Case Studies

An Employer Branding strategy for the Polish branch of an American technology company

Project context

The Polish branches of foreign companies can be found regularly in Cracow and other large cities of Poland. This client is one of such branches, or more precisely, the so-called “IT hub”, which is a technological team of a global product company with its headquarters in the United States.

As part of our cooperation we have developed an extensive Employer Branding Strategy, which covered recommendations for recruitment, internal employer branding and external employer branding.

The issues and challenges the client had to face:

  • expanding the team by adding developers who match the company’s organizational culture,
  • no coherent vision for employer branding activities,
  • dynamic changes in the company’s structure.

 

The cooperation process

Our cooperation took 5 weeks, during which we have been through the strategic process of employer branding activities.

We carried out:

  • a kick-off workshop,
  • in-depth interviews with the team,
  • 2 research workshops,
  • a quantitative study of competition and market analysis,
  • SWOT analysis as well as channels and job offers analysis.

As a result, we have defined:

  • Employer Value Proposition,
  • communication channels,
  • KPIs,
  • Key Selling Points,
  • recommendations and priorities.
Client
The Polish branch of an American technology company
Goal
Development of the Employer Branding Strategy
Period of cooperation:
First months of 2020
Number of stages:
5
Number of people in the project:
3

Sprints 1-2: Research

The kick-off workshop

The kick-off workshop is always a key aspect of the process for us. It allows us to get to know the company, its employees and its values better and to set the goals of our cooperation together.

This time, apart from Team Canvas, we used our own Recruitment Model Canvas, on which we mapped, among the others:

  • who the company wants to hire,
  • how the company acquires candidates,
  • which benefits are offered.

Who did we invite to a kick-off workshop on employer branding?

  • The Project Manager;
  • The Head of the IT department;
  • The Scrum Master;
  • The recruiters.

Long story short – the people we have directly worked with and those participating in employer branding activities.


In-depth interviews with the team

We also conducted in-depth interviews with each person who attended the kick-off workshop. Moreover, we also interviewed the CTO, the Global Recruitment Manager and the Office Manager.


We asked, for example, about:

  • what the recruitment process looks like,
  • how the company is perceived by the candidates,
  • how the candidates know the brand,
  • what are the strengths of the company,
  • what needs to be improved.

In-depth interviews are a key element of the process for us. The answers we receive help us to understand:

  • the position of the brand on the market,
  • team issues,
  • distinguishing features of the employer and decision-making factors.


The research workshop

The research process could not be considered as finished without the research with the concerned, in this case – the developers themselves.

First, we focused on a research workshop, designed specifically for this client.

We gathered a group of developers and testers from different departments of the company to work out: 

  • Employee Value Proposition of the company,
  • effective communication channels,
  • the company’s strengths as an employer.

During these workshops we have used 2 methods:

  1. World Cafe,
  2. Design Studio.

What was significant for us? Developing specific materials that would later be used as an inspiration. These were e.g. the mock-ups of a career page or content for social media.


Quantitative research

Qualitative methods, such as the interviews or workshops are highly valuable, however, for proper validation we prove them by means of quantitative studies.

Here we used an online survey, which has been distributed to the company’s employees with a request to fill it in.

In the survey, we investigated such things as:

  • the use of benefits,
  • acquiring technical knowledge,
  • the desire to recommend the company to a friend – the so-called eNPS.

 

eNPS

The latter is something worth a special consideration. Most people associate NPS, or Net Promoter Score, which describes the satisfaction of using specific services/products and recommending them to friends.

The eNPS on the other hand is focused on satisfaction with the employer and the willingness to recommend the employer to a friend.

Our client’s eNPS result was… really, really good! We won’t disclose any details, but it was higher than those of the technological giants, known for their very good care of employees. Huge kudos!


The Recruitment Journey Map Workshop

We already had a lot of conclusions and recommendations from the previous steps, but we were missing the knowledge about the recruitment process carried out in the company of this client.

Along with 2 recruiters we conducted a workshop where we mapped out the entire recruitment path. Not only the candidate’s path (Candidate Journey Map), but the whole recruitment process, including recruitment marketing activities or onboarding.

This has given us a great insight into the strength of the recruitment team and where a greater effort is needed.

Sprints 3-4: The analysis


Communication channel analysis

As part of the audit of communication channels, we analyzed:

  • the company profile on Facebook,
  • the company profile on Instagram,
  • job advertisements and the profiles on job boards.

What were we focused on?

  • the frequency of the materials shared,
  • the quality of visual materials,
  • matching of the text and format to a specific medium,
  • content marketing and recruitment marketing,
  • the attractiveness of job advertisements,
  • the visibility of Employer Value Proposition and Key Selling Points.

What’s important, apart from the analyses and recommendations, we have presented finished materials and visualizations, which could even be used by the client right away. Such materials are examples of social media posts including graphics, or a job advertisement.


Competition analysis

We have analyzed the activities of some of the client’s largest competitors when it comes to recruiting specific IT specialists in Cracow.

We focused on such elements as:

  • communication channels,
  • recruitment campaigns,
  • the use of personal branding,
  • EVP,
  • using company channels for recruitment purposes.

Competition analysis is one of the validation methods for us. In this case we have confirmed, for example, the hypothesis concerning the use of a very specific medium, exploited by all the competitors we have investigated.

And this is just one of the highlights. Analysis of the competitors’ actions is worth it!


Market analysis

Analyzing the market in terms of recruitment and EB is extremely interesting! Market data can hide many interesting insights. You just need to know… where to look. And what to look for!

We focused on 3 main aspects:

  1. The communities and events for developers from specific technologies that concern our client,
  2. The job advertisements related to the industry and main technology in which the client operates,
  3. Salary ranges on the market.

 

 

The SWOT analysis

The SWOT analysis sums up the knowledge we have gained from our previous activities.

This combination makes us see all of the:

  • Strengths,
  • Weaknesses,
  • Opportunities,
  • Threats.

Importantly, we also recognize the proportions between these indicators, while not forgetting the greater or lesser impact each of them has on the business.

Based on the SWOT analysis we pick the right strategy type.

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    Sprint 5: The strategy


    The final sprint is dedicated to collecting all conclusions and recommendations, visualizing them in the form of a strategic document and presenting the whole concept to the client’s team.

    In the strategic part we have presented such elements as:

    • the developed Employer Value Proposition,
    • the strategic goals,
    • the main principles of the strategy,
    • communication channels,
    • recruitment funnel…
    • and many others 🙂


    Employer Value Proposition

    What is the employer value proposition? We define it as a statement that your competitor is unable to say about his company (unless he’s lying 😉 ). 

    If your competitor can say exactly the same thing about their company which you keep communicating (and which is true) – it’s not unique.

    Frequently encountered “foozles” when it comes to brand distinguishing features are e.g:

    • professionalism,
    • quality,
    • expertise,
    • innovation,
    • a wonderful atmosphere,
    • a terrific team.

    As you can see, they are not unique 🙂 And they did occur in the case of this client.

     

     

    Luckily, this is what we, as experts on the subject, are here to not only explore the EVP among the employees, but also to analyze it, deepen it, draw conclusions and define a truly unique value proposition.

     

    Further tactics

    For this client we recommended a few extra employer branding tactics that will definitely improve the effectiveness of the recruitment process and support the company in finding the right candidates.

    A few of the above mentioned tactics include:

    • Employee Advocacy,
    • Alumni Advocacy,
    • increasing the number of reviews about the company.

    We have also designed a career subpage with information architecture and style matching the global version of the website.

    We have arranged all recommendations and tactics in the MoSCoW model in order to prioritize them.


    KPIs

    Let’s not forget about measuring the recommended activities. 

    We have suggested several tracking indicators, divided into 3 different categories:

    • Recruitment,
    • Internal Employer Branding,
    • External Employer Branding.

     

    Poland vs. the USA

    The client’s company originally comes from the USA and has opened one of its branches in Poland.

    We have decided to identify the recommendations that the company can also apply in the United States and those to be implemented only in Poland.

    Coronavirus recommendations


    The times when we were developing this strategy were… extraordinary.

    We started when everything was OK and finished when the coronavirus pandemic in Poland was spreading.

    Apart from the above mentioned employer branding strategy, we have also prepared recommendations for the client, related particularly to the pandemics, divided into 3 categories:

    • taking care of the welfare of employees,
    • internal communication,
    • using the situation for recruitment purposes.

    Summary of activities

    5

    Sprints

    5

    Research methods

    1

    eNPS study

    Tools, methods and techniques used in the project

    • Google surveys;
    • In-depth interviews;
    • Recruitment funnel;
    • Recruitment Model Canvas;
    • Team Canvas.

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    Project team, i.e. who was responsible for what

    Author of the Case Study

    Grzegorz Górzyński Senior Strategist w Project: People
    Creates and helps clients develop marketing and business strategies.

    He gained experience in NGOs, corporations, startups, SMEs and agencies which gives him a holistic view of the business.. He also worked with Facebook Inc. on the Global Developer Circles project.

    He has led or participated in dozens of strategic projects.

    He provides training in marketing, social media and business idea validation. He was a speaker at Social Media Week Warsaw, BOSS Festival, PR Camp, or Crash Mondays.

    Enthusiast of Lean Startup approach, traveling and good food.

    Other members of the team

    Beata Mosór-Szyszka Co-Owner & Managing Partner w Project: People
    Beata is a serial entrepreneur, co-founder & managing partner at Project: People and Project: Values, and CEO of Hermes & Partner cooperatives. She is also an investor at ProEco Leaders foundation, co-author of The LiGHT Book (together with et al. Phillip Zimbardo, Robert Cialdini), and the author of diverse business tools (e.g. Values Poker, Lean Marketing Sprint).

    Beata is a strategist, marketer and lean consultant with over 14 years of experience in the international market. She has cooperated with companies such as Sabre, T-Mobile and Google. She shares her knowledge and experience as a mentor in acceleration programs (like EIT Digital, Google LaunchPad), and as a lecturer at Tischner European University & WSB University in Gdańsk.

    Project: People is a lean strategy agency that Beata established together with Joanna Ostafin in 2016. The company gained more than 160 clients from 16 countries in just 4 years (2016-2020), has 18 people on board, and achieves impressive growth of 200% Y2Y.

    Beata built the females-first organizations, where ~60-75% of team members are women. She is also open to investing in the female businesses with a vision.

    As a speaker, Beata performs at Polish and international conferences (e.g. Lean Startup Days Paris, VC night by Viva Technology, Open Living Lab, Product Marketing Summit London).