An Employer Branding strategy for the Polish branch of an American technology company
The Polish branches of foreign companies can be found regularly in Cracow and other large cities of Poland. This client is one of such branches, or more precisely, the so-called “IT hub”, which is a technological team of a global product company with its headquarters in the United States.
As part of our cooperation we have developed an extensive Employer Branding Strategy, which covered recommendations for recruitment, internal employer branding and external employer branding.
The issues and challenges the client had to face:
- expanding the team by adding developers who match the company’s organizational culture,
- no coherent vision for employer branding activities,
- dynamic changes in the company’s structure.
The cooperation process
Our cooperation took 5 weeks, during which we have been through the strategic process of employer branding activities.
We carried out:
- a kick-off workshop,
- in-depth interviews with the team,
- 2 research workshops,
- a quantitative study of competition and market analysis,
- SWOT analysis as well as channels and job offers analysis.
As a result, we have defined:
- Employer Value Proposition,
- communication channels,
- Key Selling Points,
- recommendations and priorities.
Sprints 1-2: Research
The kick-off workshop
The kick-off workshop is always a key aspect of the process for us. It allows us to get to know the company, its employees and its values better and to set the goals of our cooperation together.
This time, apart from Team Canvas, we used our own Recruitment Model Canvas, on which we mapped, among the others:
- who the company wants to hire,
- how the company acquires candidates,
- which benefits are offered.
Who did we invite to a kick-off workshop on employer branding?
- The Project Manager;
- The Head of the IT department;
- The Scrum Master;
- The recruiters.
Long story short – the people we have directly worked with and those participating in employer branding activities.
In-depth interviews with the team
We also conducted in-depth interviews with each person who attended the kick-off workshop. Moreover, we also interviewed the CTO, the Global Recruitment Manager and the Office Manager.
We asked, for example, about:
- what the recruitment process looks like,
- how the company is perceived by the candidates,
- how the candidates know the brand,
- what are the strengths of the company,
- what needs to be improved.
In-depth interviews are a key element of the process for us. The answers we receive help us to understand:
- the position of the brand on the market,
- team issues,
- distinguishing features of the employer and decision-making factors.
The research workshop
The research process could not be considered as finished without the research with the concerned, in this case – the developers themselves.
First, we focused on a research workshop, designed specifically for this client.
We gathered a group of developers and testers from different departments of the company to work out:
- Employee Value Proposition of the company,
- effective communication channels,
- the company’s strengths as an employer.
During these workshops we have used 2 methods:
- World Cafe,
- Design Studio.
What was significant for us? Developing specific materials that would later be used as an inspiration. These were e.g. the mock-ups of a career page or content for social media.
Qualitative methods, such as the interviews or workshops are highly valuable, however, for proper validation we prove them by means of quantitative studies.
Here we used an online survey, which has been distributed to the company’s employees with a request to fill it in.
In the survey, we investigated such things as:
- the use of benefits,
- acquiring technical knowledge,
- the desire to recommend the company to a friend – the so-called eNPS.
The latter is something worth a special consideration. Most people associate NPS, or Net Promoter Score, which describes the satisfaction of using specific services/products and recommending them to friends.
The eNPS on the other hand is focused on satisfaction with the employer and the willingness to recommend the employer to a friend.
Our client’s eNPS result was… really, really good! We won’t disclose any details, but it was higher than those of the technological giants, known for their very good care of employees. Huge kudos!
The Recruitment Journey Map Workshop
We already had a lot of conclusions and recommendations from the previous steps, but we were missing the knowledge about the recruitment process carried out in the company of this client.
Along with 2 recruiters we conducted a workshop where we mapped out the entire recruitment path. Not only the candidate’s path (Candidate Journey Map), but the whole recruitment process, including recruitment marketing activities or onboarding.
This has given us a great insight into the strength of the recruitment team and where a greater effort is needed.
Sprints 3-4: The analysis
Communication channel analysis
As part of the audit of communication channels, we analyzed:
- the company profile on Facebook,
- the company profile on Instagram,
- job advertisements and the profiles on job boards.
What were we focused on?
- the frequency of the materials shared,
- the quality of visual materials,
- matching of the text and format to a specific medium,
- content marketing and recruitment marketing,
- the attractiveness of job advertisements,
- the visibility of Employer Value Proposition and Key Selling Points.
What’s important, apart from the analyses and recommendations, we have presented finished materials and visualizations, which could even be used by the client right away. Such materials are examples of social media posts including graphics, or a job advertisement.
We have analyzed the activities of some of the client’s largest competitors when it comes to recruiting specific IT specialists in Cracow.
We focused on such elements as:
- communication channels,
- recruitment campaigns,
- the use of personal branding,
- using company channels for recruitment purposes.
Competition analysis is one of the validation methods for us. In this case we have confirmed, for example, the hypothesis concerning the use of a very specific medium, exploited by all the competitors we have investigated.
And this is just one of the highlights. Analysis of the competitors’ actions is worth it!
Analyzing the market in terms of recruitment and EB is extremely interesting! Market data can hide many interesting insights. You just need to know… where to look. And what to look for!
We focused on 3 main aspects:
- The communities and events for developers from specific technologies that concern our client,
- The job advertisements related to the industry and main technology in which the client operates,
- Salary ranges on the market.
The SWOT analysis
The SWOT analysis sums up the knowledge we have gained from our previous activities.
This combination makes us see all of the:
Importantly, we also recognize the proportions between these indicators, while not forgetting the greater or lesser impact each of them has on the business.
Based on the SWOT analysis we pick the right strategy type.
Sprint 5: The strategy
The final sprint is dedicated to collecting all conclusions and recommendations, visualizing them in the form of a strategic document and presenting the whole concept to the client’s team.
In the strategic part we have presented such elements as:
- the developed Employer Value Proposition,
- the strategic goals,
- the main principles of the strategy,
- communication channels,
- recruitment funnel…
- and many others 🙂
Employer Value Proposition
What is the employer value proposition? We define it as a statement that your competitor is unable to say about his company (unless he’s lying 😉 ).
If your competitor can say exactly the same thing about their company which you keep communicating (and which is true) – it’s not unique.
Frequently encountered “foozles” when it comes to brand distinguishing features are e.g:
- a wonderful atmosphere,
- a terrific team.
As you can see, they are not unique 🙂 And they did occur in the case of this client.
Luckily, this is what we, as experts on the subject, are here to not only explore the EVP among the employees, but also to analyze it, deepen it, draw conclusions and define a truly unique value proposition.
For this client we recommended a few extra employer branding tactics that will definitely improve the effectiveness of the recruitment process and support the company in finding the right candidates.
A few of the above mentioned tactics include:
- Employee Advocacy,
- Alumni Advocacy,
- increasing the number of reviews about the company.
We have also designed a career subpage with information architecture and style matching the global version of the website.
We have arranged all recommendations and tactics in the MoSCoW model in order to prioritize them.
Let’s not forget about measuring the recommended activities.
We have suggested several tracking indicators, divided into 3 different categories:
- Internal Employer Branding,
- External Employer Branding.
Poland vs. the USA
The client’s company originally comes from the USA and has opened one of its branches in Poland.
We have decided to identify the recommendations that the company can also apply in the United States and those to be implemented only in Poland.
The times when we were developing this strategy were… extraordinary.
We started when everything was OK and finished when the coronavirus pandemic in Poland was spreading.
Apart from the above mentioned employer branding strategy, we have also prepared recommendations for the client, related particularly to the pandemics, divided into 3 categories:
- taking care of the welfare of employees,
- internal communication,
- using the situation for recruitment purposes.
Summary of activities
Tools, methods and techniques used in the project
- Google surveys;
- In-depth interviews;
- Recruitment funnel;
- Recruitment Model Canvas;
- Team Canvas.
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