This week has been all about recruiting and employer branding. On Monday I participated a book release event Suhteellinen rekrytointiteoria (about rectuitment online) and two days after that I spent at #truHelsinki recruitment unconference.
Where, actually, I was told that you should never write a book about social media. Change is so rapid that your book will be old before published. Still, Suhteellinen rekrytointiteoria is worth reading. Specially because finnish HR in general still wonders what to think about social media: is rubbish/hype or revolution in communication.
The title of my blogpost generates from that situation and a remark my online friend Maija Tantere (@maijatantere) made: we hr-ladies working online are doing more R&D than HR. We are exploring ways of working and doing employer branding online. Usually alone in our organizations and often on our spare time. I’m very lucky because at the moment I can spend my office hours on the topic.
But what is employer branding from HR perspective?
First, it is giving space to employees experiences about their work and organization. As in journalism, here also, content is king. And specially the real content which is made by employees themselves. Not Marketing department or HR. Bill Boorman (@BillBoorman) said at #truHelsinki that if content takes more than 10 minutes to make, it’s called marketing.
Every employee online creates stories about his employer. Stories can be tweets, FB updates, videos, photos, logins etc. They are all pieces of employer brand. My job is to collect those pieces together, give them space. At the moment I’m exploring ways of doing this. Is it a hashtag (#) that everybody could use? Maybe a Posterous or Instagram or Pinterest account? I like this challenge, because people at my organization, they create lot’s of content.
As Bill Boorman also said, it’s not a work of community manager but rather work of community DJ. DJ doesn’t make the music, but he plays it. He can set up the disco and let the music play!
Now you could argue that what if music doesn’t sound nice? What if people don’t have positive things to say about their employer? Do you want to spread bad word? I’m sorry to say that it is spreading anyway. Employer brand is based on organizational culture. You can’t lie about it. At least for a long time. Specially now when most of us are online.
If your corporate culture is based on back-stabbing, stress, unethical behavior or other problems you can’t make positive employer brand out of it. You must start by fixing the problems. The only way to have good employer brand is to be a good employer.
Secondly, employer branding is about conversation and interaction. You must step down from your ivory tower and start discussion and sharing. People doesn’t want talk with companies, they want to talk with other people, who have names and faces, personalities.
A good example is Yle Areena –page on Facebook. It is about Yle’s (our national broadcasting company) streaming service Areena. It promotes content of Areena. But fans communicate not with a service, but with real people with real personalities; Antti, Sippo, Hanna.
I really love their attitude and way of communicating! And I really hope to be able to create something with the same feeling from my HR/recruitment perspective.
Because it is all about feelings, isn’t it?
Ps. I’ve never written in English before (since schooltimes). Sorry for bad expressions, grammar errors etc. Good practice, hard work!