How to Build a Global Employer Branding Team from Scratch

WRITTEN BY: Jörgen Sundberg

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 in over 190 countries.

However, even though Siemens has been in business for over 175 years, they only recently established their employer brand function. In this episode of the Employer Branding Podcast, we talk to Stefanie Drerup, Head of Strategic Talent Ecosystem Development and Employer Branding at Siemens. She shares how she built a cross-functional and global employer branding team from scratch.

Competing for Top Tech Talent

Like many businesses we talk to on the Employer Branding Podcast, Siemens has a strong need for top tech talent. “We want to create technology with purpose, to help to make a better and more sustainable world,” Drerup says.

Some examples include:

To do all this, Siemens needs to compete with the likes of Amazon, Google, and Tesla for talent. However, unlike those household names, they needed to do some work to stay top of mind, and that meant getting serious about employer branding.

A Cross-Functional Employer Branding Team from Day One

Two years ago, Drerup was tasked with building out the employer brand function at Siemens from scratch. “From day one, we partnered with our colleagues from global communications and HR,” she says, “so it’s really a joint, cross-organizational boundaries topic.”

Because Siemens is looking to fill roles all over the globe, Drerup made it a priority to involve recruiters in all different levels and areas of the organization to help create their employer brand strategy. Representation from each regional business unit was a top priority.

They also partnered with tech talent already inside the organization. “We wanted to talk to real techies, not just recruiters,” Drerup says. At every step of the process, they’d solicit feedback from this group to see if the art and copy made sense or if they needed to be reworked.

How Siemens Structures Their EVP

Drerup and her team landed on a simple EVP that encapsulates everything that Siemens does: “Create a better tomorrow with us.” Within that overarching mission statement, they identified four clusters to anchor their employer branding content.

  1. Customer impact: The potential to work on large-scale projects that change the world.
  2. Technology with purpose: The work you do at Siemens will make a better tomorrow through sustainability and innovation.
  3. Empowered people: Siemens fosters a culture of learning where everyone can be their best self.
  4. Growth mindset: With so many different business units, functions, and regions, you can grow in the career you want at Siemens.

As you might have noticed, these clusters have some overlap—that’s intentional. Structuring their employer brand strategy in this way creates clarity around the primary point of emphasis in a particular piece of content, while also keeping everything aligned with the overall EVP.

Adapting Your EVP for a Global Audience

EVP activation is always a challenge in large organizations. While they were conducting their research, Drerup and her team came to realize that talent pools in different regions have very different priorities.

In Germany, prospective employees are most concerned with job security and career progression. Meanwhile, Chinese talent cares the most about innovation and corporate responsibility. This is where the cluster structure comes in handy. Drerup and her team can adapt content for each market without having to start from scratch.

Building out the employer brand function from scratch and launching it globally is no small task, but the results speak for themselves.

To follow Stefanie Drerup’s work in employer brand, connect with her on LinkedIn. For help identifying the values and culture you want to create in your company, get in touch.


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