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The Power of Transparency: Employer Branding at Dell

A strong employer brand can be a key differentiator when a top candidate is looking at prospective employers.

There are lots of companies that are already doing a great job at attracting (and retaining) talent and their employer branding efforts are a critical piece of the puzzle.

We interviewed Jennifer Newbill, who leads the Global Employer Brand team at Dell. This conversation was a great opportunity to learn about how the company approaches talent attraction and brand building.

Here’s what she shared about employer branding at Dell.

How has your role as Director of Global Employer Brand changed over time?

My role was originally an individual contributor! To begin with, I was the only person in a full time employment branding position.

I have been lucky to build a global team that can manage our relationship with our in-house creative agency, all of our internal and external digital properties, content creation, storytelling/blogging, candidate experience and measuring results including sentiment.

How is the Employer Brand team at Dell set up?

The Employer Brand team is part of our Global Talent Acquisition Center of Excellence that manages all processes, standards, policies and programs.

The team consists of a leader, a global project and programs lead, four regional engagement and social media community leads and a global online editor who is responsible for all digital maintenance on both internal and external properties.

Dell Employer Branding Team

Can you talk a bit about Dell’s employer brand strategy – what tactics have been successful?

Transparency has been central to the way we’ve marketed our employer brand. We’re very active on Glassdoor, (something that our CHRO is a huge proponent of) and we respond to as many reviewers as possible. Last year, we responded to over 400 reviews globally.

We’re also pretty excited about the results that we’ve been getting from our “Instagram takeovers” and we’ve gotten great feedback from our recruiting leaders around the world.

How are you using Instagram for employer branding?

We’ve only done a few “Instagram takeovers” so far so we are still very much in ‘learning mode’ here. This is how it’s worked so far though: An employee takes control of our ‘careers’ Instagram account for an entire week and manages all content posting. We have seen as much as double digit organic growth of our account during this time.

Usually, content that is fun and creative performs the best. For example, an employee used a drone to take a photo of him and his colleagues spelling out the word ‘Dell’. The same employee (who is based out of our Panama location) also filmed his commute over one of the Panama locks.

Our Ireland Instagram takeover went over really well with both the local team and leaders, and convinced them that employee generated content is really powerful. The employee who led that takeover also wrote a blog post after the fact about what she got out of the experience – creating even more value.

Dell Celebration

Has the Dell Talent Community been a powerful tool for recruiting?

Our Talent Community has really been the most helpful with driving referrals via our social sharing of jobs (with ease). Referrals are actually a big part of my responsibility at Dell.

We see a close tie with our employee advocacy, brand messaging and the willingness and desire to refer great talent.

What are some of the ways you encourage employee advocacy and referrals?

Dell has a robust global social media training program which encourages our employees to learn and understand the power of being active on social networks.

Once the training is complete, employees are encouraged to attend monthly ’power hour’ and ‘Dell Champion’ calls to engage further, as well as utilize our EveryoneSocial amplification tool to easily share branded content from their personal social media accounts.

We have also demonstrated – via our internal survey – that employees who are socially trained have a higher eNPS (employer net promoter score) score for both recommending Dell products and services and recommending Dell as a great place to work (candidate referrals)!

Dell Awards

What wider industry trends are changing the nature of the role of employer branding?

Measurement continues to be important and a lot of companies are trying to figure out how and what to measure. Not only looking at how employer branding is measured, but what is the ROI of the money and efforts spent.

What are the main metrics that you pay attention to?

We track traditional KPIs like cost per hire and time to fill, as well as traffic and conversions, followers, impressions, engagement, sentiment and other anecdotal feedback we receive.

To my earlier point, when your executives around the world are sharing the importance of Glassdoor with their teams or why being active on social helps our brand, you know that you are successfully moving the needle.

You have mentioned candidate sentiment – how are you measuring this?

We measure sentiment quantitatively using a number of tools and tactics including:

  • Internal annual surveys (with the occasional pulse survey)
  • Glassdoor
  • Fairygodboss
  • InHerSight
  • Comparably
  • PotentialPark
  • Great Place to Work
  • Student surveys and sentiment from Universum
  • Candidate experience surveys (we are now expanding our current survey to all business units for every candidate interviewed)
  • LinkedIn top-ranked companies, as well as LinkedIn Talent Brand Index ratings, Talent Flows and Talent Drivers.

In summary, it is a lot and we are in the process of figuring out how we place our arms around all of this data in a meaningful way.

What are the most important brand values at Dell?

Our brand values are: putting the customer first, winning together, innovation through calculated and supported risk-taking, driving results and doing all of this with integrity.

What is one thing that you wish you knew when you first started out in employer branding?

How much fun it would be to build and lead an employment brand function for one of the world’s largest private companies.

What initiative are you proudest of?

Our relationship with our internal creative agency has been incredible. We have an efficient way of working and it saves us money. It has also built our credibility with other groups across the company, demonstrating our collaborative efforts.

Dell Brazil Team

Thank you to Jennifer Newbill for taking the time to speak with us about the employer branding programs at Dell.

In a tight talent market where there are skills shortages, employer branding and talent marketing have truly never been more important. If you want to learn more, we have an entire section of our website dedicated to employer branding and talent marketing content.

Attract your ideal candidates with a strong employer brand and talent marketing strategy.