Andy CurlewisAuthored by Andy Curlewis, Managing Director - Brand, Digital and Communications

In 2021, digital transformation is at the heart of many organizations’ strategic plans. But how do you attract the best digital talent to drive those transformation programs forward? And how do you utilize the power of digital technology to create a best-in class consumer experience for your candidates and your people? 

Employer brand and the rise of the reputation economy 

With company valuations increasingly weighted towards intangible assets such as reputation, culture and people, a company’s employer brand has a more important role to play than ever in driving sustainable growth. 

The future of work is accelerating on the back of seismic changes, from global and regional social movements to the hybrid-working revolution accelerated by COVID-19. 

In this new reputation economy, it’s vital to leverage your employer brand to bring employees with you on your transformation journey and cement your external position as an employer of choice for top talent. Digital reinvention is key to this process.  

Attracting the best talent with a digitally powered employer brand  

Technology is only as valuable as the human experience it improves. Weaving your employer brand through every digital touchpoint is key – but so is using that brand to deliver authentic storytelling and messaging that resonates with your audience. 

At Cielo, we combine experience in developing employee value propositions (EVPs) and employer brands, with the knowledge needed to build a best-in-class digital experience for your candidates. So, what does that candidate experience look like?  

It begins with content that is configured for both digital platforms and today’s digital consumer, from story-led advertisements to personalized websites and video job descriptions. It continues with on-demand chatbot support, and a one click apply process. Above all, it means ensuring that your employer brand is connecting with the right transformational talent you need, using tools such as programmatic advertising, niche job boards and communities and social media referrals. 

Today’s candidates expect their recruitment experience to be primarily a digital one. They are at home with a hiring process that includes the convenience of virtual events and interviews and see social media as a key platform for a job search.  

Your employer brand and your internal audience 

It’s not just the candidate experience that needs to be digitized. The employee experience needs a digital makeover too. With the move to more flexible and hybrid models of working - only accelerated by the pandemic, your employer brand now needs to work harder than ever to connect with and inspire your own people.  

With the ‘great resignation’ now being felt globally, a strong employer brand as a way to retain your employees has never been greater. Employees are measuring their satisfaction with their employer based on how they responded to their needs during the pandemic. Those employees that were left feeling less than satisfied are now looking to those organizations that did show consideration to their workforce. 

In the world of virtual offices, digital communication channels are vital to help compensate for the lack of face-to-face contact, fostering inclusion, belonging and wellbeing. By bringing your employees on any transformation journey – whether it’s one of post-pandemic recovery or digital reinvention – you can create brand ambassadors who will amplify your voice and connect with future talent.   

At the moment, we are seeing increasing demand from talent acquisition leaders to deliver internal communication programs on digital transformation and new ways of working. Launching communication initiatives around the move to hybrid working is particularly common. This involves adapting employer value propositions and running internal campaigns that make sure employees understand exactly what the new ways of working will mean for them, and where they can access the tools they need to adapt. 

Your workforce is also a key source of untapped talent, which your employer brand can help unlock. With digital skills of all kinds in short supply, reskilling and upskilling your employees can allow you to access a whole new pool of talent. The willingness to retrain following the pandemic can be a key tool in helping to combat waves of retirement and resignation, or replace lost institutional knowledge caused by a highly volatile workforce. Your employer brand has a key role to play here, informing employees of the opportunities for professional reinvention, and empowering them to access the training that will help them switch direction successfully.  

The theory in action 

Becton Dickinson (BD), a global medical technology company, is just one of the organizations Cielo has been supporting to drive digital transformation. Cielo supported BD as they digitized their candidate experience through the development of digital campaigns, a new social media strategy and the development of a suite of digital toolkits focussed on storytelling. These tools, coupled with our executive search capabilities, helps BD to enhance their capabilities to define, find, and engage the digital and tech talent BD needs to drive innovation for their customers and their employees.  

Our partnership has also helped digitize BD’s employee experience through the deployment of a range of digital tools, new infrastructure and a major communications strategy around their new ways of working. From delivering an engaged talent pool pipeline candidates ready to join a division of BD post-pandemic, to decreasing time-to-hire rates, our initiatives have had impressive results.  

Digital transformation and inclusion 

For all the positives that digital transformation brings, a note of caution should be struck around inclusion, for both internal and external audiences. Whilst it’s overly simplistic to suggest that digital literacy is purely age based, it’s nevertheless true that digital natives born in the 80’s or later are most likely to be comfortable with an increasingly digitized workplace. It’s important to look at any changes with an eye to ensuring no one is excluded. 

Are you providing timely communications programs and well-advertised training materials to enable your employees to get up to speed on any new technologies introduced – especially those that facilitate hybrid working? Are you catering for people with disabilities such as impaired sight or hearing when it comes to virtual meetings, assessments or interviews? Have you considered the barriers to social mobility that might arise from making applications dependent on the candidate having access to their own laptop and the internet?   

In terms of your own workforce, what are the mental health implications of ‘zoom fatigue’ for those in roles which require a high number of online meetings, or increased stress for those unfamiliar with the new technologies introduced? How can you bring a sense of belonging to team members who haven’t met each other for 15 months – or in some cases, ever?  Building inclusion into your new digital processes from the outset is key. 

To build a sustainable workforce, an inclusive, digitally powered employer brand is vital to ensuring your business has the talent it needs to stay at the forefront of innovation. As an end-to-end recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) team, Cielo can integrate a best-in-class digital experience for your candidates into a smooth talent attraction process. It’s a process that runs seamlessly from demand planning and talent insight, through interviewing and assessment to reporting and analytics.