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To rank amongst the best workplaces, companies need a very clear employer branding strategy. The conference held at ESADE Madrid examined real-life cases of companies using this strategy successfully.
Many companies want to reach the higher echelons of best employer rankings, but very few make it. The conference held by the ESADE Alumni People Management and Organisation Club on March 29 in Madrid examined real-life success stories.
The case studies were presented by Rafael Rodríguez, e-marketing manager at Acciona; Gerardo Lara, HR innovation and development manager at Sacyr; and Javier Mourelo (AMP 11), personnel manager at Kreab. The three explained how their companies have implemented an employer branding strategy based on the combined efforts of their marketing and HR departments.
David Novoa (PMD 11), board member of the ESADE Alumni People Management and Organization Club, welcomed those present and thanked the event sponsor, Mercer, for their support.
All three speakers emphasised the importance of people as the focal point of an employer branding strategy. The ability to treat workers and candidates like customers is one of the secrets of first-rate employers. A company’s employees are its best spokespersons and employees who are motivated and proud to belong to a company will be its best ambassadors. The focus must be on people in theory – and in practice. Rafael Rodríguez explained that Acciona’s claim – Your talent for a sustainable future – focuses on people. ''This message appears in all our communications. We also use photos of real company workers to create closer links and convey our values realistically.''
The same applies to candidates. Someone treated well during a recruitment process will speak highly of the company, regardless of whether they get the job. ''The usual mistake is to give candidates no feedback, but it is very easy to let them know about their application by phone or email or Whatsapp. This earns brownie points for employers,'' said Javier Mourelo.
Another key factor mentioned during the conference was the importance of having corporate values and getting everyone to espouse them. Gerardo Lara explained that innovation, optimism, the ability to work in a team and have a global outlook are the four values that constitute the DNA of everyone at Sacyr. ''We work hard to assimilate and apply these values and get all our professionals to champion them. These are the values of Sacyr employees and the ones we look for in candidates.''
The internet offers great ways of enhancing employer branding. Websites, blogs, social media, apps and e-newsletters are vehicles for communicating achievements and brand values and developing strategies for candidates. This makes it possible to offer candidates a plus and thereby attract the best talent. ''What matters most is to provide lots of content and useful information on line. It is important, for example, for candidates to be able to read about employment trends on our blog. All this content must, of course, be part of a real content creation strategy. It requires a lot of work and must not be left to people not prepared for it. It’s also necessary to innovate and provide content in all sorts of formats, such as the 360 videos now trending'' said Rafael Rodríguez.
Gamification is another aspect of new technologies that helps create a positive image for employers. Apps with game elements are very appealing to people looking for information about a company with a view to joining it. ''One fun initiative that we’ve launched in Sacyr is a blog called ''A penguin in the digital age'' where candidates can say whether they think the penguin will find a job or not. Another example is ''Sacyr people around the globe'', a programme on our YouTube channel showing videos of employees all over the world who introduce themselves and explain what their international experience is like. We also have a Trivial quiz about Sacyr for candidates, and more,'' said Gerardo Lara.
Javier Mourelo wound up the conference with some interesting facts such as 70% of employees are not committed enough to the company where they work, according to a McKinsey survey. The first thing in this case is to use transparency, honesty and communication to find out why, and then take steps to remedy the situation. ''This is the only way to improve the brand image, reduce staff turnover and the increase corporate revenue.''
See you there!
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