I haven’t spoken enough about employer branding on this blog, yet it deserves some attention. I look at employer branding as the place where marketing and HR meet head on. Today, I want to give you 10 strategies that you can start using to brand your business as a great place to work. I’ll use some of the latest projects going on at EMC to illustrate this for you.
If you’re wondering how this relates to personal branding, it’s the “HR” tentacle in the Octopus Model of Relevancy. As we, personal brands, are trying to position ourselves as worthy for corporations, they are in fact playing the same game.
Disclaimer: I help EMC with their social media and branding efforts.
1. Employer branding group
I think it’s everyone’s job at a company to get involved with branding and social media, but at the largest companies, there should be a group dedicated to it (who owns the brand). EMC has one of these groups and they are charged with furthering the attraction and commitment of Talent to EMC as a place to work. Part of that is making EMC a fun place to work at!
2. EMC Visual Talk Radio
In order to market your employer brand to the outside world, it helps to spread awareness and enthusiasm from within. This is of course much easier when you have around 40,000 employees and although an average of 150 turn into our radio show, they are able to tell more EMC’ers and spread the message. EMC also has an internal social network with over 8,000 employees, who contribute to an endless pool of knowledge and can share comments after each radio show. A “Calendar of Cool” wiki is used to highlight upcoming events and there are about 600 replay’s of the shows to date.
There have been seven radio shows so far, and we’ve had special guests, including some of EMC’s well-known bloggers, such as Steve Todd and Mark Twomey, who is branded as StorageZilla to his peers.
The point of the radio show is to build community (“to help make this large company feel small, like family”) by highlighitng interesting people and thier passions which reflect some of the cool, compelling and challening happenings at EMC. By building community and connecting them with interesting happenings at EMC, we are at the same time engaging the people with the company strategy.
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3. Employee testimonial podcasts
What better way for someone to learn more about what it’s like to work at a company than to have podcasts videos of currently employees. Each employee has a few minutes to describe their EMC story and share it with any and all viewers. The podcasts are important because they give people a look at a company from the eyes of people who live their job each and every day. The podcasts are stored on YouTube of course.
4. Employment branding blog
Polly Pearson is the Vice President of Employment Brand and Strategy Engagement at EMC. She’s also a good friend of mine and I help support many of her initiatives that are named in this post. Her blog posts probably give the best glimpse on the culture of the company, from someone who has been with the company forever (we’re talking when the company’s stock price was over 100!). Her posts are, not surprisingly, are all in support of EMC, BUT she does find time to admit mistakes and issues that have occurred in the past. I don’t know any other Fortune 500 HR executives who blog. Do you? Other EMC bloggers can be found on our community page.
5. Visual identity (branding)
Branding is never complete without some cool imagery. The below image is going to be the next generation of EMC’s employer brand. Isn’t it awesome!? I’m probably biased because of the “You^2” on the upper right corner. From my perspective, it means that “you are apart of EMC” and that “you have the power to help build EMC’s brand with your own brand.” It’s a very powerful message and I hope more companies start focusing on building a brand people take pride in. You can see the start of this branding effort on the main careers section and one of the big ideas is to use younger people photographed to appeal to that generation.
6. Facebook page
EMC is currently working on a Facebook page for the entire company. I’ve already learned a lot about the process and it’s not as simple as it may appear. Anyone can create their own page, but a sponsored page is quite expensive and tedious. Basically it costs between $10 and $30K to have your own page with a few custom applications and then to get a unique url, such that “Facebook.com/corporatename,” it costs at least $50K of advertising money (Facebook social ads). The investment is well worth it because there are over 120 million people on Facebook and you can segment the audience quite easily.
The companies that do this well right now are Dell and Verizon.
7. Twitter careers
This is another project we are currently working on. The idea is that there are over three million Twitter users and a portion of that are looking for jobs. What better way to observe the latest jobs and apply for them then hearing about them using the tool that you are already using? You can contact a few of EMC’s HR superstars, such as Gina Minks, Polly Pearson, Paul Henneke, and Barbara Massa.
8. Virtual world recruiting
EMC first entered Second Life in August of 2007. On October 25, 2007, EMC held it’s first career fair in Second Life. EMC recruiters and hiring managers conducted a virtual career fair in this 3D online environment. Selected candidates could interview online for EMC positions in marketing, technology and sales. The result was that we recruited two new hires, a developer with a key IT skill set and a financial controller. In terms of PR, the event was covered by NPR, among many other mainstream channels.
9. Job podcasting
I don’t know about you, but I’d rather listen and visualize a job opening rather than using a job board. EMC recently experimented with job podcasting, which allows the hiring manager to actually talk about the job opening. The hiring manager can bring the job to life and paint the picture in the perspective job applicants mind. I think this is a very effective way of selling a hard-to-fill job opening and a more personal approach.
10. Sex appeal and humor
Mozy, an EMC Company, just filmed a series of commercials, using iJustine as a spokeswoman for their online backup product. Dave Robinson, Mozy’s VP of Marketing, led this effort and did an excellent job. The commercials are geared to the general public and they are very funny. iJustine has some great sex appeal and since she’s also in the “tech geek” tribe, it works out very well for trying to mass-market this project.