Building an Employer Brand for success
Laura Johnson, Recruitment Manager at Caffe Nero recently talked to Chris Pateman, Client Relationship Manager at LaunchPad, about building an employer brand for success.
Communicating about our values is a priority says Laura. “This doesn’t mean prescriptively listing what our values are”. It’s about conveying what it’s like to work at Caffe Nero. “We’re a fun, social, diverse, creative, vibrant place to work” she says. “Our brand is about ‘finding a place for you’, we think of it as a second home.” This needs to come across in all our interactions with potential candidates
While every store has the same values, each store has a different feel to it says Laura. Some candidates will be suited to one store more than another and Caffe Nero is using the differences as a strength to market to candidates. “Not every coffee shop is the same and we’re not trying to create a uniform look. We highlight the differences and don’t shy away from it”.
You need to be brave and honest about who you are says Laura. If you watch videos from employees on Caffe Nero’s careers site they’re not scripted, and if you look at their YouTube channel, videos aren’t narrated. “We let things speak for themselves, we help candidates find out for themselves, it’s important to have an authentic feel to your content.”
We have to accept there are wrong-fit candidates says Laura. But the more information you can give candidates, the better informed they are. “If we’re honest about the challenges employees will face like difficult customers, or unsocial hours in a busy environment, we enable people to make up their own minds and deselect themselves if they don’t share our values.” This approach means Caffe Nero now receives fewer, but higher quality, applicants.
Caffe Nero wants to encourage employee generated content and key to this is recognising employee contributions – simply thanking people and then using their content. “We have a framework on social sharing but not too strict a policy as we want people to keep engaging with us” says Laura. For Caffe Nero it’s more important to be authentic and timely than to have perfect sanitised content.
Employer brand is a two-way flow of information, especially when it comes to social media. “If you are challenged, you need to be able to respond through real people in your business” says Laura. “If you have a strong employer branding strategy you make your job easier” she says. “If you’re getting the right messages across you won’t need to respond to lots of individual reviews or questions”.
The choice of channels for communicating content needs to be carefully thought out. Along with a careers website, Caffe Nero is making use of YouTube, Facebook and Instagram. “Although it won’t be for everyone, we use Instagram stories a lot” says Laura, “we’re not shy about showing the reality of what we do through sharing real-time organic content.”
Caffe Nero’s key project for this year is to make better use of technology. “We want to improve the candidate experience and showcase our brand and everything our business stands for.”
Caffe Nero’s talent acquisition team works closely with the marketing, communications and brand teams. “We need to align what we want as recruiters with what other teams want to communicate to our customers” says Laura. The teams agreed on common goals and Laura says key to their relationship is respecting each other’s expertise.
“If you ask for next day delivery and your parcel doesn’t arrive the next day it reflects badly on the brand. It’s the same for recruitment,” says Laura. Candidates want instant feedback and technology can play a role in speeding up the process. If companies are slow to respond to candidates they risk losing out: “We know that if we don’t respond quickly, a competitor will do, and we risk losing those candidates.”
Listen to the full webinar about building an employer brand for success.