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Employer of choice

Employer of choice

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FrieslandCampina won the Reed Talent Solutions Employer Brand Award at last year’s TIARA Talent Acquisition Awards. The panel of esteemed judges praised FrieslandCampina for clearly demonstrating their thought process, engagement and innovation; the small organisation had very big dreams that were realised through the redesign of its employee value proposition. TALiNT International’s editor, Debbie Walton, chatted to Rutger Groenewegen, the Global Senior Learning & Development Expert at FrieslandCampina, about the EVP overhaul that changed its talent attraction strategy.

“The Great Resignation of the older population stepping out of the workforce has created a shift in power on a global scale.”

TI: Last year you won the Employer Brand Award at the TIARA Talent Acquisition Awards. Your goal was to completely redesign your EVP. What made you feel that your organisation needed an EVP overhaul?

 RG: The main reason for an EVP overhaul was that there was a need to understand our company values truly and to use the outcome of our EVP research for our proposition to attract talent in a consistent manner and to amplify our company culture.

TI: Why is an employer brand so important when it comes to attracting talent?

RG: Currently, global challenges like COVID-19 and The Great Resignation of the older population stepping out of the workforce have created a shift in power on a global scale, and talent markets became more candidate-driven. This has meant that candidates have more options to choose from, and to become top of mind as an employer of choice, we see the importance of reaching out to our target audiences. Having a strong employer brand is a means to an end to achieve that.

TI: Since the TIARAs a lot has happened. Has the economic downturn affected your hiring plans for 2023?

RG: A lot has happened, and we see that there are the first signs of a cooling labour market. We also notice this in our own recruitment demand. It is too early to see what kind of effects this has on us as a company, but we surely follow the dynamics on foot and keep our eyes and ears open on business developments.

TI: How have you measured your success post new EVP?

RG: We measure our success in multiple ways. Before we started campaigning we defined KPIs and identified our baseline. After launching the EVP and sharing our message in our social media campaigns, we could measure our success and compare the results to that baseline. Next to that we measure our share of voice on key topics on a platform like LinkedIn.

TI: Take us through the process you followed when designing your EVP.

RG: We followed a robust process of designing the EVP. Our aim was to do this thoroughly in order to build upon for the coming years. We conducted internal and external global research with the help of Universe, a research company and specialist in developing EVPs. After we received the outcomes of the research the first EVP pillars where drafted. We validated the outcomes with employee focus groups. The focus groups represented our workforce. After that, we did deep dive sessions in Asia and Europe to finalise our EVP pillars. To bring the EVP to life, we briefed three creative agencies to develop a creative concept. We were very happy that we got a winning concept from the start. Unleash Your Nature was born.

TI: Does the employer brand underpin the EVP? Or is it the other way round?

RG: We believe that the EVP is the anchor in everything we do. This means we use employer branding to bring the EVP to life, and also other touchpoints like learning, rewards and internal programmes. It has become our polar star.

“How do we create one message for all to create consistency and to build a strong employer brand?The main challenge was to get everyone on the same page.”

TI: What was one of the biggest challenges you faced during this global implementation?

RG: The biggest challenge for us was that we faced a scattered landscape. FrieslandCampina has different iconic brands and entities around the world. How do we create one message for all to create consistency and to build a strong employer brand? The main challenge was to get everyone on the same page. We succeeded while we have a powerful promise everyone can relate to and there is some flexibility in using local brands in combination with our main promise. We use a brand matching strategy to achieve that.

TI: Centralising your TA process was paramount to your success. Was it easy to get leadership buy-in when changing processes?

RG: From the start, leadership saw the importance of developing an EVP. Looking back, one of the success factors was that we created a steering board of leaders where we touched base regularly. In this way we could steer the process in time and move forward.

TI: What has winning a TIARA meant to you and your team?

RG: Winning the TIARA awards was a great recognition for the work we did. Not only for the team but for our global talent acquisition community. The award instilled pride and confidence that we are moving in the right direction.

TI: Will you be entering again this year? If so, why?

RG: No, this year we will pass. If we enter again, we want to bring something new to the table. We are still developing our EVP in other domains, so we hope to bring something new next year.