centricity which has to do with sales. The meaning of customer centricity to a chiropractor is attracting unlimited numbers of new patients to his practice. The only way to achieve this particularly in recessionary times is for organisations to teach employees facing customer, implement it by creating office systems, procedures, marketing strategies that congruently communicate customer centricity. This will establish the psychological contract in terms of an exchange relationship between individual employee and the organisation. In recessionary times, organisations can train and develop the existing employees on 12 how to use software that can help provide basic customer centric employee solutions on sales. I have no doubt that, in time to come or not too long, many companies will understand the importance of hiring and training customer centric employees and have the budget for what s necessary, because coaching and training will be more suited to better solving customer engagement. ORGANISATIONAL CULTURE AND CLIMATE Employer branding is the organisational climate and culture created by management for successful business performance through its employee engagement, retention, and motivation schemes. The definition of organisational climate is the way in which an organisational member perceives and characterise their environment in an attitudinal and value based manner. This is the important and influential aspect of satisfaction and retention. To reinforce organisational culture and climate in an unstable economy and to cement the meaning of employer branding to employees in recessionary times, organisation needs to create a climate for service. Climate for service refers to the sense that people who work for and / or come into contact with organisation have with regard to the service quality emphasis of the organisation. This is a perspective of Gestalt psychology of a whole in that a climate for service in which organisation provides in recessionary times is the experience from organisation for creating a warm and friendly atmosphere. Likewise employee experience from organisation for creating the climate for
14 service to customers, which in turn influence the climate for service that customers would experience. MOTIVATION Intrinsic motivation states that employee must feel good about the job they do. In order to do a job well and in order for motivation to be high employee must love it. Similarly, Mcgregor theory Y, believes that employed workers of all kinds view work as natural, as something that they want to commit to in a responsible way and, that given the right condition, all people at work will contribute their best to the way organisation is run. This runs in parallel with Herzberg theory of the difference between hygienic and motivating factor. Hertzberg directly investigated the question What do people want from their jobs? This famous study revealed what they felt very good about were things such as achievement, recognition, the work itself and responsibility. According to Herzberg, these are satisfiers. These being said, it is important for organisation to understand that, employees are stakeholders in the enterprise. Their interest in the conditions of employment and work are as real as those of stockholders and managers. Given the economic downturn that organisations are experiencing and organisations drives to survive the critical period by motivating employees to work for them, introducing a total rewards will boost motivation and enhance productivity. Total rewards are all the tools available to the employer that may be used to attract, motivate and retain employees. These include everything the employee perceives to be of value resulting from the employment relationship, which include the following five elements namely: compensation, benefit, career, and work environment. COMMUNICATION It is important for organisation to communicate the tough time to employees after considering implementation of some basic strategies to sustain it competitive advantage. In my opinion it reveals the fact that organisation is engaging in some groundwork that will remedy the difficult time, and letting employees to know the heart of the organisation by means of communication in recessional times is a way of adding hope to employees, because during this time everybody is thinking about job loss. Communication is the process through which organisation is created, and in this case, in communicating the tough time to employees, the focus should be on the content which embraces corporate vision and mission statement as rightly put by (Jane Weightman, 1994) that content is the subject matter, and the subject matter can embrace the corporate vision to employees once again. Organisation can use all the channels of communication for its internal communication. That includes team briefing, notices, reports, memos, face to face, and s to reach employees because organisational communication in recessionary times is about renewing the focus of recommended direction to follow in order to survive the downturn. In communicating the focus to employees, organisations should be honest with employees and also let them know how the organisation is doing so that employees understand the true financial picture. A recent research 13 on improving employee engagement through communication, show that effective communication is linked to employee engagement and they also offer seven useful tips on how organisations can improve employee engagement through communication namely: Internal communication needs to be timely, clear, consistent, and, most of all, honest There is no one one size to communicating difficult messages Contextualise corporate communication at a local level Be clear about when face to face communication needs to be used Although your focus has to be on dealing with the most affected people initially, do not forget about your survivors who are the future of your organisation The focus for communication should be on all stakeholders receiving the same message at the same time Key messages need to be around organisation direction, strategy and employee involvement along the journey
15 Scenari e Nuove Tendenze Employer Branding Review Where to next! 12 ways to optimise your employer brand strategy in the coming year I am continuously amazed at just how far the art and science of employer branding has evolved since I started writing on the topic more than seven years ago. With the world s economy currently in a state of flux, how effectively companies attract and retain talent will become the number one (in many it already is!) concern for CEO s. This is where the field of employer branding can make its greatest contribution to management. Brett Minchington MBA Chairman/CEO at Employer Brand International. Founder at Over the past five years I have been fortunate to share my employer branding knowledge, experience and networks with leaders across all industry sectors in more than forty five cities in twenty six countries including Denmark, Belgium, Russia, Turkey, New Zealand, Australia, Dubai, Singapore, USA, Spain, Italy, UK, Netherlands, and most recently the Ukraine. I meet a lot of people from different cultural and educational backgrounds, some with no formal education at all. Whilst the world is such a diverse place it is also similar in many ways. I have never come across anyone who would disagree that their employment experience should not involve as a minimum: fair pay, interesting work, a friendly working environment, respect and career development. You would think that meeting these needs would be a simple challenge for most companies. However in reality, so many companies get it wrong! The downside for many employees is they do get to live the life they strive for and for companies the downside is usually poor productivity and reduced profits. For some it s also game over too many realise too late that at the heart of every great company, there are great people! During my travels I also have taken the opportunity to spend time with leaders in the regions who are driving the employer branding agenda inside their companies to witness first hand just how challenging and complex attracting and retaining talent has become. It is as if the market is moving at one (fast!) speed and companies at another (slow!). In September 2011 at Employer Brand International (EBI) we published a major Employer Branding Global Survey report which highlighted key trends in employer branding in advanced and developing economies. We published a similar report in 2009 and it was interesting to see the developments in employer branding over the past two years. Following the Global Financial Crisis in September 2008, the world of work has undergone significant changes. There are six million less jobs in the USA and unemployment continues to remain high (though there was some improvement in the last quarter of 2011) despite a number of government initiatives to stimulate the economy. Along with political unrest in countries such as Syria, Egypt and some Middle Eastern countries there has been a global Occupy uprising which had its roots in the USA. Around the world many citizens are fed up with the wealth being concentrated in a small percentage (or the 1% as it has been defined!). Despite multiple European bank and country bailouts and downgrading of credit ratings in countries such as France there are serious ongoing concerns about the future of the Euro, the solvency of a number of European countries and the ongoing 14
16 risk of the market overheating in China and India. Welcome to the new normal! All of these trends will have an impact on the world in which we live and how we spend our time with family, work colleagues and ourselves. Each provides challenges and opportunities to companies and industries in how they attract and retain talent. The 2012/2013 fiscal year may just be the year of broader acceptance of the role (and value) of employees in delivering company (and country) wealth. Here are my top twelve areas for companies to focus on in 2012/2013 when developing or evolving their employer brand strategy. Consider the bigger picture Understand it is difficult to optimise the benefits of your strategy in isolation from other key functions required for managing a successful business. The employer branding ecosystem detailed in Figure 1 outlines the scope of what is involved in building a strong employer brand and considers the diversity of stakeholders and functions which need to be engaged in your strategy. In most cases adopting a strategic approach to employer branding will require a leadership mindset and engagement to realign other business strategies e.g. talent management, recruiting, communication, etc with your employer brand strategy. This will ensure key areas of your business are focused in the same direction to create value whilst minimising inefficiencies and redundancies created by teams working in silos. ACTION: Undertake a stakeholder analysis and align your strategy with the diversity of stakeholder needs. Figure 1: Employer Branding Eco-system 15
17 Employer Branding Review Involve marketers in your employer brand strategy Marketers need to realise it s time to take more of an interest in employer branding and its role in building brand strength that impacts shareholder value. It will require an understanding from leaders that a company has one brand and managing the different, interconnected parts e.g. employer brand, consumer brand, corporate brand can no longer be managed independently given the speed at which the dynamics of the workplace are evolving. Most of the job descriptions for Employer Brand Directors and Managers published in 2011/2012 were seeking to recruit a person with a background in marketing or branding, not human resources. If this is not a clear message to marketers to get more involved in employer branding I don t know what is! ACTION: Conduct a round table meeting between HR, marketing and communications to discuss how a joined up approach can benefit the organisation s brand equity and discuss any barriers which need to be addressed. Learn how to leverage the pockets of talent excellence in the global labour pool more effectively Great talent exists everywhere amongst the seven billion people on our planet. If the talent doesn t exist to deliver the skill or capability required to deliver the service it is likely your business model is wrong. A key issue for companies is that we are entering the most critical phase of talent scarcity ever experienced, where the number of people leaving the workforce due to the ageing population in many economies 16 such as Japan, Italy, Russia, etc out numbers those entering the workforce. Combined with the rate of change driven by innovation, competition and technology, the race to wealth creation will be met with a mismatch within borders of the talent required to meet growth targets. Online networks such as Facebook and LinkedIn will become more effective at matching people with jobs around the world that can be performed virtually or require specialist skills for short periods. This will create many opportunities for talented people who live in countries such as India and China and do not have the means or support to relocate to where the jobs are. ACTION: Build a community presence on social networking sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn and engage the audience in discussion and mine the data to assess the potential to en-
18 gage members in volunteer or paid work. Philips has done this very well with their Linkedin communities of more than 100,000 members. Invest in strategic thinking capabilities of emerging leaders Strategic thinking is one of the most under developed skills in the workplace. Most Universities don t train the skill until the Masters course level leading to a large proportion of graduates who are entering the workforce with extensive textbook knowledge but unprepared to address the challenges of today s workplace. Failure to recruit and train talent to think strategically will ensure company growth is likely to remain stagnant and lead to a virtuous cycle of recruitment, disengagement and regrettable turnover. There are numerous resources on the internet to assist employees developed knowledge and capabilities in strategic thinking and how it can be applied to assist company productivity. ACTION: Develop a strategic thinking training module for new starters and existing employees. This may be in the form of an application which can be accessed from a mobile device where the majority of learning is likely to occur in the future. Support accelerated skill and capability development It is well reported in the media and I ve experienced firsthand in travelling to emerging markets that the education systems around the world are not preparing the next generation of workers adequately for the skill and capability demands of employers competing in environment where today s source of competitive advantage is increasingly linked to the quality of employed talent and/or access to talent. Even at a school level it is becoming increasingly challenging to maintain engagement of students when they have access to the world s knowledge through their computers or mobile devices. I m really concerned about the ability of companies to keep my twelve year old son (and his global network of connections around his age) challenged beyond 11am on a Monday on his first day! This generation that will hit the workforce in 2018 is agile, intelligent, and global in their thinking, connected, entrepreneurial and inpatient. Companies need to start planning in 2012/2013 the systems, processes and policies that need to be developed, adapted or dumped to remain attractive to tomorrow s talent pipeline. At a recent University lecture I was amazed when I asked students about their participation in social media networks for personal or business use. Very few were active in social media and were unsure of the personal and business benefits it could bring them. Are we teaching an out of date curriculum in Universities or the wrong combination of skills required to build leaders fit to lead companies over the next decade? This debate will continue to build momentum in 2012/2013. ACTION: Develop an accelerated capability development program that is linked to the employee s career development plan and supported by their immediate manager and managers 17 from across the business. Focus on systems integration across borders I m still amazed by the number of leaders I meet on my travels from companies I know have a global employer brand strategy and when I mention it to them, they have no idea it even existed. The traditional head office, top down strategy requires a different approach if companies are to engage leaders and employees outside their home country. A large number of today s global companies are in the early stages of global integration of policies, systems and processes which impact on the employer brand. Compounding this is the lack of, or complexity of technology to support this process. It appears we are still sometime away from using mobile devices effectively to promote the employer brand and/or leverage for recruitment. ACTION: Conduct an analysis of the key areas of your strategy (e.g. career development, recruitment advertising templates, etc) which need to be integrated across regions. Integrate formal and informal learning and enable mobile access After thirteen years of University (two in a teaching capacity) I have found the best learnings come from on the ground experiences when combined with formal learning. Too much learning still occurs in a training group environment which lacks relevance to individual employees and has little impact on behavioural change.
19 Employer Branding Review I ve been fortunate to travel to more than forty-five cities around the world over the past four years. Prior to this I completed a MBA and earlier a Degree in Marketing and International Business. The travel has allowed me to connect the textbook dots and develop a much richer perspective on the complexity of the world we live by moving outside the culture and environment I grew up in Australia. Too many University programs are taught by academics that haven t seen outside their University walls. Learning is a lifelong skill that is developed and enhanced through transfer of knowledge and experiences over time. There is too much focus on formal learning in today s workplaces. A lifetime of learning already exists on the internet, the challenge is how to personalise it and have it find you rather than you find it! The ipad and numerous other tablets on the market provide an excellent opportunity to build employee capabilities without the cost of formal, face to face group training. I predict most of tomorrows learning which contributes to wealth creation will be informal. Consider the impact on wealth creation inside and outside their borders when larger parts of regional India and China gain access to the internet and hundreds of millions of people move further along the developing economy curve that has occurred countries such as the USA, UK, Japan and Australia over the past one hundred years. The growth in China over the past thirty years suggests it will only take another twenty years to reach a similar developed level of these developed nations. In China the relocation of people from rural into urban areas has been described as having to build a city the size of Los Angeles each year to accommodate them. Considering the young population in countries such as India as Turkey it would not be unusual for some to predict that this will be where the growth in the global economy will come from over the next thirty years. ACTION: Plan for leaders responsible for the global employer brand strategy to visit regions where the company has operations to conduct faceface meetings with regional staff and to build engagement with the global strategy. Support leaders who will be away from the office for extended periods of time. Assess technological needs to facilitate employees or contractors working outside the office. Focus on the experience and engagement will follow It is well reported that employee engagement is in decline in many companies, moreso following the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) in 2008 when companies were laying off thousands of workers, freezing wages and focusing on cost cutting at the expense of investment in employee engagement and development initiatives. However this may not be such a bad outcome as it appears from recent reports that engagement programs are no longer having the impact they once did or were promised when sold by consultants eager to meet their monthly budget forecasts. Even though many companies have returned to profit at the same level or higher than 2008, the growth in jobs hasn t kept up at the same pace as it previously did in the recovery following previous recessions. Many companies have returned to profitability and are hoarding cash due to the uncertainty in the global economy or 18 returning it to shareholders who have had lower returns over the past few years. The game has changed and with record levels of unemployment in many parts of the world along with high numbers of youth unemployment, companies are in the midst of a transition to a new landscape where the focus is on doing more with less. This new paradigm is going to need new approaches to talent acquisition and development; it can no longer be undertaken as an operational function. It needs a strategic approach and commitment from Executives to invest in the future sustainability of their company. Over the past year we ve seen just how quick the speed at which social media has changed the way companies have changed their approach to managing the candidate and customer experience. Early adopter firms like Sodexo, Starbucks and Coca-Cola are now leveraging the benefits of investing in building social media capabilities early on. They realised that social media was not a fad and would become part of the global landscape providing benefits for the employer brand and consumer brands. American big box retailer Best Buy has recently found out just how much influence and reach social media has and how companies can no longer control brand messages to market they once did. Still the best is yet to come with internet penetration rate growth increasing significantly in regions such as Latin America, Africa and the Middle East. It will no longer be a nice to have component of your employer brand strategy, an online positive candidate and customer experience will be a must! ACTION: Conduct an analysis on the
20 employee lifecycle and make changes necessary to ensure an integrated brand experience across the lifecycle. Leverage technology to enable employees to work smarter There are two types of leaders, those that have no time and always say they 19 are busy and those that appear to have all the time in the world at their disposal. The first category is on a never ending search for the next best thing. The latter s thinking is guided by models, frameworks and experiences. There is enough information online to build knowledge and capabilities for those with access to the internet than you could ever realistically consume in your lifetime (or that of your entire workforce!). Train and coach your employees to source original content that is relevant to their stage of development. I believe for many of today s employees and tomorrow s talent pipeline the ipad or the ever increasing number of tablets hitting the market is likely to be recognised