Using Your Employer Brand For Recruitment – Top 10 Tips From The BBC

There is a new trend emerging, that of ‘customer centricity’. British Airways is among the latest organisations to adopt the practice, announcing last week that it is separating its marketing team into two categories: the traditional commercial team, which reflects the brand and customer proposition to drive profitability, and a new team, which focuses purely on customer experience.

What has this to do with recruitment?

We predict it will not be long before the majority of the larger companies’ recruitment and marketing teams join forces to focus on ‘candidate centricity’, turning their attention to ensuring that anyone applying for their roles, leaves with a positive impression of the employer brand.

Already leading the way is the BBC; even though, like BA, they are a ‘Lovemark brand’, with the ability to attract candidates like magnets, they take nothing for granted.

BBC Worldwide’s Head of Recruitment, Jonathan Campbell, is charged with championing BBC Worldwide’s recruitment methods and activities to “advance diversity and the practice of inclusion”.

Jonathan comes with an excellent track record having previously worked as a recruiter at Microsoft, BT and, prior to the BBC, Sky, where he was responsible for candidate experience and brand, using these to drive excellent engagement as an employer of choice. Speaking at the ‘In House Recruitment Expo ‘in London last week Jonathan told a packed audience:

“While the BBC in the UK has no problem attracting top talent, BBC Worldwide is tasked to produce revenue by selling globally. Many people simply do not understand that the BBC has a sales arm, and this is where the organisation struggles to recruit.

“It is, therefore, important that our key messages are first understood by our people; they are the power behind our brand and what they say publicly makes a massive impact.”

The BBC uses a diverse range of recruitment techniques to reach the talent they need for their roles and Jonathan has a strong background in Social Media and Web 2.0.

“It is important to understand what channels suit each of the BBC’s geographies”, Jonathan continued. “There’s no point in using Facebook to promote the BBC in China for example, and while you would use Facebook to attract and form relationships with entry level positions in mind, you certainly wouldn’t use it for C-suite hires.

“Also, it’s crucial to only use the social media platforms to engage with your audience that are relevant; far better to focus on a few and do it well. Fail to manage your sites effectively and it will have a negative impact on your brand. Our marketing teams are passionate about getting involved and their expertise makes a huge difference to what we do.

“Ours is a huge, diverse company so it is necessary to have our people out there, citing different stories and driving two way dialogue making sure we engage. It’s so much easier to ensure you attract the right people in the first place, rather than discover they may not be suited to the culture once on board.

“Today, more then ever, the best candidates are in the driving seat. They are in control taking time to make sure what’s on offer it is the right role and right business for them; we just need to ensure they know what opportunities are available at the BBC.

“The key, of course, is understanding what converts a passive candidate into an active one – the BBC’s utopia is to have people knocking on our door no matter where they are in the world.”


Jonathan’s Top 10 Tips For Attracting And Retaining Top Talent

  • Have a comprehensive Communication Plan in place, with regular checks and balances. Use feedback to re-inform what you are doing;
  • Get your marketing teams involved;
  • Ensure your communications align with your audiences;
  • Use corporate films to promote what you do and operate with one voice:

          Internally – Stream it through the intranet, via induction training/onboarding, so that your people understand your message.
          Externally – Through your careers website, social media, recruitment documents, Infographics.*

  • Select three pertinent social channels – less is definitely more;
  • Create a content calendar – plan out the next two or three months share;
  • Build a bank of assets to use and re use throughout the year;
  • Ensure you meet the needs of both your passive and active candidates;
  • Embed stuff within your Communications Plan, so that sales look like opportunities;
  • Showcase your culture by using your internal population – help your people understand how they can get involved and use visual imagery to bring your business to life through images and video – even something recorded on a smartphone.

* If using an RPO, ensure they are delivering the same message.

JobsTheWord is currently conducting research into the impact employer recruitment practices have on their brand. The White Paper will be published in March 2015.

BBC-Worldwide-Annual-Review-2013-2014  You can download a copy of BBC Worldwide’s Review by clicking the image

Mike Sandiford
Head of Partnerships
0207 193 9931

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