Welcome to the 2nd parter of our annual CIPD RMAs blog series inspired by our nominations in 2014. It is the turn of our nomination with The Original Bowling Company in Best Employer Brand to provide today’s topic.
This year’s Best Employer Brand shortlist is quite interesting for two reasons. Firstly, it is so short. Shorter than even Best Copywriting (which only managed a mighty two listed last year). So it does make you wonder with all the industry talk and conferences covering the importance of EVPs and employer brands in this mobile, digital, social world of today, why there are only three contenders here?
And secondly, referring to the ‘social age’ we live in – that only one has ‘sociality’ at its heart? (Although, strangely enough the others have suddenly switched on their socialness in recent weeks as the awards grow closer.)
As a Social Agency, I guess we couldn’t look at any other way but to create a social employer brand. But there always has to be a real reason for it. For social media, for mobile, even for employer branding itself. It shouldn’t be a foregone conclusion. It has to be right.
The case for TOBC was clear. The employees are predominately young, social and mobile friendly – on shift work in an environment that they’d go out in, if they weren’t working in it. The research confirmed this need for a Social X Mobile approach. A true Sociable employer brand was born.
The site wasn’t designed for responsiveness or adaptiveness. It was designed mobile first. To be quick and easy. TOBC is anything but corporate. So we grasped the old adage that people don’t believe what company careers sites tell them and let the employees sell the jobs and company themselves. Through their updates, biogs, words, pics and videos. Just like they’d tell you about their day on social media. That’s why the whole site acts as a ‘Social Hub’. And like the working environment of the bowling centres, the site is constantly full of movement through video and animated gifs, it never stands still.
Which brings us neatly to the Social media aspect. This was integral to the initial strategy. It had to be there from day one. After all, the employer brand is summed up in a hashtag. The job titles are hashtags. The gifs and videos come from the Meme generation. That Meme theme has been taken on into the social platforms across #TBT (ThrowbackThursday) and #FridayFAILS. It’s not all about the jobs here. But when it is, the latest jobs feed on the site comes from the Twitter account, while Facebook generates the updates about Careers at TOBC.
There is a total ‘living’ brand experience – from special ‘recruitment events’ on Twitter to Days in the Life of the Centres, from charity fund raising to CSR initiatives. These experiences are set to grow and develop in the coming months.
It’s early days, but in the first 3 months over 40% of traffic to the site is through mobile and increasing month on month. The calibre of applicants is improving. Not to mention that their knowledge of what it’s like to work in the two bowling brands is too. And the enthusiasm, realness and fun of the content is proving a decision-making difference, which a recent applicant sums up in a better way than we could:
“I looked on your website and saw the videos of your team members who were really enthusiastic and upbeat about working there. This inspired me to send in my application as I like to have fun at work and being surrounded by a great team.”
Sociable Employer Branding – there’s not really any other way, is there?
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