Zilich was also able to preview GE’s main TV commercials before they aired to some of the more than 10,000 employees who are GE brand ambassadors, a volunteer army she relies on to talk up the company online. Zilich, who now leads a four-person department, trained 5,000 of those employee brand ambassadors in 2015. She estimates about 1,000 are “heavily engaged” and regularly share posts about the company and promote job openings. To give them material worth sharing, Zilich uses recruiters, talent acquisition specialists and salespeople worldwide to write about new research, deals or customers. Her employer brand team also sends an email every Monday morning recapping GE news from the previous week. The team uses tools such as LinkedIn Elevate and Hootsuite to manage social media outreach.
Whether top-down or bottom-up, shaping an employer brand is no small feat. To show leaders how employer brand efforts are played out in practice, we profile two companies of different sizes and scopes, Thermo Fisher and General Electric Co.
But talent acquisition thought leaders and corporate brand practitioners are beginning to recommend looking beyond time-to-fill and cost-per-hire to more business-focused data points to measure success — metrics likely preferred by executives in the C-suite. John Sullivan, a well-known human resources author, speaker and San Francisco State University management professor, suggests data on better-performing new hires, the increase in workforce productivity and increased retention are all worthwhile gauges. He encourages employer brand practitioners to convert business impacts to dollars. “With this conversion into dollars of revenue, you can also show that each dollar invested in employer brand has a higher business impact and ROI than other HR programs, so that your EB effort can receive better funding in the future,” he wrote in an April 2016 blog post on his website.
Larger enterprises are most likely to have some form of employer brand strategy. But the concept is catching on at middle market and smaller organizations as well, especially for companies in technology, finance and other industries, where competition for new hires with in-demand skills is especially fierce.
Still, as standard strategies for creating and maintaining a corporate image for recruiting purposes evolve, many companies are only now figuring out the importance of their employer brand. According to 2014 research from human resources analyst Aptitude Research Partners, 1 in 4 companies is unsure about their employer branding, half are unhappy with the technology they’re using to support it and 62 percent expect to increase their investment in employer branding in the next year.
Marshall wasn’t some rock-star recruiter known for filling thousands of job requisitions through stellar cold calling and her skills cultivating passive candidates. She was an employer brand and social media manager at Life Technologies Corp., which Thermo Fisher acquired in the same year for $13.6 billion. Marshall joined Thermo Fisher as part of the acquisition as the company’s first employer brand specialist, tasked with helping propel its talent acquisition capability toward its 2020 hiring goal.
This essay attempts to assess the ‘Keep walking’ advertising campaign in terms of ideas, motivation, promotional techniques used, and to the extent possible, evaluate the effectiveness of the commercial on changing audiences’ attitudes toward the brand.