Centralized approach that get customised
By Bill Hatton
Everyone wants to do employee branding, but the question becomes: How do you do it – how do you get employee branding to work?
Matt Kaiser, a key member of the Employer Branding & Digital Recruiting / Global Talent Acquisition at Ericsson, shared his approaches in the opening keynote at the HRO Today Global APAC Forum in Singapore.
Here are some keys to Ericcson’s strategy, in Matt’s own words:
“Our strategy when it comes to talent acquisition and employer branding: I take a look at where we were three years ago. Employer branding was decentralized in our model, and when we looked at how we were attracting talent, how we were engaging talent, a lot of what were doing was regional focused.
“We have 10 regions around the word, and then Sweden – that’s where we are based. Each region was kind of doing its own thing. They were sharing their own message – not necessarily that it was different in every region, but we didn’t have the consistent message that we were sharing with candidates. We didn’t have a consistent communication strategy – each region really had their own process in place that they were utilizing. That’s really where we were three years ago.
“What we’ve done now is we really centralized that model and we started to look at more of a global approach, so when we look at our message now, we have one overall message that we’re going to market with in order to attract talent, engage talent, and hire talent. We go to market as one Ericcson. We have a global message, but then we’re also capturing information from the regions to provide some slight nuances or regional representation. We have built a communication platform where we are sharing our message, that includes our website and our digital channels – things like our social media platform, and our search channels.
“It also includes our face-to-face platforms, so things like events, conferences, university engagement. It also includes how we’re engaging our employees, for example, are they sharing our message with their networks? We have that global communication strategy built now, and then we’re now in the process of measuring that – so how is what we’re doing working, right? Are the channels working? Is our message working? Is it resonating with the right audience? How do we need to tweak it, or change it, or evolve it, to make sure that it is working? So, that’s really where we are – we have the message built, we have created our channels in terms of how we’re communicating it, and we’re now measuring that to ensure that it’s working.”
Do you have any early results? We do. We’re seeing that our social channels are starting to generate a lot more traction. We are measuring a lot of things. We’re measuring our employee referral program – so we’re seeing that our employees are starting to get more engaged. We’re seeing an increase in our employee referrals. We increased in 2014 about 10%, i.e., a 10% increase in hires from referrals. In 2015, we’ve now seen about 15% increase from 2014.
Is that because of more referrals or better referrals? I think it’s a little bit of both. When you make a hire, obviously, it’s a quality candidate, right? So I think we’re seeing more quality candidates and more referrals. We’ve seen increase in referrals and we’ve seen increase in hires, which means that those are quality candidates to us. We’re now at about a little over 30% of our hires coming from referrals. We really want to be at that 35 to 40%, which is a best practice point, being at about 40% of the hires from referrals. That’s our goal. Just over the last two years, we’ve seen a significant increase in that.
“Referrals are a big part of what we’re measuring. Our sourcing channels, obviously, social media platform. We’ve seen a good uptick in social media and our traction from that. We now see our social channels as being a top three source of hire across the board – LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook – those types of channels. We’ve now seen that increase to a top three source hire across the board. Social is certainly working for us as well.”
What other programs do you have early results in? “We’re also now in the process of measuring our employee advocacy program. That’s relatively new for us. We’ve developed an advocacy program where we’re basically leveraging our employees to share our message with their networks, whether it’s online or offline. What they do is they capture information from us, and then they’ll take that and share that whether it’s with their social networks, or out at an event, or if they’re talking with someone at a barbeque – they understand our message, they are excited about it, and they want to share it with others.”
“From a digital perspective, what we look at with employee advocacy is this: Are they following us, first of all? Are they following our channels, or are they engaged with our message? Are they sharing that message? Is that message reaching other people? What’s the region, what’s the engagement of that message?
“I think that’s really what we’re focused on – how many of our employees are following us and sharing our message, and is it reaching the right audience? That’s what we’re in the process of measuring now.
“The other thing we take a look at with employee advocacy is we also take a look at how do we compare with other companies. We work with a couple of different suppliers to help us assess that. What they do is they come back and say you have x amount of employees based on your profile that are following you, and you have a certain percentage of them that are sharing your message with their networks, and this is how that compares with some of our competitors out there. What we try to do is gauge ourselves to say where are we now, and then where do we need to be with our employee advocacy program?
Example: “The great thing with our advocacy program is that it’s all different messages internally from Ericcson. HR is just a part of this – so we have this corporate wide – it’s called Social Chorus, we partnered with a platform called Social Chorus. What the platform allows us to do is it allows us to create these branded messages, and I’ll share with you a couple that we’ve created, and then a couple from corporate, and then we put them out on the platform, and then employees share them.”
“Based on where you are in the business [determines] what type of message you want to share. For example, HR will share things around our ‘’“Technology for Good’ programs. We were just in Nepal – we set up communications and established communications [for] humanitarian agencies. We wanted to share that and say look, ‘This is what we’re a part of, we’re proud of this.’ We shared that message, and then employees will choose if they want to choose that message to share with the networks because they’re proud of that.
What about recruiting? “We have job opportunities that we share. So if there’s a specific opportunity in the cloud, we’ll share that out there and say we’ve got a great role as a cloud engineer. So if they want to share that because they have people in their networks that are engineers.
“Diversity is another big message that we share too. We recently just celebrated World Day for Cultural Diversity. We had a number of celebrations all over the globe, we put together an album on Facebook, and we shared that on Social Chorus. We said, ‘Let’s celebrate this and let’s share this with your networks to show how we support and celebrate diversity at Ericcson.’
“Then you have business areas that will share things like events that they go to, so Mobile World Congress is a huge event that we go to, so they’ll share details around that. They might share things on new Cloud platforms that we’ve developed. New technology that we’re implementing – those types of things. So, based on your followers and what you think your followers will like – that’s what you share, whether it’s LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter.”
Engagement keys: “The good thing about it is that employees at Ericsson – I shared our engagement rate which is another thing that we measure – employees are engaged at Ericsson, right? We have a 77% engagement rate, which means they’re excited, they’re passionate, they want to come to work, and they’re happy to be there.
“In essence, they’re telling us that yes, we are engaged with our work, and we enjoy what we do, and we are passionate about it. There are bad days and good days, but, the global average is 69 percent. So we’re above average, right? And our employees – we know that they are happy. So what we say is, if you’re happy, help us to share that, from our perspective. Because engineers know other engineers, and project managers know other project managers. If you share that, it’s probably going to hit the right people that we’re looking for.
“Instead of having them create their own messages, we create messages that are already branded, that are powerful, and that they can basically just take and pop out to their networks. Now, they do have access where they can kind of tweak or change it slightly, but for the most part, it’s relatively easy. So, they just pick their message, they hit share, and it goes out to LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook. So it’ pretty cool.
On the APAC conference: “I always enjoy HR conferences like this. I think, for me, it’s a chance not only to share what we’re doing at Ericsson, but also to learn from other people. Just on the break right now, I talked with two
or three other companies that were in the same position that Ericsson is in and caught a few key points from us, and then I asked them about a few things they’re doing from a talent acquisition perspective and certainly hope that I gain and learn from them as well.
“So I think that’s what the conferences are all about – it’s about sharing ideas, sharing information, and improving your organization. So if I can do that and come to these conferences I think it’s great and I think that the conference that HRO Today and Zachary and the team has put on has allowed us to do that. I think just from what I’ve seen so far, it’s a great opportunity to be able to network and share those ideas.”