It’s no surprise that organisations spend huge amounts of money on creating an employer brand. A strong employer brand helps companies to attract and retain the best talent, it goes towards creating a clear company culture and it even helps reduce hiring costs.
Companies such as Heineken and Pepsi have recently invested in refreshing their employer brands as they step up the pace to hire sought after talent.
Yet, there may come a time when you have to create a unique employer brand for a particular country while staying true to your overall employer value proposition.
Let’s see why it’s important to create a localised employer brand and how you can achieve this while retaining your organisation’s global values and beliefs.
Why you need to localise your employer brand
In a candidate-driven market, competition for hiring talent is fierce. Candidates have the pick of roles and companies who neglect their employer brand will be losing out.
A recent Glassdoor survey confirmed that workers increasingly value company culture over cash, and since today’s candidates have the ability to get an insider’s look at your organisational culture through platforms like Glassdoor and social media, companies can no longer just talk the talk — they need to walk the walk as well. Furthermore, a survey by LinkedIn found that 75% of applicants now consider an employer’s brand before applying for a job. So, if your vision, values and culture aren’t aligned to the local market, you’ll find it difficult to attract and engage the people you need.
Creating a localised employer brand while retaining the crucial elements of your overall employee value proposition isn’t easy. Yet, the reward of getting it right is that you’ll be able to attract the best people to work for you, which gives you a global competitive advantage.
If you’re looking to create a localised employer brand, here are some things to consider first:
Research the local market
Do you know what is important to candidates in the local market?
Each market is unique and what candidates seek in one country might not factor in another. This is why it’s important to understand what people consider when choosing a company to work for.
As an example, according to a report collated by London Loves Business, in Finland workers value a good-work life balance. As such most companies offer generous paternity leave.
Whereas, workers in American are increasingly looking for meaning in their work (Workhuman) and are attracted to companies that promote a sense of community.
While your employee value proposition is likely to remain consistent, you can use your knowledge of the local market to tailor your recruitment messages.
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Give local teams the power to custom messages
While it’s only natural to be protective of your employer brand, you may need to engage with local teams or outside agencies to help customise your recruitment messages to the local market.
Your focus should be on creating recruitment materials that showcase your company’s culture and employee value proposition using engaging content. For example, instead of repurposing a global job advert, a simple change in language can make it feel like it’s come from the local team e.g. swapping words with the American ‘z’ for the English version, containing ‘s’.
What impression is your marketing making? Global or local?
Moving into a new market is a good time to conduct an audit of all candidate touchpoints to ensure they’re adapted to the local market. Think about the images you use on social media, place local employees at the heart of your advertising and consider creating a localised careers microsite or dedicated landing page that features stories from local people discussing what it’s like to work for you.
If you haven’t thought about using video to communicate your company culture, maybe now’s the time to do so. According to Fire Fish Software, a specialist in recruitment software, recruitment agencies are reporting 800% more engagement with job ads that video embedded. That’s an impressive stat!
Another tactic for attracting talent in different markets is to create a localised enhanced Glassdoor profile. These are an extension of your primary profile with the added feature to customise content such as the cover photo, ‘why work for us’ section and social profiles blogs and more. While local job posts are prioritised, and dynamic video can be used to drive engagement.
Some brands, like Siemens are also trialling revolutionary technology such as Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) to build awareness and interest. Siemens has created several documentaries containing local employees to give potential candidates a glimpse into what life is like at Siemens.
Changes should be subtle
Having a localised employer brand is essential when recruiting in foreign markets, but it’s a careful balancing act. If you stray too far from your global vision, mission and beliefs you risk diluting the brand.
Instead of creating new brands for each market, focus on making subtle changes to proposition and messaging to attract the best talent within the local market.
Refresh your recruiter training
The ideal situation is having a local team on the ground managing the recruitment process, as they have the local insight and understand the cultural differences. For example, Asian countries take a very formal approach to interviewing, whereas, in South American, interviews tend to be relaxed and informal.
If you’re unable to have a team present in the country, use this is an opportunity to refresh your recruiter training so your hiring teams are aware of any subtle changes to the employer value proposition. This is important as you want every candidate to have a positive hiring experience – whether they get a job with you or not!