There have been a number of questions top of mind for many of us in Talent Acquisition as the COVID-19 crisis has escalated over the past month.
As a Recruitment Marketing and employer brand content strategist and creator, a few of the questions that have been top of mind for me include:
- How should we adjust our Recruitment Marketing and employer brand content and initiatives in light of COVID-19?
- What type of content should we stop publishing, and what content do people actually want to see and hear right now?
Rally’s Lori Sylvia wrote an important and thoughtful blog post on how our Recruitment Marketing should change amidst the coronavirus pandemic. I think quite a few of us in the Talent Acquisition and Recruitment Marketing space took a content pause to try to answer some of these questions for our own organizations.
Then we took a collective deep breath and began to adjust our content strategies and in some cases are beginning to publish content with a new purpose. But what types of content have we been publishing?
Recruitment Marketing content in an uncertain time
From my own observations, I think what’s resonating right now are heartfelt messages that showcase how a company is thinking about and treating employees during this challenging time.
After all, as many in our industry (and outside our industry too) have recognized, decisions made today will impact an organization’s brand perception forever. The way that companies treat their employees’ health and welfare will define their employer brand in the future. The best employees will leave and future candidates will stay far away from companies who are perceived as treating their employees less than ideally during this crisis. It’s also why employers will need to continue re-recruiting their employees to keep their loyalty.
P.S. This very point will be the main topic of our free RallyFwd Virtual Conference on May 6th. We hope you’ll join us to hear from employer brand mentors on how to lead with your employer brand during this time and how to be prepared for whatever may come next. Sign up for RallyFwd here.
Perhaps not surprisingly, some of the organizations producing the best content now are those that are leading the charge when it comes to the fight against COVID-19. Companies that employ and are actively hiring our frontline heroes and the brave and committed folks working in grocery stores, hospitals, pharmacies, manufacturing sites, warehouses, and more. These companies provide essential workers who can’t stay home to avoid exposure, but who need to be out there every day to ensure that others in the community can stay safe and healthy as much as possible.
I think what we’re starting to see as a new theme with many of these companies is a focus on content with heart. This is content geared at giving thanks and content showing how companies and employees are contributing to the fight against COVID-19. This is the stuff that’s resonating with me and I think this is what people really want to hear about now. We’re all craving some feel-good stories with substance.
If you’re not actively hiring or you’re working for a company with employees in the frontline fight against COVID-19, you can still package up stories that show how your company cares, how your leadership team is prioritizing employee well-being and how your organization is giving back and contributing where possible. This is the type of content that will form positive brand perceptions that will make people want to work with you later, when hiring does ramp up again.
That being said, I think this content can be shared alongside lighter content of people working from home, of our new day-to-day reality, because people feel isolated and it’s nice to have small moments of connection with others throughout the day. However, I think this lighter content should ideally be paired alongside content with more substance that really speaks to the gravitas of the situation we’re all going through together.
So, without further ado, here are 8 companies creating posts and videos that I think exemplify the theme of “content with heart and substance” that people want to engage with right now:
1. Amazon – Thank You Amazon Heroes Video
Amazon released this short video on March 27, 2020, recognizing their retail heroes, delivery people and warehouse specialists for all they’re doing to provide people with the essentials they need right now. Short and to the point, the video lets employees know that they are valued and recognized, because “the work you are doing means everything right now.” The video also emphasizes that employee health and safety remains a top priority for the company.
In addition, Amazon has also been creating neighborhood grants to support small business during this tough time that they have been publicizing on their social accounts to show how they’re giving back.
2. Novartis – CHRO Blog
Novartis’ CHRO, Steven Baert, published a LinkedIn Pulse blog which was then recirculated via the company’s social accounts outlining all that the company is doing to care for their employees during the crisis. Baert’s blog outlines the numerous ways that the company is supporting staff during these turbulent times, including online learning resources to families, childcare support for workers who need to be in manufacturing sites or labs and a service to help with maintaining physical and mental well-being.
While this is a communication that could have just been shared internally, by also sharing externally it showcases to prospective candidates and the public the lengths that Novartis is going to in order to care for employees and the community (the blog also outlines how they are creating a $20 million global COVID-19 relief fund).
3. Sam’s Club – Thank You, All, Video
Sam’s Club created the above video to recognize and thank all of their retail associates by name for their hard work. The video is getting good traction on social media and was also aired as a prime time commercial during Survivor on March 25, 2020. The video was released with a letter from CEO & President, Kath McLay, thanking the company’s heroes for all that they are doing and sacrificing to help customers during this difficult time.
4 – CVS Health – Employee Recognition Post
In addition to creating content showcasing how the company is protecting the health and safety of their workers, CVS Health has also publicized what they’re doing to recognize employees working at CVS facilities. This post was shared alongside a personal note from CVS Health President & CEO, Larry Merlo, thanking employees for their extraordinary commitment during uncertain times.
5. Northwell Health – Employee Contribution Spotlights
Northwell Health has done a tremendous job of spotlighting their employees in action, working on the frontline to help those in need. In a recent social post on LinkedIn, they showcase how Northwell Health colleagues, in partnership with other research institutes, have developed 3D-printed nasal swabs to help with emergency shortages.
6. John Hopkins Medicine – Thanks for All Your Hard Work Video
John Hopkins released a video on March 16, 2020, sincerely thanking their entire team for their hard work, dedication and professionalism. They advance a message of solidarity: of facing challenges together as a team and rising to the occasion together to overcome this health crisis. The compassionate communications from leadership sends a strong message to current employees and future prospective employees alike on John Hopkins as an employer and institution.
7. UPS – Thank You Video
UPS posted a short video to their LinkedIn channel on March 27, 2020, spotlighting all of the outcomes of the work that their people are doing at present. They thank their heroes for ensuring that important medication is delivered, groceries are received and grandparents in isolation get mail and parcels from loved ones.
8. Walgreens – Information RX: Checking in on Our Stores Video
Walgreens posted a video featuring two Walgreen’s district managers sharing stories and examples of their retail employees’ strength during this time. They share several stories about several employees who go above and beyond to overcome roadblocks and help patients secure what they need. They also take the time to thank all of their colleagues for all that they’re doing to help fight COVID-19.
I hope that you find these examples of companies creating content with heart and substance impactful as you consider ways to communicate and share your own organization’s employer brand spirit in the coming weeks and months. I look forward to seeing the stories of resilience, courage and bravery that emerge from our community during this time.
Featured Image photo credit: Northwell Health