On Friday, September 25, 2015, Glassdoor hosted its second annual employer branding summit. For those unable to attend the event, Glassdoor offered a live stream which was recorded. Videos of the presentations are available on YouTube and the presentation materials have been posted on SlideShare. Below is a recap of presentations 10 – 12. This post will conclude the summit recap.
Glassdoor for Employers YouTube main link
Glassdoor for Employers SlideShare main link
Twitter hashtag: #GDSummit
The State of Employer Branding
Moderator: Louis Vong, VP of Digital Strategy, TMP Worldwide
Analysts: William Tincup, Principal Analyst of KeyInterval Research; Madeline Laurano, Chief Research Officer, Aptitude Research Partners; and Josh Bersin, Principal and Founder, Bersin by Deloitte
(Video – 56:05)
Q: Companies in the news: Amazon (New York Times (NYT) Article), Netflix (Maternal leave expansion), HP (dress code). Does controversy and being in the news affect the employer brand?
Other examples include Volkswagon (emissions) and Starbucks (tuition).
Josh Bersin (JB): You shouldn’t judge the stories unless you really know what is going on. Use Glassdoor to see their rating and to read the commentary. People self-select to work at any given company.
Madeline Laurano (ML): We tend to hear more about companies that talk and not enough of companies that are listeners – those realizing that they need to make changes.
William Tincup (WT): Brands must be consistent.
Q: Was the NYT article helpful to Amazon?
WT: Amazon article was good for their brand. They probably got a boost in sales and probably garnered more positive comments on Glassdoor.
ML: Wished that Amazon leadership had owned their culture instead of trying to pretend it is something it is not.
JB: The best part of the NYT article was that it allows an opportunity for HR Leaders to have a conversation with their CEOs about culture.
Q: Is dress code important as a brand and a culture?
JB: If look at the Net Promoter Score on Glassdoor and correlate the other questions against it, the highest correlation is with leadership. Management is second and third is career development. At the bottom is work environment and compensation & benefits.
WT: We all adhere to some social mores. Self-selection involved.
JB: Covering – not bring whole self to work/hiding who you are is a significant issue in the area of Diversity and Inclusion but dress code is minor.
Q: Consumer Brand and Employer Brand importance? Example: GE consumer advertising is really recruitment advertising.
ML: Companies tend to have a siloed approach to both types of brand.
JB: The relationship is backwards. To be a great business you have to have a business strategy, a product, and an employee strategy that appeals to customers. Management should focus on improving employee engagement and that will boost their employer brand.
WT: Everything you do in the company is brand. All sub-brands within the company (employer, consumer, etc.) must be congruent.
Q: Best Places to Work: Are all the perks important?
WT: Best Places to Work/ Great Places to Work are a sham. It’s an award that can be won but can backfire if you don’t back it up.
JB: Most data shows real retention and engagement is driven by career opportunities, respect, recognition, empowerment – all within management’s control. Most companies are reengineering how people are managed because they recognize the importance of engaged employees.
Q: Should employer branding appeal to all five senses like consumer brands do?
JB: HR needs to apply design thinking. They need to understand the experiences people have throughout the lifecycle.
WT: The hardest thing is there are no best practices. It must be personalized to your company, employees, and customers. Your arm is the industry; your fingers are companies; and the fingerprint on your index finger is your employer brand. It’s unique.
JB: HR needs to be more innovative and creative. Test and iterate.
WT: Failure is a given so companies must give things the latitude to fail.
ML: Crowdsourcing (getting input from many) is important.
Q: Should we create employer brands specific to certain departments or audiences? Is it OK for them to be different?
JB: Different parts of company can have different cultures and styles. That’s OK.
WT: Is there a culture or cultures. He believes there are cultures. Need to make it hard for bad managers to exist – would like for Glassdoor to dive deeper into who can be rated.
Q: Is your manager still the number one reason people leave a company?
JB: No, it is one of the factors but not the top reason. Today, managers are more removed from their people. Openness of feedback will help managers improve.
ML: Awareness of how you are perceived as a manager is important. Managers also need tools on how to better develop, encourage, and recognize their employees.
Q: How do you measure your employer brand?
WT: You know things are working well when it is easy to recruit.
JB: When candidates come to you because they understand who you are and have specific reasons about why they want to work for you, it means you are getting the message out there. Suggestion: ask candidates why applied to your company versus a competitor, you’ll know how well they understand your message.
Q: Can companies be too open/too transparent?
WT: No one is 100% authentic. No can tell you everything that is going on in someone’s mind and wouldn’t want them too either. You can be close but never 100%.
JB: Transparency is wonderful and inevitable. Need to be careful: 1) Don’t say anything online that wouldn’t say to a person. 2) Confidential information can be released. 3) Be aware of sexual harassment and other legal issues. Anonymous transparency needs rules.
WT: Not rules but values.
ML: Certain industries where there have to be rules.
Q: Given the effort put into content marketing, are we targeting the right people, i.e. those that follow your careers site on social media?
ML: Can’t put all your eggs in one basket. Have to target different audiences using different tools.
JB: Like marketing, your campaigns will change over time. Not just about numbers but the groups you are trying to target.
WT: “Talking to” is not the point. It’s the interaction that people desire.
Q: Thoughts on the Google salary publishing story.
WT: Compensation is emotional. Values discrepancies (what is the culture?) or compression issues (pay inequity due to environment when hired) newer people more than tenured hires because of economic turnaround (hard to manage)
JB: Consider the company that decided to raise their minimum salary to 70K – no one was happy.
ML: Equal versus equitable. Organizations need to think about how they handle sensitive information.
Q: How does having different internal cultures play out for a company?
JB: For large corporations, it is a common problem as companies try to improve communication, talent sharing, etc. across divisions, geographies, etc. Leaders have to be interconnected and force those interactions to happen at the lowest levels.
WT: As long as there is elasticity around company values, sub-cultures are OK.
Q: What are you seeing in terms of transparency with Diversity and Inclusion (D&I information? Pitfalls?
JB: Great that companies are publishing D&I information because shows people that it’s a difficult problem to solve. Data allows discussion. Companies have a disconnect between how well they think they are doing versus how they are actually doing. Data will help close that gap.
WT: Approach to D&I is a sham. Most focus only race. Age, gender, geographical location, etc. are other considerations.
JB: Soon-to-be released two-year talent management study: highest performing companies focused on D&I.
Q: What is your take on Intel spending millions to attract women?
ML: Lots of companies trying to attract women. Intel is just more vocal about it.
JB: Gives Intel a lot of credit because it will ultimately help the economy.
WT: Doing it because they’ve realized they haven’t been as innovative over the years and that they are missing with customers and employees. Not doing for altruism. It will ultimately help them be a better, more innovative company.
ML: There is a Pixar exhibit now touring the country. The opening video is a branding video. Women in leadership roles feature heavily in the individual exhibit videos.
Q: Two years from now, what will be the state of employer branding?
ML: Not enough investment in employer branding currently. Have examples of what is happing now and can build off of that.
WT: Conference and Live Stream attendees get it. HE hopes that in two years, 10K people will be attending this conference.
JB: Glassdoor will be 10X bigger. You’ll have Glassdoor inside your company and that will provide you with continuous feedback.
The Transparent Organization: 30 Tips in 30 Minutes
Rob Reid, CEO, Intacct; Celinda Appleby, Head of Global Recruitment Branding, Oracle; and Alison Hadden, Head of Brand Strategy, Glassdoor
(Video – 43:43) (SlideShare)
Rob Reid: 10 Transparent Leadership Strategies
- Begin from the inside out – Have a compelling mission
- Find the right people to join you – Do they have the right values/behaviors
- Create shared accountability – Mutually agreed upon objectives
- Be open to change – Improvement requires trying new things
- Establish a culture of open communication – People need to understand what is going on in an organization- positive and negative
- Create channels that empower employees to provide feedback – Measure everything to allow for meaningful conversations
- Don’t bury problems…bring them to light – Get all stakeholders involved in finding a solution/make an impact
- Attack processes, not people – Performance issues are caused by process issues
- Develop empathetic leaders – Leaders are constantly trying to understand how to be better
- Follow the Platinum Rule – “Do unto others as they would want to have done unto them.” Don’t assume that what you want is what they want.
Celinda Appleby: 10 Employer Branding Tips
- Begin with a content strategy
- Build your brand on real employee stories
- Stop talking and start communicating
- Be authentic
- Leverage employee-generated content
- Equip your employees to be brand advocates
- Don’t be a brand narcissist
- Ask for feedback and be ready to adapt
- Be data-driven
- If you fail, try again
Alison Hadden: 10 Stats & Stories from the Field
This presentation provided statistics from various surveys and reports that focus on trust.
10 key takeaways we learned from Glassdoor’s Employer Branding Summit
This presentation provides statistics on the attendees, live streamers, and social media shares. Below are the 10 key takeaways. The presentation provides more context for each of them.
What are your thoughts on these presentations? What was your key takeaway from each presentation? Stay tuned for the final part of the series.
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