The Employer Brand of Defense & Aerospace Giant Lockheed Martin

WRITTEN BY: Jörgen Sundberg

This week, we’re chatting with an American global aerospace, defense, security and advanced technologies company with worldwide interests.

Charlotte Jones leads Talent Attraction and Employee Engagement Strategies at Lockheed Martin, a leading technology innovation company. Headquartered in Bethesda, Lockheed Martin’s brings proven performance to our customers’ toughest in more than 70 nations.

She has been leading attraction strategies for over 17 years now, whether it’s diversity and inclusion-focused, recruiting marketing or employer branding focused. She manages content, messages, creative campaigns, project plans and teams that contribute to the overall company brand.

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

Listen on Apple PodcastsStitcher RadioGoogle Play or SoundCloud.

Describe the corporate culture at Lockheed Martin?

Our culture is driven by our ethics, which is what we’re known for among our employees. I value those ethics as well:

  • Do what’s right
  • Respect others
  • Performance with excellence

We are highly engaged, performance-driven work culture.  What I appreciate most about the HR culture. I enjoy the autonomy and empowerment in my role. If you have an idea to improve a process, for example, you are challenged with either leading or implementing that idea.

Another aspect of our culture I value is the training and professional development support we receive. I have developed a multitude of HR skills over my years with Lockheed Martin as well as leadership and coaching skills, inclusion, strategic planning, consulting and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. I truly appreciate the flexibility I have as well, and it’s truly a great place to be.

What talent challenges are you faced with?

Being a government contract within aerospace and defense, we have a lot of top secret talent needs. Much like many other technology companies, acquiring and retaining STEM talent is a top priority. For those unfamiliar with the term, STEM is science technology engineering and manufacturing. Yet our STEM needs sometimes require security clearances, and it makes our job difficult concerning transparency and requirements. Candidates want to know what the culture is like and what our people are like, and we can’t showcase some of the things we do. Out of 100,000 employees, I would say a little more than half require security clearances. Even some of our HR folks require security clearances!

Tell us about your employer brand strategy!

We have a oneLM (or one Lockheed Martin) approach to our brand strategy; our objective is to enable the growth of enterprise-wide talent pipelines and increase hires of critical skilled talent. Our key priorities within the brand strategy must encompass:

  • Candidate experience
  • Process efficiency
  • Innovation
  • Metrics that enable strategic decision making

We also work in tandem with our corporate communications department. We have our budget but do a lot of partnering as well in HR.

How do you communicate and activate your employer brand strategy?

Currently, we’ve communicated the message through our recruitment marketing creative (on our website, our ads, via social, in our job descriptions). We’ll continue to promote our EVP externally, but this time around after our refresh, we will begin with the employee value proposition and share the messages internally before releasing to external talent.

We want to make sure that the messages we’re promoting externally resonate with our employees. We do a lot of referrals, ambassador programs and many hiring managers that want to be involved in how we attract talent and leveraging their network.

What’s your best source of hire?

I think what’s unique about our talent acquisition strategy is that we recognize the value in all sources. We’ve been measuring sources of influence where our attribution model includes all sources because for years candidates have been leveraging as many sources as they can to learn about employers before they apply, and then another set of sources before they interview and accept an offer. But the most important ones would be:

  1. Career Website
  2. Job Alerts
  3. Email Marketing
  4. Job Aggregators

Any initiatives you’re proud of?

Since I’ve been here, my team has been instrumental in developing the first research driven EVP strategy and coupling that with our recruitment marketing campaigns. We leverage our real employees for these ad campaigns, and we’re proud of that.

Also providing an annual practice media plan that is customized for each business area. The last couple of years we’ve done so for 5 business areas and this year we’ve planed to segment our media promoted explicitly for each and every business area.

We also launched our Facebook and Instagram career channels, after years of leveraging our corporate channels because of the audience base. And I cannot forget to mention our career website which has evolved into a real search-engine optimized and mobile experience.

Any hard lessons you can share?

  1. Don’t make assumptions. Listen to employees and apply what you learn from them. Do your research.
  2. Don’t allow external technology capabilities to drive your strategy. Build your plan with your team first, and then apply the technology you need for your success.
  3. Don’t do everything alone. Building relationships with internal stakeholders like marketing or hiring managers are essential to building a cohesive strategy.

What’s next for Lockheed Martin’s employer brand?

At Lockheed Martin, we’re exploring career sites, AI, video, chatbots and more. We’re investigating live events for careers and talent community engagement will continue to progress. There’s so much more, but you will see it when we launch it.

Unlocking the potential of AI is critical regarding the automation of both marketing and what we do internally concerning identifying talent.

Connect with Charlotte on LinkedIn.


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