One of our new clients works in materials science. Over its long history, which stretches back over 150 years, the business has grown to encompass several specialist divisions operating across more than 70 sites in 35 countries with more than 8,000 employees.
Some of that growth has been organic, where the business spotted an opportunity to take root in a new region.
But some of the expansion has also been through acquisition, where an existing business and its employees have been folded into the parent company.
This presents challenges for a company that must attract, hire and retain the best available people to join its workforce across its many departments around the world, from manufacturing to R&D.
Over time our client found that its visual identity and accompanying messages had become fragmented and inconsistent. Each regional team had developed its own recruitment ad campaigns with varying degrees of effectiveness.
It was not always clear to employees that they were part of a global brand with a compelling value proposition, and that made assimilating new people more difficult.
Competition for talent is fierce. Recruitment is frequently cited by businesses as one of the biggest factors limiting growth.
According to a recent survey eight in 10 British businesses with vacancies are struggling to fill them.
The problem is global. In the US there are 1.7 jobs for every jobseeker. In Germany, more than half of companies have difficulty hiring people.
We were appointed by our client to bring coherence and purpose to their activities in the form of an employer brand toolkit.
As well as guidelines on how to use the brand, typography and other visual elements, it also includes useful content such as recruitment ad templates, campaign messages, and inspiration.
It seeks to strike the right balance between uniformity and flexibility, so regional teams stay “on-brand” while still being able to introduce variations that will strike a chord with local audiences.
It is intended not only for recruitment but also for communicating the company’s culture to existing employees.
The idea is to ensure everyone feels like they are part of a bigger mission.
Nothing illustrates this better than the time President Kennedy asked a janitor at Nasa what he did there.
The janitor smiled and replied: “I’m helping put a man on the moon.”