For any employer branding team, content is going to play a key role in how you get your employer value proposition (EVP) across to potential employees. The problem is that content creation can often feel like you’re stuck on a treadmill, trying fruitlessly to catch up on endless content calendars and desperately trying to find the next thing to put on your feed.
At the same time, it’s important to strike the right balance between telling stories that are one hundred percent on-message and those that fill in around the edges to create a more complete picture of what your organization is all about. The authenticity that you have so carefully cultivated isn’t necessarily going to come through by sticking to a plan you drew up months ago in a meeting with key stakeholders.
For Anthony Jones, Director of Talent Brand & Employee Experience at Rockwell Automation, the key is to keep your team lean, hire the right people with a diverse set of skills, and stay focused on their goals without getting overly bogged down in tactics.
“Our challenge is attracting in-demand tech talent to a company that hasn’t been historically known as a software company or a place where you could build a thriving career in software,” Jones says, “and then you layer on the fact that every single company is looking for that type of talent—it just becomes harder and harder to get mindshare.”
Great employer branding content is always going to be one of the best ways to get attention, so putting together the right team to consistently put out great stories is the key to making the machine work. When he was first promoted to his current role, Jones insisted on hiring for two key roles: content strategist and digital content creator. Together, they comprise a lean employer branding content creation team that is able to get their message across in engaging ways without losing focus on the EVP.
The content strategist Jones works with has a diverse set of skills, from an ability to see the bigger picture and create a plan to make it happen to the ability to get in the thick of it with excellent copywriting skills. Having all these skills in one person means they can come up with out-of-the-box concepts and maintain that vision into the finished product.
Rockwell Automation’s Digital Content Creator is primarily a videographer. “When I was thinking about this role, I had a unicorn in mind of someone who not only had an eye for filming and telling stories but someone who could also do editing,” says Jones. “Those two skills are really hard to find in one person.” Among the three of them, they can execute complex strategies while maintaining the flexibility to get creative while pivoting when needed.
Before the pandemic, Jones and his team would do a lot of traveling to shoot video in key areas where Rockwell Automations was looking to hire, like Poland and Prague. You can visit their “Life at Rockwell Automation” YouTube playlist to get an idea of what they shot and how it had to change in 2020.
“Then COVID hit and obviously, all travel stopped,” he says, “so we really had to think about how we could create videos that remain compelling.”
As you might expect, the pandemic made the process of shooting and collecting video much trickier. They couldn’t simply fly out and film stories—they needed to encourage their employees to shoot footage of themselves at home. They invested in iCIMS, a talent acquisition platform that includes a robust video studio that makes it easy to attach employee testimonials to job offers on their careers website, share videos more broadly, and more.
They also realized that their team would have to upskill to make their content more engaging than just a series of selfies. Jones’s team added motion graphics to their skillset to give their employee testimonials an extra level of pizazz. Because the team he works with was already extremely integrated and streamlined, it was relatively easy to pivot and find new ways to tell a compelling story.
Jones often hears from hiring managers who want to do more to communicate their employer brand in the recruiting process but don’t know how to get started. For his team, the key is figuring out how to make it easy for them.
The Talent Brand and Employee Experience team at Rockwell has designed a playbook to help hiring managers better understand what they can be doing more of to stay on message. They partnered with other key stakeholders like talent acquisition to map out everything from initial outreach to templates for emails to make everything simple.
Jones’s top tip for any hiring manager or recruiter is to turn on the camera and start talking: “Get a video created of yourself talking about the job and what it entails and put it out there—we know that video content will drive a higher level of engagement and reach than something static.”
To follow Anthony Jones’s work in employer branding at Rockwell Automation, follow him on LinkedIn or Twitter. If you’re in search of help refining your employer value proposition and identifying the values and culture you want to create in your company, let’s talk.
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