How SAP Attracts Gen Z with Employer Branding

WRITTEN BY: Jörgen Sundberg

This week we’ll learn how a legacy tech company with a bit of a reputational issue turned itself into a talent attraction magnet with the help of their employees.

We sit down with Jenn Prevoznik is the Head of Early Talent Acquisition at SAP and she delves into how the company goes about hiring over 7,000 generation Z employees.

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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Tell us what you do and what keeps you at SAP?

  • My team is tasked with the fun challenge of hiring over 7000 students and interns to join our company each year.
  • Our legacy has transformed a bit, and we need to attract top students to bring new ideas into our company and we employ over 88,000 employees to be bold and take risks. We’ve invested in over 185 million in our employees learning last year alone.
  • The people keep me at SAP. The talent I get to work with on a daily basis and the passion we have to be a market leader.

What talent challenges are you faced with?

We deal with students who are currently in school and are going to be working in roles and jobs that haven’t even be created yet, so as a recruiter we have to anticipate the wants and needs of the business.

We need to hire for potential and passion over pedigree, we want to find someone who can really understand the challenges and can make a genuine individual contribution to our company. We have 5 generations of people working together and we have to find a way to use all their distinct capabilities to help our company thrive.

So how does your employer brand help with this?

  • As a B2B company, a lot of people don’t know exactly what we do. Last year we rewatched our EVP, and the focus is ‘Bring everything you are. Become everything you want.‘ Our company values are described in no better way than in this message. Every person is valued for who they are and what they offer.
  • As a recruitment tactic, it sets a tone and paints a picture of SAP as a place to work and speaks to the candidate emotionally.

What are the pillars within this?

I would say it is the whole person.

  • Who are they outside of work?
  • Do they run half marathons on the weekend?

We really wanted to tell the human story and that’s really at the forefront of this EVP. What makes our EVP so unique is that all about employees, throughout a wide range of roles, ages, ethnicities, roles, so you see every type of employee we have. People recommended their friends and their colleagues to become the face of SAP.

Tell us about #LifeAtSAP!

This is our employer brand channel, where we feature our EVP and have a lot of our content and campaigns on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, job posts, awards, and more.

Whats your best source of hire?

From my perspective, being in the university hiring landscape our best source of hire is interns. We teach them, we develop them and then we can convert them into a full-time employee once they graduate. Which shows the business value of investing in young talent.

We also a referral program at SAP because we want our employees to be happy and refer their friends. We really tap into our employee network, and especially our alumni.

What initiatives are you proud of?

We’ve won over 200 employer awards in 2017. One thing I’m particularly proud of is that we’ve revolutionized our intern hiring and the long-term opportunities we offer them.

We created the Internship Experience Project which defined who is eligible to be an intern, what projects they will be working on, how much learning they will get, what kind of experiences they will have and what kind of fun things they can be a part of.

We have noticed much higher employee engagement, our employees are excited to work with these interns and become ambassadors for the company.

What are the hardest lessons you’ve learned along the way?

I have to constantly remind myself that running a digital marketing campaign in Russia doesn’t always yield the same results in Brazil. So we constantly have to ask ourselves; What does success look like? Are we finding value? We need to figure out why we are doing what we are doing, and something we need to improve on in 2018.

How do you measure your employer brand?

We’re fortunate enough to have our own ATS. Everything we do from digital buys to social campaigns to job boards directs traffic into this talent community. That way we can measure volume and traffic. So someone meets us but doesn’t get hired, we can still look 5 years down the road and see how many times they might have applied, how many times they have viewed our pages and more. So constantly evaluating and looking at our data is key to our success.

What are your top 3 tips for Employer brand managers?

    1. Be authentic – I’m still blown away by how many companies still use stock photography.
    2. Listen to your employees – Go to Glassdoor, do surveys, encourage feedback and take action.
    3. Don’t be afraid to do something crazy – Our employer branding team has a full-time cartoonist who publishes a column though our #LifeAtSap channel and its a different way to connect and tell our story.

What next for employer brand at SAP?

We’re all about getting our 88,000 employees to become our biggest assets. So not only showcasing them in our campaigns but we want to train them to become employee advocates and how they can share their experiences at SAP on a daily basis.

We want to transform our employer brand team into an army of our entire employee base and showcase who we are. So that’s our biggest challenge, getting all of our employees to really start working for us and to become fantastic thought leaders within our industry.

Connect with Jenn on LinkedIn


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