The impact of employer branding on company performance, with Florence Broderick

Company culture matters
The impact of employer branding on company performance, with Florence Broderick
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Would you like to learn how to overcome the impact of a weak employer branding? or how to motivate your employees to enhance your employer branding strategy?

In this episode our host at Company culture matters, Laura Hernández, talks with Florence Broderick, VP of Marketing at CARTO, about the importance of keeping a strong employer branding, the impact it has on our company’s reputation and growth, and how to align our employer branding efforts with our branding strategy.


Episode transcript

LAURA HERNÁNDEZ: Hi, everybody. This is Laura Hernández, host of company culture matters by Nailted.

LAURA HERNÁNDEZ: In this episode, we will take a look at employer branding with Florence Broderick, VP of Marketing, at CARTO.

FLORENCE BRODERICK: A good brand, a good employer brand, gets you good people, good candidates. And if you’ve got great people working in your company, you’re probably gonna expand your customers, grow them, be able to help them with their business. So it’s really quite simple, but you have to ensure that everything is set up to attract those great people and that aligned with the vision for the business.

LAURA HERNÁNDEZ: Caring about your employer branding is like caring about your global brand. Employer branding has become the business identity of our companies and everyday more organizations are aware of its relevance. A positive employer branding helps to attract and retain talent since the employee’s voice is 3 times more believable than CEO’s when it comes to talking about working conditions. And it is also crucial for how prospects and clients perceive our brand. Still, its importance is often forgotten as companies prioritize other things. In most companies, employer branding is the responsibility of the Human Resources team. However, it should be done in collaboration with marketing to ensure that the communication, formats and messaging are aligned to the overall branding strategy.

LAURA HERNÁNDEZ: This episode focuses on the impact of employer branding. This is what we will be talking about, and we will closely look at four core aspects: it’s importance its effect on company’s reputation, its impact on our branding strategy and its repercussions on company’s growth.

LAURA HERNÁNDEZ: Florence Broderick, VP of marketing at CARTO, we couldn’t be happier to have you on board.

FLORENCE BRODERICK: Good morning Laura. Great to be here.

LAURA HERNÁNDEZ: Florence, why is keeping a strong employer branding so important for companies nowadays?

FLORENCE BRODERICK: Well, I think one of the main reasons is actually around hiring. If you think about now in some countries it might be slightly different, but there’s a very large pool of candidates out there who are looking for jobs and who might be considering working at your company. So perhaps some companies might think, well, there’s so many candidates out there that it’s going to be easy to hire, but I think what hasn’t changed is if you really want to get the high quality candidates, they’re still thinking a lot about the values and the culture of the company that they’re going to.

FLORENCE BRODERICK: So, if you aren’t investing in having a strong brand, then you probably aren’t going to attract the best candidates. Because at the end of the day, the best candidates will have a few offers on the table or a few companies that they’re considering. And if you are competing against big brands like at CARTO very often, we are competing against big tech brands, you know, Amazon, Google, Facebook… you need to have a good brand to stand out and for people to see the value of going to a smaller company where they might learn more and have more exposure.

FLORENCE BRODERICK: I think that’s just really important and it’s not just about your website, social media, the things that people traditionally think about when they think about employer branding, but it’s also, it’s every little detail and word of mouth is just so important. So how your employees speak about you in their networks when they’re, you know, when they go to a party at the weekend or when they used to before COVID and somebody asked them all, what’s it like, you know, that spreads big time and it spreads among networks of people who you would probably want to work at your company. So, word of mouth is so, so important.

LAURA HERNÁNDEZ: So we could say Florence that employer branding can directly affect a company’s reputation, right? And reputation is a significant factor for business growth. In fact, I’ve got a stat that says that 64% of consumers have stopped purchasing a brand after hearing news of that company’s poor employee treatment. Florence, what’s the real impact employer branding has on our company’s reputation?

FLORENCE BRODERICK: Yeah, I think that’s a great question. And it’s an interesting one now, like if you think about some of the, I read something last night, that a company, some big corporate in the U.S. was checking the employees were wearing shoes and trousers in zoom calls. Like it just seems so crazy that companies are trying during this new work from home era to make it like offline corporate life. When really that’s just not the way, employees should be wearing slippers and should be comfortable and if they want to wear sweatpants under the table, does it, does it really matter?

FLORENCE BRODERICK: And so I think, you know, if you don’t brand right through this change that we’re going through, people aren’t going to want to work at your company. I think the return to office policy is a question we keep on getting asked, and at CARTO say we aren’t going back to the office until we have a vaccine and until it’s safe, because our employees safety is the most important thing. But there are some big companies who are paying lots for that real estate who are trying to force the issue and lots of people who aren’t comfortable going back to an office have had to go back to an office, which is just silly because if you’re trying to hire, or when people leave your company, you need to rehire, people aren’t going to want to work at the company they’ve heard that they’ve got bad COVID policy.

FLORENCE BRODERICK: So reputation wise, I think it’s really important and that extends beyond to what your customers don’t think about you because if they see that you’re old fashioned in your approach to this transformation that we’re going through, then they might think as well, that your approach to business is going to be old fashioned, the way that you develop the products, the way that you treat customers. So it goes way beyond just your kind of their pipeline and the quality of candidates you would attract, but I think it echos to every interaction with a customer.

LAURA HERNÁNDEZ: It’s very interesting something that you mentioned before about the word of mouth and something you’ve been elaborating along your speech. It’s a fact that our employees are like windows that give our clients and our prospects and also candidates to work in our company, visibility on how things work within our company. And, as we all know, what some people think and say about our company influences what other we’ll think about it. Therefore, it also impacts our company’s success and growth opportunities in the long-term. Florence, in this sense, how could we overcome the impact of a weak employer branding on our overall branding strategy?

FLORENCE BRODERICK: I think that’s a really good point. You know, your VP marketing and your VP people need to be on the same page and they need to talk about this. I think that’s why it’s important that you align objectives. So, you know, in a company like ours, if the focus is growth and growing our revenues and you know, our BP people Natalia, she needs to hire people that enable us to do that, and so I need to support her because I’m also focused on growing revenues and I know that we need good people to do that. So for me in marketing, yeah, I might be focused on campaigns, webinars, case studies, thinking about how we attract more enterprise leads. But if I don’t have great people to deal with those leads and to speak to those customers, then what’s the point.

FLORENCE BRODERICK: You need to align objectives and set values that allow you to achieve those objectives together. So actually, you know, there’s an example, our landing page for careers at CARTO, that’s something where we sat down multiple people in the company to say, okay, what do we want to reflect? What do we want to show about our company? We put our four company values there, front and center. We also put a little part where you can see different people from different offices across the world and ask them, why was it that they joined CARTO, you know, we really thought about this together, and I’d like to think that we can attract candidates with that page and all of the other things that we do, who will their good values fit and that they are international, diverse and the kind of people that they would enjoy working with CARTO.

FLORENCE BRODERICK: I think it’s all about objectives and making sure that everybody’s on the same page, because if people don’t have the same objectives, then it doesn’t work.

LAURA HERNÁNDEZ: I guess sometimes it’s not easy to work on employer branding, right? It’s quite difficult to ensure that all our employees have the tools to effectively enhance our employer brand, or even to confirm that they understand the importance of doing so. So, Florence, which methods or strategies could we use to involve our employees and incentivize them to collaborate with us on improving our employer brand?

FLORENCE BRODERICK: So one thing that we’ve done at CARTO that used to work quite well before COVID but now has been a bit more challenging is we actually have a collaborative company Instagram. We don’t use Instagram, frankly, for demand generation or anything like that. It’s just not where really our customers are looking to understand more about CARTO, but we know that employees might go and look at our Instagram to see like what’s the vibe of this company. Actually we have, I think it’s a group of four or five people who have access to the Instagram account and who can share stories, who can share posts about what it’s like to work at CARTO, and we use it to share new employee posts there as well, which has been a bit more challenging to be honest in COVID because we aren’t in an office together, we aren’t going out for dinners together, we aren’t catching up over a coffee or having a Halloween competition or who got the best outfit.

FLORENCE BRODERICK: You know, we aren’t doing those things so that’s been a little difficult, but I think it was a great way to show what kind of people and what kind of values we have at the company. Another thing that’s worked pretty well is like social selling. When I say social selling, I mean encouraging the company to share posts on social media about different things that they’re working on at CARTO and I think that’s great. Not only to show to other potential candidates, what it’s like and what kind of things we work on at CARTO, but, you know, to make people proud of their customers that we’re working with and in COVID in CARTO we’ve done a lot, we’ve given a lot of grants to companies who are using our software to fight against the virus. Anything from understanding overcrowding in the metro, to symptom data collection, to planning the return to the office and how you can space out desks and rooms accordingly, like loads of cool use cases that frankly our employees are proud of because they’re having an impact. So, sharing those stories.

FLORENCE BRODERICK: But we also ask questions of our employees regularly and in like an anonymous way. So we use Nailted to ask questions about how they’re feeling, what could we do better, where could their manager do better by asking those questions and getting that information back in a safe space. It’s really powerful for us and particularly managers and the leadership team to understand, okay, what are we doing wrong? What are we doing right? And how do we adapt through the very, very changed workplace that we find ourselves in 2020.

LAURA HERNÁNDEZ: Florence we mentioned before that employer branding has a direct impact on company growth, it could be negatively, or it could be positively. How could we get the most out of our employer branding efforts to positively influence company growth?

FLORENCE BRODERICK: I think it comes back to this point I made earlier that a good brand, a good employer brand gets you good people, good candidates and if you’ve got great people working in your company, then you’ll probably gonna expand your customers, grow them, be able to help them with their business. So it’s really quite simple, but you have to ensure that everything is set up to attract those great people and that aligned with the vision for the business.

FLORENCE BRODERICK: To give an example, we’re very focused on growing our business in North America and in markets like UK, France, Germany. And  for example, when we write job descriptions, even though, you know, a big part of our team are based in Madrid and Seville, we don’t ask for people to speak Spanish. Which a while back it might have been different, in that office. But we need our office in Madrid and Seville to be as international as if we had an office in London or Berlin or the Netherlands, so we don’t make it necessary to speak Spanish. Obviously English is the fundamental language that they have to have. If they also have Spanish, that’s a nice bonus because it’s helpful in social environments to be able to speak Spanish in the office for sure. But that’s a good example of like this one small detail on a job description is you have to align that to your entire vision for the company.

FLORENCE BRODERICK: So, growing the business in markets where people speak other languages. It’s just a small example, but if you, if you’ve got the right people that speak the right languages and can connect with your customers in their native language, then the business will grow and that will have a positive impact for the, entire company.

LAURA HERNÁNDEZ: Florence, would you give us some conclusive advice to work on our employer branding?

FLORENCE BRODERICK: Absolutely. I think it’s all about the details. Something I massively admire about our people team at CARTO our HR team is they care about every single detail. So if you think about, I just mentioned job descriptions, like we try and write our job descriptions to be inclusive and to reflect our values.

FLORENCE BRODERICK: If you’re running a recruitment process within the company, we actually wrote the handbook so that step-by-step, we know how we’re going to be treating candidates. So that goes from, okay, what should be the key things that in each interview? so we don’t end up doing interviews that cover the same thing three times. Or how do we make sure that everybody gets a response if they apply to a role at CARTO. If somebody has had a couple of interviews, do we make sure that we actually give them a call and share feedback with them if they ask for it?

FLORENCE BRODERICK: You know, all of these little touches with the candidates matter, because maybe they’re not the right person for this role, but maybe, down the line they’ll end up applying again because they were treated so well by CARTO in that process. Or maybe they’ll tell their friend like, Oh, I did a process for CARTO and I didn’t get the role, but it is really a fantastic place to work and I was treated very well by then. Every little detail matters. You should train all of your team internally to be ready to interview. So that the way that they interview is professional and inclusive and not biased towards certain profiles or certain types of people.

FLORENCE BRODERICK: It’s all about little details. It’s not just okay, we’re hiring, of course everybody would want to work for us. Not all people, the best candidates have got lots of options. And it’s even harder now because I think lots of people are probably a bit more reluctant to move jobs because they’re worried about being lost in the door at a company. So all of this matters more than ever and if you want to get the top, top talent, you need to care about every little detail.

LAURA HERNÁNDEZ: Once again, Florence, thank you so much for joining us in this enriching conversation on employer branding. It’s been a real pleasure to have you with us and, you know, anytime you want, we’ll be here to listen to your best practices on any other topic you would like to talk about.

FLORENCE BRODERICK: My pleasure. Thank you so much for having me Laura and looking forward to continuing using Nailted to help us with our employer branding.

LAURA HERNÁNDEZ: That’s it for this episode on employer branding of company culture matters by Nailted. I would like to give special thanks to Florence Broderick and if you want to  find out what she’s up to, you can connect with her in LinkedIn. Also, you want to listen to other great stories, take them out in nailted.com/podcast.

LAURA HERNÁNDEZ: CARTO is a company that uses Nailted to develop and measure their company culture. Nailted is the employee engagement platform for people and HR teams who want to deliver the best employee experience. So, if you want to know how Nailted can help your company check out nailted.com.

LAURA HERNÁNDEZ: I’m your host, Laura Hernández, and this is company culture matters, by Nailted.

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