NBCUniversal is a massive, massive organization. But what happens when such a large company needs to develop and activate a new EVP (Employer Value Proposition)?
That was the challenge facing Anne Hurley, Director of Talent Branding at NBCUniversal. We brought her on the Employer Branding Podcast to talk about how she executed an EVP refresh at one of the largest multinational media companies in the world, and how they build the flexibility to activate it across a wide variety of brands and countries.
NBCUniversal is even bigger than you think. It comprises over twenty different businesses across thirty countries including motion pictures, TV productions, a leading television stations group, world-renowned theme parks, and a premium ad-supported streaming service. There are many different brands within the whole, from Unverisal theme parks to E! News to Fandango. So how do you articulate an EVP that works for all those different brands and localities?
The process started with laying out the Talent Acquisition organization’s goals as a whole. They decided on setting objectives around brand awareness and engagement, employee experience, DEI, and recruiting excellence. These goalposts helped steer the process, defining what they were trying to get out of their new EVP and how they should measure success across all brands.
“We have to go to market with a consistent story because we are a decentralized company since our properties operate on their own,” Hurley says, “our job is to influence them at each point of the candidate lifecycle.” For their EVP, they need to create something that brought everything together but was flexible enough to work just as well for NBC News as it did for Peacock streaming.
They started with a research phase by hosting employee roundtables, looking at internal data collection, and engaging with external vendors. They then took those findings and got together with other internal groups like Corporate Creative and Corporate Communications to distill everything into the tagline: “Here you can.”
“It’s simple, right? But that’s why it works,” Hurley says, “it acts as a ‘fill in the blank’ where we can insert language at the end of the phrase based on personas, skillsets, or interests. It doesn’t need to compete with our consumer brands—it’s simply complimentary.” So for E! News, it might be articulated as “Here you can be Pop Cultured,” or if they wanted to speak to their DEI initiatives it might become “Here you can be authentically you.” Their EVP is powerful because it can be articulated differently to different personas.
In addition to developing an EVP that works for many different brands, Hurley’s Talent Branding organization has been working to make localization a priority. “Our brand does not resonate with people in the UK or Germany or France in the way it resonates with people in the US,” Hurley says, so they set to work creating a global toolkit to bring everything together.
Hurley and her team started with focus groups to more clearly identify needs in each global territory, and used that information to create localized assets that would align with the organization’s EVP while sharing the same look and feel across all languages. They worked closely with local brand champions to develop these resources, which in turn gives them everything they need to create their own localized, inclusive content.
Large organizations come with a unique set of challenges for employer branding and talent acquisition professionals, but there are best practices for all of us on developing and activating an EVP. Be clear about your internal goals before you get started, do the research to get a complete picture of your organization, and make sure to bring everyone to the table when the time comes to take the next steps.
Finally, don’t hesitate to reach out to other folks working in the employer brand space. “I’ve made a lot of connections by simply pinging the guests on this podcast,” Hurley says. We try to include a way to get in touch with all of our guests, so don’t be afraid to make a connection.
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