How Dell Manages a Global Employer Brand Function

WRITTEN BY: Jörgen Sundberg

Jennifer Newbill is the Director Global Employment Brand at Dell, and has a relentless focus on consistent candidate experience and engagement, including: employment brand design and asset creation, vendor management, global recruiting tools and optimization, social strategy and measurement of candidate engagement, employee advocacy programs, global referral programs and overall candidate experience.

In this episode we’ll be diving into how Jennifer built the employer brand team from the ground up, is competing with smaller tech companies and differentiated their global employer brand to stand out. Jennifer has over 20 years of Human Resources experience including start-up and global Fortune 50 companies in various roles.

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

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How would you describe working at the company?

  • We’re encouraged to innovate and come up with new ideas. Our founder is the ultimate entrepreneur, and he stills runs the business on the day-to-day. So the entrepreneurial spirit still runs right through the company.
  • We are a customer-first organization, being empathetic and putting yourself in their shoes.
  • We’re very process oriented, and we’re very much about finding efficiencies.

Are you faced with any talent challenges at Dell?

  1. In this market today, where the candidate has a lot of control, smaller sexy tech companies are keeping us on our toes. Candidates don’t seem to know the breadth of work we’re doing within technology, and the competition for talent is fierce.
  2. Cybersecurity has also been an issue because as far finding them; they are not a dime a dozen!

Was there an employer brand team in place when you joined?

I built it from the ground up with the support of my manager and our Senior Vice President for Global Recruiting. The short story is in 2010, the acquisition and merge with Perot Systems tested our HR team. So we decided we needed a global function and formed our Centre of Excellence for recruiting, and that’s when our employer branding and recruitment marketing started to take off. I raised my hand and said I have the necessary background for employer branding, and little did I know I would be where I am today.

We have steadily grown the team from a team of 1. It was just me until I realized we needed someone with expertise, and then the team started to grow from that point. Where we expanded was this commitment to a regional model, where we have employer branding leads for the regions we operate in.

We now operate our employer brand in:

  • North America
  • Latin America
  • Europe
  • India
  • Greater China
  • Asia

The Latin America lead is Dahlia Rodriguez who was on this podcast last year!

Can you give us an idea of your culture code?

We surveyed a large number of employees within both Dell and AMC, before the final announcement of our merger. We asked what our employees value for us to be successful. We gave them a list of our culture code values and asked them to stack rank. Both organizations came up with the same top 5 order. So we knew we valued the same things.

    • Our customers came first, and we cannot succeed without them. Michael Dell still meets with customers. He walks the walk and talks the talk.
    • The other aspects are ‘winning together.’ We have realized that we cannot be successful without collaboration. Collaboration and being able to do it with technology is imperative.
    • Acting with integrity is also crucial. We do not tolerate unethical behavior whatsoever.
    • We also value results and accountability. When you say you are going to do something, you do it.
    • Innovation is one I talked about earlier. Failure is okay, as long as you learn from it. I encourage innovation and new ideas in my team every day.

Where can you improve Dell’s employer brand?

We are solid in content, and we have been creating content without employees for over 10 years. But where we lack is the measurement of the ROI of our campaigns. We are making steady improvement, but we are not there yet. The employer brand side, the messaging, the tone, the imagery works well.  But what is happening as the result of that?

We measure all the way down to individual content posts. We are experimenting with what content works with what market. That’s where having regional leads come in handy for us.

What’s your best source of hire?

      1. Referrals
      2. Direct sourcing
      3. LinkedIn
      4. Glassdoor

What employer brands inspire you?

AT&T: They work they do within candidate experience is super inspiring.

Cisco: They have a great Instagram and tagline #WeAreCisco is authentic, and they have fun.

Unilever, L’Oreal and Johnson & Johnson are making tremendous advancements towards candidate experience as well.

What’s next for employer branding?

How do we incorporate automation into our recruitment process? We get almost a million applicants a year, and we literally cannot be in contact with every candidate. With automation, we can get rid of the black hole that hasn’t been solved yet which leaves many candidates in the dust regarding where they stand.

Connect with Jennifer on Twitter and check out Dell’s Instagram.


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