Crowdsourced Employer Branding:
Ericsson’s Tell Your Story Campaign
Disclaimer: Ericsson is not a client of Stories Inc. We’re highlighting them in the following case study because they effectively used stories and personalized content to enhance their diversity and employer branding.
Ericsson is transforming from a telecommunications company to a technology and software services company. Not only is tech talent notoriously difficult to recruit and retain, but the tech industry also fares even worse in terms of diverse talent. Of nine major technology firms (including Airbnb, Facebook, and Google), none has a true 50/50 ratio of men to women, and percentages of women and minorities in leadership positions are even smaller. In a survey of 716 women who left the tech industry, nearly 30% said they felt uncomfortable working in their former environments.
With an identity transformation and a double-tough talent market to take on, Lisa Smith-Strother, Ericsson’s senior director and global head of employer branding and diversity talent acquisition, had to get creative.
Ericsson Sees the Real You
In October 2015, Smith-Strother and her team launched the Ericsson Sees the Real You campaign. The campaign celebrated Global Diversity Awareness Month. Diverse organizations experience greater innovation, generate more creative ideas, and capture larger market shares in their industries. Diverse businesses have tapped into the better group problem-solving and higher revenue streams that diversity enables.
Employer branding: global meets social
The core to Ericsson’s diversity and employer branding strategy shift is its emphasis on sharing valuable content and engaging its audience via social media. Social media has built the foundation for crowdsourcing’s strength in employer branding. Rather than a message handed down from the c-suite, Ericsson empowers its team members to not only share Ericsson stories with outsiders, but also to make the messages personal by telling them in their own way.
This social strategy at Ericsson allows the company to harness the power of its people’s stories. Team members, in turn, have the opportunity to be in the company spotlight, fueling recognition efforts. Additionally, Smith-Strother’s employer branding team is able to easily find new shareable content year-round that exemplifies the diversity and culture of Ericsson.
Ericsson regularly shares content via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. This content includes company news, inspirational quotes, team member spotlights, and career information. When Smith-Strother’s team launched its employer branding campaign, it included an “Instagram Takeover” challenge. During an Instagram Takeover, Ericsson team members had the opportunity to share “what my day looks like,” giving job candidates a view into what their life and career would look like at the tech company.
Initiatives in the Ericsson Sees the Real You campaign
Ericsson asked its team members to submit recipes of cultural significance to them. With more than 115,000 employees and a presence in 180 countries, a wide array of recipes poured in. Smith-Strother’s team created the Cultural Journey eBook. Interspersed among the recipes, the book includes information about working at Ericsson.
Team members were also invited to submit custom music playlists. The playlists from 11 regions—including Sweden, North East Asia, Latin America, and India—illustrate the company’s international diversity. Individuals could vote on their favorite regional playlists. Ultimately, the India region’s playlist received the most votes and was declared the winner.
The campaign’s site received more than 8,000,000 impressions from over 50 countries. Additionally, onsite activity amassed over 250,000 clicks at an average cost per click of just $0.02.
What’s next for Ericsson
In the coming months and years, Lisa Smith-Strother’s team will enhance Ericsson’s employee referral program in an effort to encourage team members to invite diverse colleagues to join the company. Other future initiatives look to expand the use of brand ambassadors, implement targeting across Ericsson’s talent communities, hone in on branding used in university recruiting, refine the recruitment marketing reporting dashboard, and seek out new diversity sourcing opportunities. One other critical activity the diversity team tackles is a constant revisiting and revising of the company’s Employer Value Proposition, which must continue to reflect the brand’s transformation messaging.
Ericsson is working toward employing a workforce comprised of at least 30% women by 2020. The company continues to expand upon its diversity and inclusion initiatives and will take advantage of social media: Ericsson will continue sharing employee-generated content and creating opportunities for team members to take part in something global, powerful, and personal.
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