Takeaways from People Make the Brand

Takeaways from People Make the Brand

People Make the Brand – the Employer Branding Conference took place on November 15th 2013 in İstanbul at Çırağan Palace Kempinski, located on the shores of the magnificent Bosphorus, where east meets west, Europe meets Asia and history meets the contemporary.

The People Make the Brand conference – sponsored by Garanti Bank, organized by Dinamo and supported by Universum – had the aim to provide participants with the opportunity to gain first-hand insights into some leading organizations’ winning practices in different industries. Throughout the day, over 175 participants had the chance to get into why and how these companies have executed strategic and sustainable people practices, which have contributed significantly to their organizational successes.

Employer Branding Professionals, Talent Acquisition leaders, Recruitment Professionals, HR Directors, Communications & Marketing Professionals as well as GMs and Deputy GMs from various industries such as FMCG, Automotive, Retail, Banking, Audit, Energy, Consulting, Health, Aviation, Education, Oil and Gas participated in the conference.

The Employer Brand Phenomenon Is a Philosophy to Adopt

Evrim Kuran, Dinamo Consulting Managing Partner and Universum Middle East Director, mentioned in her opening speech that in an increasingly change-driven world, organizations are required to evolve their mindsets to serve the demands of the new millennium. Kuran explained how the 21st century business environment has introduced corporations to a new paradigm, which inverts the taken-for-granted assumptions of the previous work-life century: good people are more valuable than ever before. The session underlined the very fact that people-driven organizations are changing the world and it is a corporation’s people that make the brand. Kuran’s session explored the Employer Brand phenomenon as a philosophy “to adopt” rather than an item “to-do” with the inquiry of why we should go beyond platitudes when we refer to our people as our greatest assets.

The Employer Branding Revolution

Claudia Tattanelli – Chairman of the Strategic Advisory Board at UNIVERSUM, talked about the Employer Branding Revolution, which highlighted the importance of building a GLOCAL Employer Brand, a brand that is global but can be adapted locally at the same time. Chloe’s presentation offered an international outlook on important talent trends, presenting the World’s Most Attractive Employers, and discussed how Turkish organizations should act to secure future talent needs. Based on Universum’s ideal employer rankings, the main characteristics of attractive employers were presented, with a focus on talent’s career preferences in Turkey and the Middle East.

Embracing Tradition in Today’s Talent Market by Ferrero

In her speech, “Embracing tradition in today’s talent market”, Kathyrn Callow from Ferrero discussed the ongoing challenge of creating a global employer brand for a company that was simultaneously voted the world’s most secretive and the world’s most reputable company in 2009. Ferrero is in the initial stages of building a global employer brand to house its iconic consumer brands (Kinder, Nutella, Tictac and Rocher) as well as attract top talent into the organization. The humble nature of the brand led this Italian business to show reservations to corporate communications. In turn, this has caused a lack of brand awareness in a competitive talent market despite it being the world’s fourth largest confectionery group. The complexities of this project lie in being culturally sensitive to the heritage of the group whilst delivering on what is required in an emerging new world to attract talent in a web 2.0 generation.

Continuously Creating Value by Garanti Bank

Garanti Banks’s HR Coordinator Osman Tüzün told the participants how Garanti built its employer brand. At Garanti,  Turkey’s progressive bank, Tüzün mentioned that they have a mission to continuously and noticeably increase the value they create for their customers, shareholders, employees, the society and the environment by utilizing their influence, agility and organizational efficiency. He suggested this mission is embedded in their strategy by continuously creating value not only for external clients but also for the internal clients. With this vision, the bank has started its Employer Branding touch in 2005 . Since then, Garanti’s Employer Brand has come a long way to the point that the bank now has an Employer Brand Management Department consisting of 7 people who are experts in their fields. This session helped see the back-story of this awarded journey and explored opportunities to improve the organizational attractiveness of companies in the shrinking talent market.

Introducing Talent Brand into a Global Organization by BAT

Aly Sparks, Global Head of Talent Acquisition at BAT, in her speech “Introducing Talent Brand into a Global Organization” answered the question: Starting with no formal recruitment organisation, lack of digital presence, and no online ATS system in place, where do you begin? Participants heard how BAT has, in parallel, built a Global Talent Acquisition function, developed the fundamentals, and more importantly created an overarching Global Talent Brand. Aly discussed how the Talent Brand was built first and foremost to align and meet the business growth and strategic vision, focusing on:

  • Driving activity to build talent competitiveness in high growth markets
  • Establishing presence in key future talent hubs
  • Prioritizing the acquisition of critical and core capabilities
  • Becoming future focused whilst fulfilling current talent needs
  • Building a compelling 21st century talent brand

Internal Branding in Employee Engagement by Facebook

Adam Ward, Director of Recruiting at Facebook, talked about the importance of Internal Branding in Employee Engagement and his session focused on the crucial aspects of aligning a company’s internal brand to its external branding efforts and the impact it has on employee retention and engagement. Using Facebook as a case study, Adam focused on the following topics and key questions:

  • Understanding your current internal brand
  • Ensuring everyone understands and reinforces the core philosophies about people
  • Reducing instances of misalignment between words and actions
  • Guiding behavior towards reinforcement of the brand
  • Measuring the impact on employee engagement
  • Aligning the internal to external brand
  • Turning your employees into a mouthpiece for brand.

Social Media Strategy in Employer Branding by EY

Shirley Jackson, Global Recruiting & Employer Brand Leader at Ernst & Young, shared EY’s Social Media Strategy in Employer Branding. Shirley’s session offered EY’s Social Media strategy in Employer Branding as a case study and outlined EY’s approach to using social media, including the challenges the company faces both within the organisation and externally. Shirley gave insight into things that have worked for EY, approaches that they have tried that have not had the impact that they might have expected. The session additionally included some social media tools that EY is considering for future use.

CA’s Employer Brand influence on employee engagement.

Sarah Emanuel, Talent Acquisition Leader EMEA at CA Technologies, talked about CA’s Employer Brand influence on employee engagement. Sarah shared that CA Technologies have recently created an Employee Value Proposition and Employer Brand – built from the feedback of 217 employees, across 17 countries with a combined total of 1,200 years of CA experience. CA Technologies actively embraced its global population to ensure a Brand and Tone of Voice which spoke not only from the employees, but to the employees. Keeping employees engaged in both the process of creation and delivery of this message was not hard. They are their own words and their own views. The Brand has served to reinforce the values and ideals that each employee holds true and in turn has allowed us to go to market with a strong, organic and true Employer Brand. Sarah demonstrated how CA Technologies engaged a diverse-staff pool in the development of the Employer Brand. Moreover, from redesigning their careers site, their employee referral process and their talent attraction messaging, they are keeping their employees motivated, dedicated and engaged.


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