In light of the recent Olympic games, the first-ever Recruitment Marketing Conference, SmashFly Transform™, and our love of recruitment marketing pioneers everywhere, our Recruitment Marketing Champion Series will highlight a lineup of big thinkers, bold leaders, and simply awesome people paving the way in transforming how modern organizations attract and hire top talent.
Name: Charlotte Marshall, Thermo Fisher Scientific
Tweet her: @Charlotte_Co
Title: Employer Brand Leader
Favorite Olympic sport: Charlotte is a sucker for the gymnastics team; she was a gymnast as a child!
Last celeb sighting: Samuel L. Jackson was eating at the same restaurant she was with her family (and some nice other patrons tipped her off to spot him).
Drink of choice: Caymus, Caymus, Caymus!
Listens to: A Spotify playlist called The Best Day Ever (check it out)
Quick work credentials:
Prior to Thermo Fisher, Charlotte was Employer Brand & Social Media Senior Manager at Life Technologies where she was responsible for the employer brand and recruitment marketing.
Currently the Employer Brand Leader at Thermo Fisher Scientific, Charlotte led the team (and charge) behind the creation and activation of Thermo Fisher’s first-ever employer brand.
She’s helped four companies build an employer brand from scratch (!) and then communicate it to both external and internal audiences.
Quote of interview:
“That’s where the art meets the science, where you blend what people really love and what the company does really well.”
Four questions with Charlotte:
How do you build a successful employer brand?
The first step is, in many ways, the springboard for all else to come. You need to learn about the company’s strategy, proof points and real personality—the individuals, history and soul that drive the work and culture. Spend time listening to plans for the company and reflections about the organization. On top of that, interview 8-10 leaders (members of the company’s ruling body, its rainmakers, its culture-bearers and those who will take the company into the future) to gather stories. Stories are key because good marketing is really about memorable storytelling. Conduct focus groups and a company-wide survey. In the meantime, establish a branding committee to review and direct the strategy and resulting creative materials. Members of this committee should be respected members of the company representing different service areas, offices and points of view.
The result of the research is your strategic positioning; also know as the employee value proposition (EVP). It is a way of clarifying and summarizing what you offer candidates and why they should come and work for you. This is, without question, the most important deliverable in the entire employer branding process. It is the distillation of all that you have heard and learned about the company. It guides your work throughout the process and will be used again and again as a touchstone for the evolving creative.
Putting flesh on the bones of the EVP occurs during the development of the your recruitment collateral (careers site, brochure, advertisements, recruiting booth etc.). The look and feel developed for these materials gives the company a broader canvas on which to paint a more complete picture. Messages can be expanded, become more discursive or refined. Key points can be highlighted. Individual markets can be targeted with more precise selling points.
The final step before activation is to develop the content strategy, which can include employee profiles, images, videos, and articles to support your EVP. Spend time building a robust content library that demonstrates how your company delivers on your EVP.
How did you approach Building the Employer Brand at Thermo Fisher Scientific?
At Thermo Fisher Scientific, we took a research-intensive approach so that we could say with confidence this is the universal experience of working at Thermo Fisher. Our organization is large (50,000+ employees), global and grows significantly via acquisitions. When I stepped into my role, there was a feeling a universal experience didn’t exist. Therefore, we built a research methodology that would allow us to build our EVP with statistical confidence. To get there, we surveyed a representative sample of employees across all band levels, job categories and geographies, conducted focus groups around the world, held qualitative interviews with our senior leadership as well as culture-building workshops. Throughout the research, we were really looking for two things:
- What did people love about working at Thermo Fisher Scientific?
- And what areas did Thermo Fisher really deliver on?
And that’s where the art meets the science – you look at the responses to those two questions and blend what people really love about their job with what the company does really well. Where is the overlap? Compare those possibilities alongside the market drivers—those things we know all candidates are looking for in a career—research your competition, and voila your EVP is born.
At Thermo Fisher, being part of our team means a candidate will have the opportunity to: Realize your best – professionally and personally.
We’re communicating to our audience that Thermo Fisher Scientific provides continuous challenge and expansive opportunities that empower professionals to reach their professional and personal best. This statement is supported by four research-backed pillars that dive a bit deeper into who we are, how we work and what we offer our professionals.
After settling on our EVP, we looked to see if any differences arose by audience. Sure enough, some audiences stood out, not just from the standpoint of being important to recruit, but even from a messaging segmentation approach. There are certain things we say (and dial up) when talking to a sales audience, than when talking to a technical audience or a campus audience, for example. Other things came into play for Asia and others. So ultimately what we have in our quiver, are sufficient arrows (key messages) for all of these audiences.
How did you roll out the new employer brand?
Our goal was to activate the employment brand and implement a content-based ecosystem strategy through storytelling, by audience segments that leverage the new search and social recruitment landscape. In addition, we sought to:
- MOBILIZE employees to tell their stories
- CHANGE the common perception
- CREATE and cultivate consistent content
- AMPLIFY and distribute with earned and paid media
- MEASURE, experiment and optimize
On activation day, we ensured our global recruitment-marketing channels were refreshed and that our team was trained and ready to use the employer brand framework in conversations with candidates.
What are the biggest challenges and/or lessons learned to building an employer brand?
The biggest challenge for us was getting our senior executive team to buy into the why we needed it. Thermo Fisher’s culture is extremely humble and we like to fly under the radar. I heard the CEO say, “We’re the most successful company that you’ve never heard of” with a bid of pride upon staring at the company. I knew my team had our work cut out for us.
My two major lessons learned were:
- Taking the time to socialize and build internal champions is really key, and
- Activating the brand is NOT the end of it.
I significantly underestimated the complexity of getting our recruiters – about 150 around the world – to leverage the content in their day-to-day interactions. It was like handing someone a scalpel and expecting them to know how to perform an appendectomy. I didn’t take the time to think like a recruiter.
What do you think is next in employer branding or recruitment marketing?
Two things: First, we will see more companies shift their recruitment marketing dollars into programmatic media. Second, is this notion of customization. We will see technology advancements allowing us to deliver a unique and customized experience to candidates.