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Employer branding in_the_e-world


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Employer branding in_the_e-world

  2. 2. INTRODUCTION T he e-world presents new opportunities for Online recruits are less patient, often more employer branding previously unimaginable with traditional recruitment methods of print discerning, and more inclined to interact with and onsite visits. Online employer branding potential employers. now offers candidates dynamic, spontaneous, 24/7, two-way communication instead of the The e-world, employer branding and talent previous flat, time-delayed, 9-to-5, one-way recruitment merge, mix and blend to create communication. Innovative, multimedia tools, an online employment campaign. When these such as video clips or social networks, are three ingredients blend successfully, online adding a touch-and-feel reality and candidates respond favorably and engage in authenticity to employers’ brands. Moreover, the recruitment process. Once engaged in the due to worldwide online connectivity, both process, the user’s conscious and unconscious employment career sites and employer experience on the career site will become feedback are now widely available and very their employer brand experience. rapidly disseminated. In this webcast, Shelley Rees, Director of Interactive Strategy for JWT INSIDE, a subsidiary of JWT, the largest advertising agency in the United States, presents a foundation to understanding online employer branding. Rees shares user statistics for employer Web sites, essential features for a positive user experience, and critical Web site mistakes to avoid based on her extensive knowledge and experience. Warren Ashton, Group Marketing Manager for Microsoft Corporation and Kerry Antezana, Creative Director for JWT INSIDE, also present Microsoft’s recent experience launching their new and exciting employer brand, the View<myWorld> campaign. Webcast participants benefit from Ashton’s and Antezana’s perspective on employment market research, their campaign design process, and the fresh, online tools rolled out for View<myWorld> by the JWT INSIDE/Microsoft marketing team. Rees concludes the webcast by encouraging participants to have the courage to try new ideas and to keep in mind the candidate’s user experience when developing employer branding sites. Although the brand needs to be consistent in offline and online presentation, the audience and the dynamics differ. 2 JWT INSIDEBRANDING IN THE E-WORLD EMPLOYER
  3. 3. EMPLOYER WEB SITE USER STATISTICSUnderstanding the behavior and psychologyof job seekers is fundamental to sponsoring a • Too much text scrolling or the text issuccessful employer Web site. Career Web site not structured for easy online readingsuccess improves by: The goal of employer Web sites is different from • Preventing negative user experiences commercial Web sites that drive consumers • Increasing job candidates’ Web site toward a product purchase. Instead, the goal of time and return rate employer Web sites is to attract well-matched • Producing great user experiences talent, excite them and motivate them to apply for employment, initiating the employer’sOnline users typically move quickly from one recruitment process. Employer Web sites nowWeb site to another. If a job seeker enters a generate half of job applications. Whilecareer Web site and has a negative initial consumers generallycomplete their onlineimpression, the employer’s image is damaged purchases during their first or second Web siteand the prospective employee may cross off visit, employment candidates rarely apply untilthe employer from further consideration. they have made multiple Web site visits,According to user statistics, 25 percent of job statistically about six to eight visits prior to anseekers have dropped a company from online employment application.consideration after visiting the Web site. Reesadded that these 25 percent are more likely to Rees recommended increasing job candidates’be discerning people with greater desirability Web site time and return rate. Average visitas hires. Audit of Fortune 500 Web sites, a time to career sites is between six to twelveresearch publication by Forrester, concluded: minutes. Visit times typically increase slightly when Web sites contain video links. BuildingA poor user experience on your Web site career sites with links to a variety oferodes the brand identity of your company — informative media and tools draws job seekerspeople who have a bad experience with a site further into the Web site, more fully engagingassociate it with the company’s brand. them, which in turn increases their time on the Web site and the likelihood of their return toTo prevent a negative user experience on a the Web site, guard against making thesemistakes: Warren Ashton, Group Marketing Manager for • Difficult to navigate with lots of dead Microsoft Corporation, tells recruiters: ends and hard-to-find careers link • Navigation reflects the company’s You don’t have to do ALL the talking. You don’t internal structure rather than being have to be the one doing all the selling all the designed for an outsider’s ease time ... Let the Web site do the talking for • Navigation constantly links the user you. Let some of the experiences and some of out of the career site and into the the things they’re going to see online do some corporate site or sends the user to the of the work for you and make your job a little online application too quickly bit easier. • Technically ‘glitchy’ or incomplete • Fails to be informative or contains too much irrelevant or outdated content • Flat content without video, audio or first-first person profiles 3 JWT INSIDEBRANDING IN THE E-WORLD EMPLOYER
  4. 4. PRODUCING GREAT ONLINE CANDIDATEEXPERIENCEKnowing that the online candidate experience More than information sources, career Webbecomes their employer brand experience, sites are integral segments in the recruitmentsuccessful career sites must deliver a great process. Recognizing the greater process, Reesexperience. What is a great online candidate cautions employers not to push job seekersexperience for talented, tech savvy recruits? toward the online Applicant Tracking System (ATS) too soon.The career site inspires recruits.Recruits find the Web site’s content honest andcredible. The site’s information,organization, ease of use and presentationimpress them. Talented potential hires areable to relate themselves and their future withthis employer.Potential hires interact on the career site withpeers and recruiters within the company.Web 2.0 tools woven into the career siteencourage potential hires to stay longer andfrequently return to the site. Interactivedialogue is readily available with companypersonnel, both career peers and employmentrecruiters. Links to podcasts, video clips, chatrooms or blogs engage potential hires anddemystify the company’s history, culture andfuture opportunities.The employer’s online brand builds confidencein well-matched job seekers and filters outpoorly matched prospects.Effective career sites not only answer jobseekers questions about job openings, butthey also guide prospects toward personaldiscernment and taking action. Well-matchedjob seekers that are likely to fit in and thrivewithin the company are encouraged to applyand initiate the match making. Preferably, thecareer site also filters out unsuitable prospectsthrough self-realization of the mismatch anddiscouraging their applications. 4 JWT INSIDEBRANDING IN THE E-WORLD EMPLOYER
  5. 5. EMPLOYER BRANDING AND THE WEB 2.0POWER SHIFTCompany marketing departments, talentrecruiters, advertising agencies, creativedirectors and IT consultants brainstorm,research, design, develop, test, tweak, launchand troubleshoot for online employerbranding. Meanwhile, the public comments,discusses and reviews every move of thesecompanies in open, online forums with Web2.0 tools, such as blogs, social networks, chatrooms and wikis.Public online postings on corporate businessesare easily accessible with basic skills and greatonline search engines, such as Google. Theimpact of online postings should not beunderestimated. Employers need to respectthe power gained by applicants through theironline connections. Whether companies like itor not, people are talking about them onlineand forming their opinions through dialogue Figure 1with others. For this reason, Rees advisescompanies to recognize their lack of control ofonline generated opinion (Figure 1). Instead,she suggests that companies actively influencepublic opinion by observing, listening andjoining the live, online forum.A great example of what NOT to do involvesthe major British bookseller, Waterstone, theUK equivalent of Borders Books. A Waterstoneemployee wrote something negative abouttheir employer on a blog, and the companyfired the employee. News of the critical blogand the termination became an enormousonline backlash for Waterstone. Overnight,they became well known for censoring theiremployees in their private lives (Figure 2).Now, when a prospective Waterstone hiregoogles the company, one of the top hits willbe the censored and fired employee — notgood PR for employee recruitment. Figure 2 5 JWT INSIDEBRANDING IN THE E-WORLD EMPLOYER
  6. 6. MICROSOFT’S ONLINE EMPLOYER BRANDAsk a young, talented techie to describeMicrosoft as an employer — their descriptors • Turned off or tuned out by marketingare likely to include: spin • Want to talk with fellow technical staff • Giant and stable on a peer-to-peer level, such as one • Corporate and bureaucratic game tester talking to another game • Old school and not cutting edge or tester creative • Demand transparency and online inter actionsWhen Microsoft recruiters courted thesetechies, they would sometimes ask recruiters, Their research also found that Microsoft’s online“Why would I want to work for Microsoft, for employer branding needed the following criteria:such a large corporation, or move toWashington State?” • Eliminate “marketing” • Embrace authenticityAlthough Microsoft’s company brand is • Ensure technical proficiencyrecognized worldwide, they sought a new • Demonstrate innovationemployer brand expressing an image of • Utilize Web 2.0 features and ideassurprise, freshness and creativity for use in • Engage and excite an extremely savvytoday’s hot, competitive market for core-tech audiencetechnical talent. The creative team of JWTINSIDE and Microsoft Corporation set out to The creative team defined “Getting Real” asdevelop a cohesive employer brand focused the campaign’s tone and arrived at three coreon recruiting the best and brightest available ideas for technical employment branding to bepeople with rich technical backgrounds. contained in all Microsoft technical recruitment communications, online and offline.The team focused on the needs of coretechnical talent, such as: 1. Work with smart and interesting people. • Developers 2. Create technology that truly impacts • Software testers the world. • System architects 3. Experience unparalleled career • Program managers opportunity.Using focus groups and surveys of Microsoft’s Next, they developed a concise summary statement:technical candidates and new hires, thecreative team conducted research and mes- Come join a unique community of smart andsage testing. Their research identified the fol- passionate people who truly enjoy thelowing traits of core techies: challenge of creating future technology that makes a real impact on how the world lives, • Very interested in being informed and works and plays. less interested in being entertained • Highly passionate about being real • Street smart in their technical skills • Very skeptical and savvy 6 JWT INSIDEBRANDING IN THE E-WORLD EMPLOYER
  7. 7. MICROSOFT’S ONLINE EMPLOYER BRANDTo communicate the tone and core ideas of thenew employer brand, Microsoft decided to havecore techs tell their stories of what it is reallylike to work at Microsoft. This novel strategy isexplained by Gretchen Ledgard, MarketingManager, Microsoft Staffing & Jobs Blogger:Our best evangelists are authentic. A candidatecan spot marketing spin from a mile away. It’sthe passionate, heart-felt conversations thathelp a company come to life through theiremployees. Our goal is to help as many ofthose conversations take place as possible. 7 JWT INSIDEBRANDING IN THE E-WORLD EMPLOYER
  8. 8. VIEW<myWorld> EMPLOYMENT CAMPAIGNThese Microsoft employee stories are The Web site,, featurescombined with the tone, core ideas profiles and stories of real Microsoftand summary statement to produce the employees, such as Hoop, an employee of theView<myWorld> employment campaign. Zune Group.Within the theme of the campaign, the slogan,View<myWorld>, is written in the developer’s These profiles include employees’ photos, fulltribal language of code. The home page of names, position titles, work groups, locationsMicrosoft’s career Web site, viewmyworld. and their transcribed, non-edited, interviewscom, contains the following message (Figure 4). Microsoft took the approach of(Figure 3): complete openness and transparency. Figure 4 Figure 3 Microsoft’s View<myWorld> Web site also contains these Web 2.0 features for theAttention: This site does not have actors pre- profiled employees:tending to be employees. You won’t find fic-tional testimonials or mission statements. This • RSS feeds and links to work group blogsis a candid view of what it’s like to be a techie and personally recommended blogsat Microsoft, from those of us who (Figure 5)actually are. Want to know what we’re • A “forward URL” featureworking on, what we’re excited about and • Search jobs we really think of Microsoft? Let’s talk. • Q&A for top candidate needsIt’s all here.The concept of View<myWorld> includes: • Real employees • Real stories • Nod to code • Personalized “invitation” headers • Click-thru to Web site 8 JWT INSIDEBRANDING IN THE E-WORLD EMPLOYER
  9. 9. VIEW<myWorld> EMPLOYMENT CAMPAIGNMicrosoft’s new employer brandingincorporates all the Web 2.0 tools into theircareer site. Recruiters can now emailinformation to a candidate and “pull fromtheir toolbox” a helpful webcast, blog link orvideo file to attach to the email.All of Microsoft’s recruitment materials for theView<myWorld> brand are consistent onlineand offline. The online materials include: • Banner ads • HTML email templates • Email signatures (Figure 6) • PowerPoint templates Figure 6The offline materials include: • Print ads • Event booths • Posters and banners • Go cards • “Zine”/brochure • Print-ready flyersThe next version, or 2.0 version, ofView<myWorld> is currently being beta testedfor rollout this month. Recruitment contentwill expand to highlight specific peoplebehind individual products and links tocustomized pages for specific business groupswithin Microsoft, such as: • Corporate Research & Development • Entertainment & Devices Division • Microsoft Business Division • Platform & Devices Division • Server & Tools Division • Microsoft Silicon Valley 9 JWT INSIDEBRANDING IN THE E-WORLD EMPLOYER
  10. 10. CONCLUSION O nline career Web sites are courting talented employment prospects who are well matched with the companies. Businesses are translating their company or product brands into analogous online employer brands. Most often, the employer brand and the company brand are very consistent with each other, as well as consistent between offline and online materials. However, in the case of Microsoft’s employer brand, the company supplemented their very recognizable logo, colors and brand identity with some new visual elements and a tone that was fresh territory for the company. This was the driving force behind the launch of their View<myWorld> recruitment campaign. As many companies try to defend themselves from online criticism and live interactive discussions, Microsoft has decided to step out front of this force and feature their own employees linked into the career site and telling their personal stories. These stories and associated interactive tools make the office walls of Microsoft seem transparent so that technical peers can “drop in” and experience what it is “really” like to work at Microsoft. In an effort to hire the best and brightest of both rising and experienced techies, Microsoft has focused their employer brand on candid openness. Computer geeks are no longer dressed in the IBM uniform of white shirts, blue suits and ties. Today’s geeks featured on Microsoft’s career site are dressed in skateboarder shorts, African locks, Goth makeup and lots of blue jeans. It is fun and it is hot to be a geek. Respect their power and remember them as the user of your career site, should you try to hire them. 10 JWT INSIDEBRANDING IN THE E-WORLD EMPLOYER
  11. 11. Based on the Human Capital Institute webcast, Employer Branding in the E-World, June 3, 2008.PRESENTERKerry Antezana Warren Ashton Shelley ReesCreative Director Group Marketing Manager Director, Interactive StrategyJWT INSIDE Microsoft Corporation JWT INSIDEACKNOWLEDGEMENTSThis White Paper is made possible by JWT INSIDE, sponsor of HCI’s Employer Branding Learning Track.ABOUT JWT INSIDEJWT INSIDE helps organizations advance employee engagement through comprehensive advertising,marketing and employee communications services. Measurement tools, consulting resources andstrategic approaches are employed to put the right people in the right jobs and keep the workforceengaged. The agency has 12 offices and 9 satellite locations across North America and internationally.It is a subsidiary of JWT, the largest advertising agency in the United States and the third full-servicenetwork in the world. Its parent company is WPP (NASDAQ:WPPGY). Visit formore information. JWT INSIDE helps organizations advance employee engagement through compre-hensive advertising, marketing and employee 11 JWT INSIDEBRANDING IN THE E-WORLD EMPLOYER