When Lisa Chartier started the employer branding team at Philips she was flying solo. Over time, she built up a strategic function that now spans the globe.
She’s the Global Employer Brand and Recruitment Marketing Lead at Philips, and we sit down with her to learn how she established the capability, justified budgets, hired a team, showed results, negotiated peaks and troughs and what the future holds.
Have a listen to the interview below, keep reading for a summary and be sure to subscribe to the Employer Branding Podcast.
What does Phillips do nowadays? Not washing machines or DVD players right?
Or TVs, headphones and light bulbs… In short, Philips today is purely a Health Technology company. We produce innovative software products, services, and solutions to improve people’s health and well-being across the health continuum. Everything from prevention to consumers and diagnosis, to treatment and recovery as patients.
Tell us a little bit about the purpose of employer branding within Phillips?
We have a big awareness/understanding issue when it comes to our brand (consumer brand as well as employer brand). We are also a company in constant transformation, operating in some of the most competitive industry and talent segments. Our work must differentiate Philips and win vs. other companies vying for the same talent if Philips is going to be able to execute its strategy. Our work is what allows talent attraction capability for these priority segments to move from the “risk” category to the “strategic advantage” category in the boardroom.
Employer branding did not exist internally in a formal sense at Phillips before I joined. Shortly after I joined, my boss was promoted to a global role so the goal was to build capability for North America initially as a pilot and then scale globally if successful. It was a great opportunity to fulfill the entrepreneur in me.
We started out as just a small team initially just playing the role of developing an employer brand strategy as a means to simply execute our talent acquisition strategy more effectively. Now we are a bigger team that is actually influencing our global people strategy and actually shaping the “product” we have to offer talent in the market in many ways. So, we have a much bigger voice in the company.
What are 3 of the biggest challenges you’ve had to overcome along the way?
- Building the unwavering confidence and belief that what I and my team do matters. Always that voice of self-doubt in a relatively “new domain” like this one. Also as an addendum to that point, the art of diplomacy – knowing which battles to fight to the death on, and which ones to surrender in order to win the bigger war.
- Resource management. Learning how to constantly and consistently do more with less or better with the same.
- Keeping up in the insane marketplace we are all operating in (hyper-competition for the best candidates in a world of content clutter, rapidly changing technologies and the emergence of new career channels.
Can you describe your employer brand strategy?
Quite simply, we have 4 pillars of our strategy:
- Build an iconic employer brand around the world; to
- Enable the Talent Acquisition strategy; by
- Advancing our strategic and operational excellence; and
- Continuing to develop our people and capabilities
Our operating model focuses on developing and deploying employer branding content on key career channels. We determine what those are at a global and local level each year. For 2018, our global key career channels are our career website, LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google, our talent CRM, our own employees and select employer award publishers. This year we have also included Instagram and Snapchat in our global key channel mix for our younger talent segments and plan to leverage content syndication platforms like Taboola and Outbrain to enable a marked shift in our strategy from traditional advertising to a more candidate-friendly content marketing approach.
What are your top 3 tips to share with other employer brand managers?
- Build a culture of collaboration and void of egos, without exception. Within your own team and within other teams.
- Learn the rules to use them to your advantage (i.e. primary vs. secondary cost calculations in Philips)
- Make budget conversations about total resource allocation vs. dollars, and then leverage technology to cut cost in tactical execution areas
What’s up next for employer brand?
EVERYTHING. It’s such an exciting time to be part of this space! I think we’ll see:
- Increasing educational resources for employees/practitioners.
- Access to better technologies and strategic frameworks to really professionalize work and yield killer results (AI-backed technology solutions, content marketing tools and methodologies, etc. In cases where an HR version of something isn’t obvious, we borrow from the B2C/eCommerce space and adapt.
- Employer branding will become a bigger part of the organizational design. Which means better opportunities to prove value and be heard.
- There will be a shift from those who do have capability being ahead to those who don’t have to be “behind”.
- Communities of employer branding practitioners popping up everywhere.
Connect with Lisa on LinkedIn