Coffee itself does not, however, seem to be the main selling point of the brand. Starbucks is mainly a brand that carries positive connotations. Starbucks is values – a bit of those, that company espouses itself, and a bit of those that customers believe it does. In the words of Schultz: “If people believe they share values with a company they will stay loyal to the brand”.
Clients expect some cohesion of their values with those of the company. This makes it easier and more likely that the customer returns. Similar with candidates and employees – but here the symbiosis must preferably be even closer. This is why Employer Branding – the process of defining a unique message from our company as an employer – is crucial for the functioning of successful companies.
Among Polish entrepreneurs, the awareness that maintaining good company image is necessary to fight for specialists is growing steadily. Nonetheless, many times the firms go about this the wrong way! They start with launching dozens of ideas at their marketing skipping crucial elements of building a powerful Employer Brand.
A careful look inside
When creating a social media campaign or other ad types companies often lack the key element. It is a unique message specific to the company. Same goes for job adverts, where sheer numbers make it hard to differentiate yourself from the competition. That’s why it is so important to do some due diligence first. A proper analysis of current assets and strong points the company has must be done. Only then think about using this data to strengthen company image between key target groups.
Such analysis has many benefits. It improves marketing budget management, but it also offers an opportunity to correct aspects of your organizational culture. Any improvement in this area directly affects all current and future team members. The question is – how to go about this analysis and how to start?
We invite you to follow us through the case study of Consdata, a Poznań-based company providing banking software for the biggest corporations in the industry. Its past clients include heavyweights like BZ WBK (now Santander), Payu or mBank. We will show you exactly what we have done together to strengthen Consdata’s brand among developers the company is trying to attract.
Consdata – early analysis
Early into our cooperation, we identified with the Client couple of areas where improvement may be possible. First, the employer brand lacked power and recognition on the local market. Second, the developer team’s potential to promote the brand was underutilized, and the job referral program did not yet bring anticipated results. Third, the company needed a long-term Employer Branding strategy.
After the starting consultations, we proposed V2MOM workshops to Consdata. Their main goal was to critically analyze the current state of Employer Branding activities. We also tried to identify both strong and weak sides of company organizational culture. This identified at which point in organizational life-cycle of the organization Consdata was at that time. Armed with this knowledge, we could move on to crafting brand goals and fixing an action plan for those targets.
The workshops were located away from the company site – at an isolated location, where no daily distractions could diminish group effort. It is also easier to look at things from a different perspective when you are simply away. The meetings were attended by executives and HR team members and were led by Zuzanna Woźniak-Przybyszewska and Aleksandra Pszczoła from Bee Talents.
We decided to split workshops into two parts – a creative segment, where participants were forced to look deeper inside the long-term outlook and goals of their organization. Candid discussion between different teams was needed – we asked them to express clearly what their mutual expectations were. The executives, on the other hand, were also asked to delineate what they think should be expected from themselves. Finally, analysis of the internal dynamics and duty division between executives was carefully performed. The second part of the workshop was dedicated to creating an action plan using gathered insights.
It is noteworthy, that V2MOM workshops are very often a good opportunity for the board or founders of smaller companies to start dealing with deeper issues their organizations may have. In such companies, the daily buzz rarely allows for a breather! Let alone a productive and structured one, that would enable the creation of a long-term strategy. A step back can get the company on the right track. Countless costly decisions by executives harm their companies because the direction of the company was guided more by inertia than the actual target.
After the workshops
In the wake of V2MOM, our clients receive a set of recommendations, after which they can decide on their own if and how our cooperation will proceed. Consdata decided that constant consulting cooperation is necessary. We settled on one to two days a week for 6 months, where our consultant would be present onsite. As a result, we compiled a list of metrics, to collect more data and track progress. Office Vibe tool was chosen to facilitate most of this process inside Consdata.
Consdata’s assets were compiled, and furthermore, in the light of V2MOM the company decided that foundations of Employer Brand should be implemented with our assistance. The final result of this is improving outside communication and messaging by the company to the relevant groups. And that, in essence, is Employer Branding – working out and structuring values, vision, and goals of the company – and also using available assets to promote those values.
What we achieved
Together with the client, we set up the metrics. First up – the three key ones – Alignment, Ambassadorship, and Recognition. Alignment is the degree to which your employees understand and identify with the mission, vision, values and social responsibility of the company. The second metric, Ambassadorship, informs us how proud of the organization its members are, and how likely are they to be public advocates of the employer brand. Finally Recognition, which is both subjective and measurable appreciation of team member’s work. For example, is feedback given often, and is it well received? Do employees feel a vital part of the team?
Other metrics were taken under a watchful eye as well – including Engagement (level of personal commitment by team members to specific tasks), Personal Growth and team Net Promoter Score (NPS).
To achieve desired goals together with Consdata we moved towards completing the following activities (among others):
- We worked out the foundations of Consdata’s Employer Branding (EB) scheme. On top of that, we planned and executed the communication of EB to the team (Alignment). The goal was to modify how employees relate to the company, its mission, vision, and values.
- We analyzed previous Office Vibe tool results (i.e. employee morale and their opinion of the company). Based on the results, we crafted a follow-up strategy.
- We assisted in creating a dedicated group of problem solvers called the architects inside the developer team. Among its goals was to facilitate the growth of technical competencies in the team, and structuring the path of bringing new ideas for personal development (Engagement).
- The architects created an employee competencies matrix, and together we rebuilt the process of periodical assessments (Personal Growth).
- We created a detailed Employer Branding activities plan for the following year (Engagement, NPS score)
Results – a stronger Employer Brand
After half a year of cooperation, we achieved the desired goals with the client. The NPS score and relevant results from Office Vibe grew considerably, increasing the likelihood that the company will be seen positively or recommended by developers at different points of contact. It also strengthened Consdata’s employer brand on the local market. This resulted in a higher number of well-qualified applications for job openings, especially from inside referrals.
Finally, the company got a better awareness of its assets and learned to exploit those more effectively in outbound communication.
Working with Consdata was a rewarding experience and we were glad to get to know with their capable team. Thanks to our regular presence on-site we could get to know the company thoroughly. However, we still could analyze its practices and structure with a watchful eye of an outsider.
A final thought – not every company has the ability to possess every necessary competency and skill inside the organization – at least, not in a financially viable way. Using outside contractors is standard in dozens of areas of business. Generally, HR consultants can bring expertise that especially mid-sized and smaller organizations rarely can afford. Consultants, auditors, and coaches exist for this very reason – to allow organizations to outgrow their yesterday’s self.