Archive for Internal Comms

It’s all about the uniqueness… of your employer brand

These days it’s hard for an employer brand to stand out. Everyone wants to be seen as a Great Place To Work, naturally. EVPs seemingly aren’t USPs any more but generic lists of corporate buzzwords that everyone uses. And portraying a unique brand across social media is a challenge in itself.

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With EAT. the employer brand came from the brand values – we’ve covered that before the last CIPD RMAs when it was voted Best Employer Brand. Since then, for the last 2 years, that brand has been ‘living’ across social media. Unique hashtags have bought it, and more relevantly, the recruitment needs to life. Everything from Airport vacancies to students for part-time positions, have been ‘advertised’. Eash with their own unique theme, but every one reinforcing and building on the overall employer brand. Gone are the old skool days of separate campaigns, that used to appear in the press, which were unrelated to the main recruitment strategy because they were for ‘difficult to recruit’ skills/areas. Nowadays, it should be seamless. There are too many different channels to keep using different messages. It’s so easy to do that. But it’s so confusing. It might be hard work to keep the brand consistent but it’s so worth it.

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But what about an employer without a real image? How about one with famous brands? Mr Muscle. Toilet Duck. Glade. We’ve all heard of those brands but the company behind them? That’s SC Johnson. A worldwide FMCG business that has always cared for the environment and its people – way before it was the popular thing to do. They have a truly unique culture. The people who work for SCJ are given huge responsibility and are empowered to work with an integrity that runs to the core of the entire business. That’s a real USP.

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One that we demonstrated through ‘Responsible Careers’. Their people sold the business – no corporate fluff. That demonstrates real responsibility. Infographic animations created a unique presentation. SCintillating facts revealed on the website reinforced their difference as an employer. A visual style that went through everything from attraction to internal comms to employee birthday cards and a celebration cake. That’s how an employer brand can say a lot.

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So, think what your EVP says about you. Look at what your employer brand implies. Now does all of that come across in everything that you do?

EAT is shortlisted in Best use of Digital Media in Recruitment at the Digiawards tonight. Then tomorrow at the CIPD Recruitment Marketing Awards, the EAT #hashtag campaigns are shortlisted in Best use of Social Media, while SC Johnson is in contention for the Best Employer Brand category. Everything is crossed.

How we put the social into recruiting…engagement for Paul UK

The third in our week of blogs about the ‘socialness’ of recruitment – inspired by our shortlist inclusions at the RAD Awards 2011:

Employee engagement in retail can be seen as the Holy Grail. How do you involve and communicate to a workforce who aren’t sat at a desk and tied to a computer? Engendering a positive feeling when the recession has slowed any planned expansion (and possible career progression/satisfaction). That was the brief from Paul UK – the French bakery and patisserie brand who are renowned for their premium, quality bread, sandwiches and cakes across London.

Our answer, after much research and feedback from employees, was an internal comms strategy that represented the Paul ‘way’ to a tee – Quality takes Time. Encompassing the overall philosophy and culture of the company – where every sandwich, loaf and pastry is lovingly, hand-made in each store every day and the customer experience is the traditional, personal kind that reflects the old-fashioned service values of yesteryear.

The communications needed to create discussion and interest amongst everyone who worked there – in the stores, the kitchens and head office. So ‘social media’ was out, as we wanted this to happen at work, not at home on a laptop.

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The launch answer was the Paul Rubiks cube. The perfect representation of all six sides of the six Paul values and, literally, a hands-on demonstration of how Quality takes Time – literally.

How could it not be talked about? Even if it was just to complain that it couldn’t be completed? Which of course it could – but like ‘quality’ it just ‘takes time’. So it started discussions about, and around, the business and reminded everyone why they had joined the company in the first place. And, more importantly, why it still offered a truly, worthwhile career.

This RAD Entry made the shortlist for Employee Communications and, of course, our “Not a RADs Nomination but we like it, Uh Uh” list.

How we create the whole recruitment experience…Internal comms

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The first in our week of blogs about all aspects of recruitment as demonstrated by our nominations at the CIPD Recruitment Marketing Awards 2010:

Paul UK, for those not in the know, are a French bakery and patisserie brand selling premium, quality bread, sandwiches and cakes from stores across London. The produce is all hand-made and the majority is produced fresh in each store every day. (The rest is produced in their own private bakery.) The customer service (and values of the business) revolves around the traditional, personal service that used to be the norm in your local shops.

As you can imagine, the recession slowed their planned expansion – especially with their prominence in Square Mile locations. The business wanted to keep their people highly motivated and involved in the business ready for when their plans could go full ahead again. That time being now.

Together with the management and HR of Paul, after some research and feedback from employees, we helped to create an internal comms strategy – Quality takes Time – to encompass the overall philosophy and culture of the company.

Using, what these days most would recommend without thinking, social media was discussed but discounted as most Paul People are obviously shop/kitchen based without any need for using on-line during working hours. And as the key requirement was that communications created discussion/interest amongst their working peers – not on their own at home on a laptop, for instance – this meant utilising something more ‘traditional’.

So to bring the strategy to life, the first piece produced was the Paul Rubiks. It was a real representation of all six sides of the six Paul values with a real, hands-on demonstration of how Quality takes Time – literally. (Do you realise how long it can take to complete a Rubik cube?) It also portrayed/reminded everyone of the Paul culture – one that is slightly eccentric, kooky and playful.

What did it achieve? Naturally, it generated discussion. The hands-on activity of trying to fit the values together to make a ‘whole’ – exactly the skills and attributes Paul want from their people – created the expected interest. The memorable way excited new recruits and established employees to think more about what Paul was all about and why its plans were worth waiting for.

And that’s why we’ve got our fingers crossed for the Best Internal Recruitment Communications on Wednesday night.

How we create the whole recruitment experience…to be continued

Next week on Wednesday is the awards night of the 30th CIPD Recruitment Marketing Awards. We at andsome with our clients ITV, Nando’s, Paul UK and Zizzi are all lucky enough to have five nominations on the night. And they’re not in what we call the ‘beauty’ awards such as Best Art Direction or Best Website.

No, they’re in the more ‘serious’ business-related categories of Best Internal Recruitment Communication, Best Employer Brand, Recruitment Effectiveness, Diversity and Best Candidate Experience. These categories are the one’s that show how client and agency can work together to create recruitment that attracts, engages and successfully recruits in an effective way. That’s why we’re always prouder to be nominated for (and maybe even win) these than the others. We love using our creativity but the true measure of it is when its effectiveness is proof of its success.

So in celebration, every day next week we’re going to blog about each one of these areas. We’ll show some of the nominated work and talk about their whats, hows, and whys.

And who knows, after Wednesday some of them may have even gone one better than being ‘on the shortlist’. Here’s hoping.