Like many businesses, Swisscom was trying to hire IT and engineering talent. However, in a tight jobs market, the telecommunications organization struggled to compete against top tech companies.
“We are mainly associated with being a government company and with our B2C telco products, and both things are not necessarily attractive to IT professionals, unfortunately,” says Katja Wohlwend, the Employer Branding Manager at Swisscom.
To cut through the noise, Swisscom needed to reevaluate who it was talking to and how it was getting its message out there.
One of the first problems Wohlwend identified was Swisscom’s careers website. She sometimes struggled to find the information she wanted, so how could candidates get where they needed to go?
Wohlwend realized that the content on the careers page didn’t match the target groups Swisscom was trying to hire. The team needed to start from scratch with a user-centric approach.
“The content on the page didn’t match the target group,” she says.
Working with a design agency, Swisscom reorganized the structure of its careers page into five distinct career “worlds.” Each area contains information about what working at Swisscom is like, from the nuts-and-bolts of the tech stack they use to the big-picture stuff, like the business’s core values.
One other simple tweak made it much easier for candidates to see open roles. Instead of filling the page with corporate values or mission statements, they made it easy for candidates to go directly to opportunities and apply.
Another aspect of Swisscom’s talent acquisition systems that needed overhauling was the actual application process. The team started thinking about the candidate experience as something that begins before talent even shows up on the Swisscom website, then carries on through the job interview and into their career at the organization.
As part of the application process, candidates can now opt for a “coffee talk,” an informal conversation with someone on their prospective team. There’s a lot of flexibility as to what form the talk takes, especially in light of the pandemic. Still, the goal is to offer the candidate and the employer an opportunity to get to know each other better.
A conversation outside the stressful parameters of a formal interview hopefully takes the pressure off for candidates who might otherwise try to fit a mold they imagine an employer wants.
For Wohlwend, employer branding is transversal—you can’t really own it because it applies to so many aspects of your organization.
“A lot of it is done outside of your team,” she says, “so don’t try to control it or be the guard dog of employer branding, but rather enable other people. Provide them with the know-how to meet it and use it in their activities.”
Wohlwend instead focuses on cultivating an employer brand ambassador community that she provides with toolkits to amplify the message. Once the ambassadors are clear on what the EVP is, she gives them the tools they need to create great social media posts, organize fun events, and make an effective presentation. Wohlwend provides everything from coaching and social media templates to continuous communication with the ambassador throughout their project.
At the end of the day, Wohlwend’s main advice is to focus on your goals so your scope remains clear.
“Don’t try to be everyone’s darling,” she says. “Define your target group and base a strategy on that because you will never be able to fulfill all the expectations and wishes that are out there.”
Keep an eye on who you’re trying to reach, and make a plan to catch their eye. Do it in a way that aligns with your values, and the rest will take care of itself.
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