Finding ideas for authentic employer branding campaigns and messages is tough.
January at Beamery is a month of intense planning, so everyone puts their heads together to come up with as many marketing ideas as possible for the coming year. No matter how creative the team, however, by the end of the first couple of weeks, everybody’s brain feels a bit dried out, and we all need to look outside of ourselves and our team to find some inspiration.
While there is a lot more that goes into building and promoting an employer brand than simple ideas, that creative bit is tricky enough on its own.
Below is a totally random list of awesome employer branding ideas, mostly in video format, but not only. Some of them are from large companies with serious resources, but some aspects of their ideas are easy to implement on a budget.
They’re mostly brands and companies who managed to differentiate themselves with clear messaging around what they’re looking for or what they value in employees, and sometimes have interjected an element of fun or emotion in their messaging- when appropriate.
Heineken - Graduate candidates interview
Old but gold: the “Go Places” Heineken Campaign is great inspirational material for a general branding message. We featured it a couple of years ago in another blogpost about great employer branding campaigns. However, while that inspirational and fun kind of message is useful to communicate the overall company brand, the interesting bit is this interview of graduate candidates:
Why is that? Because it is more targeted, features real people, and offers an opportunity for the team to actually engage with viewers who came and looked at that video, or clicked on it in an email and asked questions about it. It’s a great “follow-up” to the more generic employer branding campaign.
If you’re hiring for a particularly hard to fill role type, an interview or a webinar with some of the current employees in that role is easier to put together and more actionable for your recruiting team.
You can offer the contact info of the employees at the end of the video, for example, or invite interested candidates to ask them questions during a live talk or a coffee chat. It does not have to be picture perfect, with lost of fancy visual effects. In some cases, the not-too-professional feel actually helps.
GE Digital - What’s wrong with Owen?
What’s wrong with Owen is a favorite. GE Digital correctly identified that the 125 year old parent company, GE, was a household name with a very, very, very deeply embedded image as a manufacturing giant. Not exactly a young developer’s target employer.
So they attacked this rebranding challenge from two angles: The first one is to provide information, with a video explaining what GE Digital does exactly, the scale of its impact, and how awesome it is in general. That’s what you find on the Culture page of their career site.
The second is to provide entertainment, making sure that people in their target audience actually want to share the content. Not to mention, it creates a positive association with self-deprecating humor, empathy, and other positive feelings.
In the back of the general branding video that communicates around what GE Digital does, the Owen video serves a different purpose and create a more emotional association: “GE is a serious, impressive career path for passionate developers like me, who want to contribute to solving complicated problems at worldwide scale. It’s also not too serious, and people there are capable of humour. I want in.”
Lithium - Employee interviews
Lithium does a lot of your run-of-the-mill culture content around its highly trendy employee lifestyle, like this “Day in the life” video showcasing their perks and office space. The following short interview with the employee of one of their clients, however, is probably much more likely to strike candidates as authentic, especially in this post-Silicon-Valley satirical age.
Durham Police Force - Authentic employer branding level: bodycam.
We talk about the importance of authentic employer branding, but very, very few campaigns go to the level of this ad by the Durham Constabulary. Warning: the footage is a bit graphic.
And while we’re on the subject of police recruitment marketing, here’s a great example of good branding that does not require a video budget: a campaign to hire more women in the Metropolitan Police. Even simple written interviews in pages like this one can have a strong impact on readers. The challenge, of course, is to actually get them in front of the right audience, which is where, unfortunately, video is very helpful.
Animal Humane Society - Putting your best paw forward
Day-in-the-life content is great when it’s authentic, with language that’s not too curated or too fancied-up. Great branding cuts right through to the message, and doesn’t need sophisticated wording or gimmicks.
Two great examples right here:
This vlog on the PanMacmillan career site describing the visit of one of their employees to the Frankfurt Bookmess.
This Day-in-the-life video from the Animal Humane Society, with off-the-charts levels of cuteness from all the animals.
And honestly, if you work with animals and you’re not filming and photographing that, someone should be changing jobs.
The idea, however, is not to go overboard with the puppy videos; it’s more to identify the special stuff about the work your company does, the elements that speak to our human side, and make that as easy to see and empathize with as possible.
Why does it matter so much to design creative and interesting campaigns? Why does employer branding have to go beyond an isolated poster or a generic video on the careers page? Because you can’t rely on isolated pieces of content that don’t create a story or a journey, that don’t offer an opportunity for candidates to learn more, ask questions, and interact. You need to create opportunities for engagement.
Branding is, in a way, the “emotions” part of marketing. Your competition is luring candidates in, not only with facts and numbers, but also with carefully built campaigns designed to build an emotional connection with them. You need to be at least doing the same thing, if not doing better, if you want to be considered by great talent.
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