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World Employer Branding Day – the highlights package

3 min read.



Employer Branding

If you didn’t make it to World Employer Branding Day in Amsterdam, we’ve put together a highlight reel of this year’s conference, so you know what to expect when you definitely, definitely go next year…

The annual World Employer Branding Day conference in Amsterdam brought together employer branding experts, TA leaders and recruiters to discuss the latest trends and strategies for building strong employer brands.

This year’s event explored themes such as closer collaboration between marketing and HR teams; strengthening the connection with consumer branding; cross-team cooperation and collaboration, and evolving employer brand as an industry through training and advocacy.

Amid plenty of networking and gladhanding the speaker programme was packed with examples of successful employer branding strategies, suitably impressive metrics, and new ways of approaching familiar problems.

Talking TikTok

In the clamour to reach new audiences and resonate with younger talent, video content creation platform, TikTok has craned the necks of leaders looking to see what all the fuss is about. The popularity of #worktok (2 billion views and counting) and the way it resonates with a Gen Z in particular, meant any intelligence about the platform was always going to go down well.

Tom Pattison, TikTok’s employer branding strategy lead, reinforced the case for using video shorts in your EB strategy with several useful tips including:

Use platform trends as an entry point:

  • Let the community help you with new ideas
  • Remember to be selective, with value to add
  • Be time conscious to jump in on the action

Choose an ownable tone of voice:

  • How does your brand translate into the form?
  • Find your niche to build community
  • Don’t get complacent and keep shaking things up

And of course, have fun. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Experiment and do what feels right for you and your brand.

It's the Lidl things

Catherine Gouw, Head of Employer Branding International at German supermarket giant Lidl, explained how the firm put together a new EB strategy that bridged a perception gap that existed between employees and candidates to create a unified brand that was eventually rolled out across 32 countries.

Extensive research through surveys and studies as part of a data-driven strategy produced analytics that outlined both the candidate and employee experience and helped create a more open approach to internal working, with less ‘siloed’ thinking.

Danish block building legend (and enemy of barefooted parents the world over), Lego, outlined its employer brand strategy via the medium of Global Employer Brand and Talent Acquisition lead, Andy Paterson.

The toy giant opened itself up for content submissions from colleagues which generated 900 videos and photos from 300 different team members across all its regions.

It helped build the firm’s ‘big idea’ which was to base an employer brand framework around its existing brand values such as imagination; fun; creativity; caring; learning and quality, using children as role models.

The firm reviewed every part of the candidate journey and built a candidate promise around those values, creating five Just Imagine playbooks with tone of voice guidance, content style guides, event assets and a talent partner narrative guide.

In the first quarter of 2023, compared to 2022, the Lego Group on LinkedIn saw a 105% increase in sponsored content impressions; a 95% rise in job-apply clicks; a 102% increase in views of its Life pages – 25% higher than their main competitors; a 21.2% influenced hire rate uptick and a 20% increase since 2020 of influenced hires. You get the picture. It worked.

Landor and Fitch argued that whilst companies continue to pursue tech solutions, success in talent attraction depends on placing humanity at the centre of any strategy. Unifying internal and external messaging and cross team working was also a pillar.

Acces all areas

Kaufland, part of the same supermarket group as Lidl, outlined its efforts to attract people with disabilities to its team through its Acces programme.

Through identifying specific roles; recruiting on dedicated channels; training managers to interview disabled candidates and organising online training and workshops for employees to learn how to communicate with new colleagues, the group achieved stellar results which lead to the recruitment of more than 450 people with disabilities with an ambition to fill another 500 such roles.

Customers were also placed front and centre of the project through the creation of multi-coloured shopping trolleys that featured personalised stories around gender equality, disability inclusion, age diversity and cultural acceptance. For a month, some 140,000 customers came into contact with the messaging.

#KauflandDanceTalk was a great example of how to use TikTok for employer branding. A dance tutorial that offered prizes contained elements of sign language and formed a recruitment message for people with hearing impairments, to join #TeamKaufland.

It achieved more than 20m views on TikTok with 150 Gen Z dancers participating. It also resulted in a 20% rise in inclusive job applicants.

Cameron Brain, CEO & Co-Founder of brand advocacy platform Everyone Social demonstrated the power of employee advocacy with three key takeaways:

  • Align with your CEO’s top priority - people.
  • Executives, recruitment managers and leaders should collaborate.
  • Prioritise distribution over content.

People engage with people and networks. So, prioritise people, he recommended.

Lastly, Brett Minchington, head of Employer Branding College, organiser of World Employer Branding Day, talked about how to evolve the employer branding sector through building stronger strategic capability,

In his EB rallying call he made three recommendations:

  • Take charge of your own employer brand leadership development
  • Advocate for the employer branding industry
  • Talk the language of Executives and shine the spotlight on them.
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