Employer Branding Recruitment Marketing

How to Strengthen Your Employer Brand by Showcasing the People Behind your Products (Part 1)

How to Strengthen Your Employer Brand by Showcasing the People Behind your Products (Part 1)
Profile photo of Aaron Schwartzbord
Written by Aaron Schwartzbord

Hear how RallyFwd presenter Edoardo Ambrosi and his team at ABB strengthened their employer brand by showcasing the people behind their company’s industry-leading products.

How to Strengthen Your Employer Brand by Showcasing the People Behind your Products (Part 1)
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Amazing products are a great way to attract customers, but are they as effective in attracting candidates?

Highlighting your products as a selling point in your employer brand content can certainly be effective, but recent data suggests that candidates care just as much, if not more, about the people behind those products. In this sense, your corporate brand and employer brand aren’t necessarily separate, they can (and should!) work together to strengthen each other. 

Fortunately, both Edoardo Ambrosi, Global Manager – University Relations, Early Talents & Employer Branding, ABB and Ally Brown, Employer Brand Manager, VCA Animal Hospitals spoke on this very topic during their sessions at our May 2022 RallyFwd Virtual Conference

In this first installment, we’re sharing how Edoardo and the ABB team successfully refreshed ABB’s employer brand to prioritize the people behind the company’s industry-leading products.  RallyFwd - May 2022 - Watch On Demand!

Rally note: Dive deeper into Edoardo’s strategy by listening to his full on-demand RallyFwd session, From Products to People: The difference in Your Employer Brand.

Edoardo Ambrosi, ABB: Refreshing your employer brand to prioritize your people

Edoardo Ambrosi, Global Manager – University Relations, Early Talents & Employer Branding, ABB.

The competitiveness of today’s talent market, the time since their last employer brand analysis and the upcoming launch of new CMS and CRM systems all formed the perfect storm that caused Edoardo Ambrosi and his team to refresh the employer brand at ABB, a leading global engineering company with over 105,000 employees across 100 countries. 

To understand what direction to take this refresh, and to be able to justify this new direction to leadership, he and his team dived into researching what his talent audiences were looking for in an employer, and what made ABB a special place to work in the eyes of current employees. 

Edoardo’s pro tips for earning leadership buy-in:

    • Data, data, data: A leader may not like the new direction you want to take your employer brand, but if you have hard evidence from candidates themselves proving that they resonate with this proposed direction, it takes personal preference out of the equation.
    • Show how you’re helping to solve their problems: Frame your proposed changes in a way that shows how they will contribute to larger goals held by specific leaders or the business in general. For example, by refreshing your employer brand in a certain way, you might help attract a certain talent audience that’s proved to be hard to attract in the past. 
    • Show the holistic concept and be realistic: What will the actual launch and activation of your refreshed employer brand look like across all of your channels? How long will it take? What teams are involved? When do you expect to see results? All of these questions should be taken into account when presenting your pitch. An established measurement and reporting process can be a lifesaver here.
    • Involve them actively: Involving key stakeholders all throughout the process, keeping them in the loop and making sure they understand their responsibilities in your proposed refresh is a must. For example, wanting to keep technology — the product they offer — a large part of their refreshed employer brand, Edoardo involved members from ABB’s corporate brand in the refresh plan from day one.
    • Bring examples of other companies: This is the approach company A took and look at the engagement they’re getting from candidates! The more examples, benchmark data and real-life results you can bring to leadership, the easier time they’ll have getting on board with your ideas.

In terms of what his research looked like, the team conducted external surveys on candidates’ preferences, internal focus groups, surveys and one-on-one interviews on what employees value at ABB and he looked into how ABB’s competitors were marketing themselves.

From this data, Edoardo identified ABB’s selling points as being:

  • Innovation, technology, future
  • Global team spirit, opportunities, personal growth
  • Sustainability, purpose, people
  • Sense of pride

These points conveyed that candidates and employees still cared a lot about ABB’s technology (they hire mostly engineers, after all) but that they cared just as much, if not more about the people behind it. 

An example of ABB’s refreshed, people-focused careers site (on the right) compared to their corporate site (on the left).

Rally Note: This also aligns with recent findings from Rally Inside, our new analytics and benchmarking tools, which found that people-focused content is currently receiving twice the engagement compared to Q4 2021. 

With these findings in hand, Edoardo approached 3 outside agencies to come up with a concept and accompanying assets for their new refresh. After having these agencies pitch to ABB’s communications team, HR team and other stakeholders (remember, stakeholder involvement all throughout the process!), the new concept was decided: “Make it your story”, accompanied by a hashtag, #MyABBStory. 

It had everything Edoardo was looking for, helping to attract and engage candidates in a more personal, human way that invited different perspectives, diversity and teamwork, while also keeping innovation and technology at the forefront. 

For activation, Edoardo got to work creating fresh videos and imagery to support the new concept, as well as local and global employee stories embodying it. These new assets were launched holistically across ABB’s careers sites, social media platforms, employer review sites and all candidate touchpoints, both external and internal, to make sure ABB’s refreshed employer brand reached as far as it needed to take effect among candidates. 

Rally note: To see examples of what successful story-based content looks like watch our Webinar On Demand, Why Stories of Your People are Key to More Talent Engagement.

The different parts of ABB’s employer brand refresh activation strategy.

Their Employer Branding toolkit is worth emphasizing in the image above, as a successful refresh requires your entire TA team to be aligned, in the language they use and tone they take with candidates, to the media and content they send to them.

Finally, Edoardo and his team continue to improve through iteration the what, where and how of their refresh with the help of the right data from their CRM and agency campaign reports. On social media, he measures the following key performance indicators (KPIs):

  • Reach
  • Impressions
  • Click-Through-Rate (CTR)
  • Video views
  • Conversions (applications)

The team also measures KPIs relating to their careers site and applications, including:

  • Website loading speed
  • Unique pageviews
  • Bounce rate
  • Time to complete application
  • Job views
  • Applicants and leads generation over time
  • Applicants drop-off rate

Other than helping him to understand what kind of content he should be creating, where he should be posting and the general approach he should be taking to engage candidates as effectively as possible, measuring his strategy in this way also provides him with data that he can regularly bring to leadership and justify what he and his team are doing. 

An example of a story highlighting an ABB employee behind one of the company’s products, ABB Ability.

In the end, the refresh proved to be a major success, with the 2 launch social media campaigns alone generating 22,000 job seekers, 66% of which were new job seekers that had never interacted with ABB before. 

Edoardo’s recipe for success came down to:

  • Recognizing that a change in ABB’s employer brand was needed
  • Listening to what candidates wanted and what current employees loved about ABB to understand what direction to take their refresh
  • Using data to gain buy-in for this new direction from leadership and involving stakeholders throughout the entire process
  • Making ABB’s employer and corporate brands work together by highlighting the people behind ABB’s esteemed technology
  • Not waiting for the perfect launch but instead iterating based on data

For a more comprehensive look into how Edoardo shifted ABB’s employer brand from their products to their people, watch his session from RallyFwd on-demand, From Products to People: The difference in Your Employer Brand

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Following in Edoardo’s footsteps, hopefully, you can apply the same lens to your employer brand to see if there’s an opportunity for improvement by showcasing the people behind your products.

Stay tuned for the 2nd installment of this series, where Ally Brown, Employer Brand Manager at VCA Animal Hospitals and fellow RallyFwd presenter, will share how to showcase the people behind your products through an employee advocacy program!

How to Strengthen Your Employer Brand by Showcasing the People Behind your Products (Part 1)
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About the Author

Profile photo of Aaron Schwartzbord

Aaron Schwartzbord

Aaron Schwartzbord is the Director of Marketing for Rally Recruitment Marketing. A data-driven marketer with 15+ years of experience, he is passionate about helping companies of all sizes and industries grow with creative strategies and efficient, streamlined processes.

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