Employee advocacy has generally been used as a trendy buzzword in HR, marketing and sales over the past few years. Now, it’s value and importance to businesses all around the world is backed up by real data and numbers.
This week we speak to Craig Fisher, an Employer Branding Consultant & Head of Marketing at Allegis Global Solutions. We discuss his long-term engagement with CA Technologies, the strategy and tactics he applied to bring the company back into the talent spotlight.
Have a listen to the interview below, keep reading for a summary and be sure to subscribe to the Employer Branding Podcast.
What’s the corporate culture at CA Technologies?
CA is very much like any other big legacy software company. It’s a sales organization first, and everything else comes after that. One of the issues we had there was that CA used to be ‘Computer Associates’. But they rebranded, and CA got in trouble over fudging their number and their founder actually went to jail for it. CA became, voluntarily, one of the most audited companies in the software business.
But they have good products, their products are behind around 90% of all banking transactions you’be ever done online or over your phone.
That said, they grow by acquisition. So they remove what’s not working all the time, and that means regular layoffs. When you do that your Glassdoor isn’t going to be great right? That’s where my job comes in to combat that.
What was the talent challenge?
The company was having trouble turning over employees, they couldn’t keep good product development people in place and lots of engineers they had to have on contract, and they had to spend a fortune on agencies.
My job was to reacquaint newer workers and newer techies coming into the marker with the legacy of CA Technologies, and the reality is, inside the company are employees that are rabid fans of the organization with amazing diversity programs and tons of benefits.
Did CA Technologies have an EVP in place?
Yes – we had developed this DNA that really set what we were about and in many ways were interconnected:
- Results Oriented
- Socially Aware
- Customer Centric
We felt these were really great mantras to live by and something we could promise to our people and our people could promise back to us.
The taglines we use became; ‘Bring What You Bring’. Its all about your questions and your values. And beyond this, we say ‘For Every Barrier, A Breakthrough‘.
Tell us about your employee advocacy program.
Our goal was to sell the employer brand both internally and externally. My idea was to capture the good stories. We surveyed internally, and tried to find out who our brand champions are as my version of employer branding is that it’s all about your employees.
We got our employees talking about things at work on a regular basis with #LifeatCA through Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and more through plenty of training using the QUESocial platform. We even got brand ambassadors lining up saying ‘Hey I want to be part of this!’.
- We expanded by something like 800% in a very short amount of time
- We realized savings of what would have been paid media of around almost $700,000
- We got written about on Forbes and many other publications about this too.
Tell us about the candidate rejection process?
Early on we set up a system where we had talent assessors whom would review each applicant versus the job, and put them in a yes, no, or maybe file. The no’s would get a personal response, with a thank you and asking them to join our talent community because we thought they might have a job with us down the line.
What happened was I got tons of emails from rejected applicants who loved this because it was from an actual person. I actually invited one of these folks to my office, he turned out to be a marketing guy and guess what? I hired him.
So the lesson here is that we have to make sure that applicants are still getting the human touch because as automated as we are these days, that’s still very very important.
How did you measure the ROI of CA’s employer brand?
I’m an analytic nut. I don’t do anything I cant prove the value of. For instance, the estimate on how much we saved on paid media is backed up by real data. We did everything like that in every campaign we did. If we didn’t get the response we got, we changed right way.
My favorite metric is the cost per interview, instead of cost per hire. I believe that as a recruitment team you can only get people so far, but if people are good enough to get an interview that’s a win for us. And the rest is up to the hiring managers.
What are your top tips for employer branding managers?
- Measure everything. Do not set up any campaign that you’re not prepared to measure on a regular basis. Because if you want to have some money to spend on it, you have to be prepared to show numbers.
- As good as automation is, you have to remember that the human touch is the most important part.
- Do take advantage of technology. If you’re not automating certain things, your wasting time.
Who inspires you?
We hired Otto Berkes as our Chief Technology Officer, who really jumped on the bandwagon for our employer brand. He created the Xbox, HBO Go and HBO Now. He volunteered to do employer brand podcasts, videos and became a huge part of our culture and became a huge inspiration for myself.
What next for employer branding?
The blended workforce: In the next couple of years were going to have to figure out how to attract and nurture different types of workers, as I believe the traditional type of workforce is going away. In addition to hiring permanent employees, we’re going to hire more and more project-based workers, as well AI-based workers. So we have to get an understanding of what type of employee suits the right project. It’s about cultivating the right blend.
Connect with Craig on LinkedIn.