How ABB Attracts More Than Just Engineers

WRITTEN BY: Jörgen Sundberg

Tech talent is in high demand. More and more companies are shifting their focus to becoming digital and hiring the best tech talent has become a major priority. That’s why they need a super strong employer brand.

We chat with Sarah Dovlo, the Head of Employer Branding Europe at ABB, a big Swedish-Swiss engineering company to learn how ABB have gone from a traditional company with a rich heritage to a future-focused and digitally relevant employer.

Have a listen to the interview below, keep reading for a summary and be sure to subscribe to the Employer Branding Podcast.

Listen on iTunesStitcher RadioGoogle Play or SoundCloud.

What talent challenges does ABB face?

  • We are fighting for the same talent as many other companies, not just engineers. Our main target is electrical engineers, but we’re also looking for IT people who may not know ABB like engineers might.
  • We use our employer brand strategy to help raise awareness about working for ABB and also raising awareness internally of how our own employees can become brand ambassadors for the company. Potential candidates are interested in behind the scenes information, so it’s something we are continuing to work on.

What is the EVP of ABB?

  • Brand Promise: ‘Let’s write the future’,  EVP: ‘It begins with you’.
  • We wanted an EVP that is open, which goes hand in hand with the type of talent that we now want. So not just engineers but also more digital talent. We have our EVP all over our websites and social, we also activate it through company ‘heroes’ who represent our values such as purpose. We highlight employees and what they stand for through short videos and social updates.
  • Purpose is an aspect of our EVP mentioned a lot because we found that it is a value that is very important to our target group and upcoming generation Z talent, and our mission within this to offer more sustainable energy so this ties into our overall purpose and future impact.

Where do you activate your employer brand?

  • We are very present on Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat. We use these to promote our campaigns for early talent, specifically ‘The Dream Internship‘ which allows students to do an internship across a number of countries.
  • We also use these channels to engage our actual employees and allow them to use these channels to upload any social content they want, but of course under the right guidelines. We want to keep it authentic on social.

What’s your best source of hire?

  • We are seeing consistent hire returns on social media channels such as LinkedIn and even Facebook.
  • But for IT professionals, we actually go to events and meetups to seek them out.
  • We have a referral scheme and referral fee, and in some countries, this is more intensified.

Top tips for Employer Brand Managers?

  • Data: If you wanted to bring in an idea, but you’re not that confident how to convince management, what worked well for is to use data. So start small with a pilot, say in a smaller country or a smaller business unit.
  • Share: Learn to share the success of the company very consistently, so that your colleagues understand the importance and value of employer branding.

How do you measure ROI?

  • It’s a tricky one, but we use rankings and feedback to understand the quality of your employer brand.
  • We also measure our career website, in terms of how many visits we get on the content we share.
  • We measure career events as well, the quality and quantity of conversations.

What’s next for your employer brand?

  • There will be a lot more digitalization and personalization, especially on mobile. We’re going in this direction, and digitalizing our employer brand as well as updating our EVP which will be a huge project next year.

Connect with Sarah on LinkedIn.


Our newsletter is exclusively curated by our CEO, Jörgen Sundberg, for leaders who make decisions about talent. Subscribe for updates on The Employer Branding Podcast, new articles, eBooks, research and events we’re working on.


Play Video

Recent Articles

Attracting Entry-level Talent in China

Attracting and retaining highly talented young professionals is an important issue for multinational companies (MNCs) in China. Seventeen years ago, 41% of high-skilled Chinese professionals preferred foreign MNCs as their first choice of employment, while only 9% chose domestic firms...

How to Make the Case for Employer Branding to Stakeholders

We talk to a lot of businesses on the Employer Branding Podcast that each face their own talent challenges. But might take the cake for how specific the skill sets can get for the roles they’re trying to fill....

How to Build a Global Employer Branding Team from Scratch

You might be familiar with Siemens from their washing machines or mobile phones, but that’s one small part of the picture. This German industrial conglomerate does business on a global scale, helping organizations implement digital industry, mobility, and smart infrastructure...