Don´t tell me who you are show me


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Culture branding is more than your employee ‘reality channel’ for three reasons:

1. Culture branding is not simply documenting what your employees are doing day-to-day, like a security camera capturing unscripted moments. Culture branding must identify the ‘higher idea’ that your employees stand for, and find ways to illuminate and enrich it.

2. By presenting a truer picture of your company to job candidates, you are effectively pre-screening them to find out who will fit in and succeed within your organization.

3. A well-honed culture brand not only excites your future employees, but also rallies and motivates your current workforce. Culture branding asks you to capture the essence of work within your organization to further enrich that ‘ineffable thing’ within your workplace.

To find out more about culture branding, take a read of this ebook.

Don´t tell me who you are show me

  1. don’t tell mewho you are. Show me.
  2. contents p4 Culture branding: just another social recruiting fad? p6 Is this just another marketing exercise? p8 Culture brand: Rackspace p10 Sounds interesting… how to begin2
  3. It may be time to bump your perfectly coiffed‘employer brand’ in favour of all that’sreal and human about your workplace.Sally Hunter, director of KellyOCG’sEMEA practice, and Bill Boorman,founder of #Truevents, explain whyorganisations should consider peelingback their employer brand to reveal the‘culture brand’ hiding underneath. 3
  4. Culture Branding: Just another social recruiting fad? Just when everyone agrees strong and clear employer branding is critical to entice high-value candidates, along comes a new term: ‘culture branding’. Why?4
  5. Many employer brands are simply machinations of marketing, or glossy representations “Employer brandingof your brand that feel too scripted and too perfect. Most job candidates—particularly constitutes what youthe intelligent, leading thinkers in high-demand fields—see through those carefully think about work,crafted messages in the same way consumers at large don’t trust advertising and whereas culture brandingmarketing. ‘Don’t tell me who you are. Show me.’ refers to what you feel about work.”Culture branding is about rubbing off all that formality and polish, and discoveringwhat lies under the surface. What unites your most dedicated employees? What Bill Boorman, Founder of #Truevents and expertmakes working for your company different from others in your industry—not from the in social recruitingperspective of marketers and professional image-makers, but based on what youremployees feel about their daily routines and each other?Above all, your culture brand should be true and meaningful. Any workplace can be‘fun’ and any workforce can have ‘high integrity.’ If you look at your competitors, you’llfind no shortage of banal phrases to describe their organisations. Your culture brandaims to capture some true, ineffable idea about your organisation and employees—one that both job seekers and current employees believe in, respect and want tocontinue to strive for. 5
  6. Is this just another marketing exercise? Why bother? Isn’t culture branding just a different name for employer branding? Just publish some edgy, ‘reality’ interviews and call it a good effort?6
  7. Culture branding is more than your employee ‘reality channel’ for three big reasons:Culture branding is not simply documenting what your employees are doing day-to-day,like a security camera capturing unscripted moments. Culture branding must identify a‘higher idea’ that your employees stand for, and find ways to illuminate it and enrich it.By presenting a truer picture of your company to job candidates, you are effectivelypre-screening them to find out who will fit in and succeed within your organisation.When culture branding is done well, you can predict who is going to get a job basedon which pieces of online content they look at and engage with.Culture branding asks you to capture the essence of work within your organisationin order to further enrich that ‘ineffable thing’ within your workplace. A well-honedculture brand not only excites your future employees, but also rallies and motivatesyour current workforce.Would employees and future job candidates rally around an idea like “FanaticalSupport”? Let’s look at the story of Rackspace and their team of ‘fanatics’… 7
  8. Culture Brand: Rackspace Rackspace is a global IT hosting company that, like many technology companies, is continually in hot pursuit of talented developers, designers and engineers. They have a reputation as an excellent employer, with deep commitment to customer service (or ‘fanatical support’ as they refer to it).8
  9. In 2010, at a time when most technology companies were expanding their social mediamachines using channels like Twitter and Facebook for recruiting, Rackspace decidedon a different tack. Says Michael Long, head of global employment branding initiatives,“My gut told me to hold off… The majority of [social media] approaches I witnessed hada lot to do with simply sharing jobs. While I can understand the natural inclination wouldbe to share ‘opportunities,’ it just didn’t seem to do justice for this much larger pursuit ofsharing our culture.” Give that Culture Brand Some SpaceWhat Rackspace wanted to do was to capture such an authentic snapshot of what it (Online) Rackspace created ais to be a ‘Racker’ (the nickname for Rackspace employees) that candidates would content-rich ‘Rackspaceimmediately know whether they fit in. culture’ site separate from its career site. The career site offers all one would expect:“We should always keep in mind that the most engaged and longest lasting contributors opportunities, how to apply,to our organisations are the ones who fit within our cultures,” explains Long. “Our benefits, etc. The brandgoal should be to accurately depict ourselves knowing good and well that for the right culture site offers a glimpse of real life at Rackspace—allperson, we will absolutely be their best place to work.” the passion and enthusiasm of original Rackers. 9
  10. Culture Brand: Rackspace Long and others at Rackspace wanted to move beyond the idea that Rackspace—along with hundreds of other technology companies—was simply a fun place to work. “A quick search engine dive would, by and large, return pictures of Ping-Pong matches and festive events. While definitely a part of the work environment, this in no way encapsulated the entire picture,” explains Long. In particular, the company wanted to highlight the essence of what makes Rackspace tick: the brilliant minds and eclectic personalities of ‘Rackers.’ The company launched, a microsite that takes a journalistic approach to defining what makes Rackspace a great place to work. The site includes a blog with 60 contributors from four continents, ‘day-in-the-life’ videos and video interviews with employees. The goal: not to over-hype Rackspace, but to capture the essence of the company as it is. Rackspace operates RackerTalent as a content ‘flash mob’—publishing community solicited posts and videos without all the polish and oversight typical in a large corporate blogging endeavor. Culture branding in the ‘castle’ (i.e. Rackspace global headquarters in Texas, inside a former shopping mall), is just as thoughtful and energetic. If it’s true that physical environment shapes culture, then Rackspace is all about creative freedom10
  11. Capturing the essence of the company ‘as it is’. Read a racker blog here.and collaboration. The office has wide open spaces, communal dining rooms, plenty of “The most engagedpersonalised work spaces, and absolutely no closed-off offices. The space is designed to and longest lastingfoster impromptu gatherings, accidental meetings and lots of togetherness. contributors to our organisations are theThe company has designed over 100 employee t-shirts and related swag—all highly ones who fit withinvalued by the employees—to recognise celebrations and special contributions. Our our cultures. Our goalpersonal favourite? The ‘takes one to know one’ shirt awarded to employees who should be to accuratelycontribute to the employee referral program. While these may seem like small details, depict ourselves.”each reinforces the culture brand, energises employees and proudly positions the brandto the outside world. Michael Long, head of global employment branding initiatives at Rackspace 11
  12. Sounds interesting… How to begin First, a company must figure out what higher idea or quality makes its workforce and workplace unique. It should be a concept people can be energised by, and should be employee-driven rather than marketing-driven. With this concept in mind, you must then ensure your ‘shop window’ reflects the idea across every recruiting channel. Your culture brand should be reflected in your online materials, social media channels, brand advocates and every other activity related to recruiting. Next, ensure your culture brand is evident in the lived experience of your employees, every day. Reinforce your culture brand in the physical workplace, your organisational structure and workplace rituals. While your culture brand is defined by what already exists within your organisation, you must also nourish it and improve it to ensure it’s sustainable. Remember, if you want your employees to share their feelings about work across their network, you need to build an environment that encourages people to talk freely and12
  13. share openly. Start by giving permission. Large corporations typically distribute policiesabout communications during onboarding. Communication and social media policiesusually advise employees that permission is always required before speaking on behalf ofthe company. These policies are born from fear, and should be rolled back to encourageyour employees to share your company’s culture with their friends and peers.Finally, build an online community or content site where your employees can sharebrand culture; encourage employees to join and participate in activities like blogging orsocial media chatter. (Of course before creating and releasing content to your website,employees need guidelines and training). With a high-energy, authentic culture brand,and a framework in place for employees to share, they will tell the story of work betterthan any artfully crafted, shiny marketing message. 13
  14. Ultimately, it’s not about changing your culture. It’s about living with it and showing that culture to the world so future employees can make an informed choice about working with you.14
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  16. About the AuthorsSally Hunter is RPO Practice lead EMEA for the Kelly Outsourcing &Consulting Group and is responsible for the RPO proposition from clientrelationships via the account management team to consulting on HRtransformation. Sally has extensive experience in the human capital sector,including leadership positions within strategic account management forstaffing providers to operational delivery.Bill Boorman is something of a recruitment veteran, having worked in theindustry for 25 years. He started as a front line recruiter, then became involvedin training, later becoming Director of Training. Now, as Managing Directorof the Bill Boorman Consultancy, he is specialising in training and businessconsultancy for a wide range of recruiters. Bill is organising and hosting #Tru(The Recruiting Unconference) events around the world.About KellyKelly Services, Inc. (NASDAQ: KELYA, KELYB) is a leader in providing workforce solutions.Kelly® offers a comprehensive array of outsourcing and consulting services as well as world-classstaffing on a temporary, temporary-to-hire and direct-hire basis. Serving clients around the globe, Kellyprovides employment to more than 550,000 employees annually. Revenue in 2011 was $5.6 billion.Visit and connect with us on Facebook, LinkedIn, & Twitter.This information may not be published, broadcast, sold, or otherwise distributed without prior written permission from the authorized party.All trademarks are property of their respective owners. An Equal Opportunity Employer. © 2012 Kelly Services, Inc.