When most people think “Dell,” they think of the classic PC. So when potential intern candidates thought of what it would mean to work for Dell, they viewed the company through the lens of computer manufacturer, not as the place to be to begin their career in innovative technological solutions.
Approaching the summer of 2016, Jennifer Newbill, Director of Global Employment Brand at Dell, set out to correct this misconception by rethinking the company’s approach to attracting those on campus. She knew she needed to create an authentic view into intern life that could be shared with candidates. And, who better to share authentic stories than actual interns? Their employer branding team got to work connecting with their group of awesome interns to uncover their experiences.
Stories Inc takes a ‘deep dive’
The Stories Inc. team started their ‘deep dive’ into intern life at Dell by interviewing 16 full-time summer interns in Round Rock, Texas. Current interns revealed their innovative work on projects such as virtual reality for education, sustainable packaging materials, and NextGen Marketing.
Their stories also highlighted the spirit of mentorship at Dell due to the company’s Open Door Policy, their experiences as women in STEM, and the flexibility Dell leadership extends to their newest summer team members to achieve a notable work/life balance.
Several clear themes emerged from the Round Rock videos which inspired five videos: Empowerment, Women in STEM, Open Door Policy, Flexibility, and Innovation, the latter four also being released with an accompanying blog post. Since the content’s launch in Fall 2016, the videos on Dell’s various channel have received more than 4,000 views.
From Round Rock to Hopkinton
Newbill and her team loved the Round Rock content so much that once the combination of Dell and EMC was announced in September 2016, they expanded the work to include Dell EMC interns. This decision sent the Stories Inc. team to Hopkinton, Mass. to interview 14 interns, including four full-time employees who got their start as interns. They discussed the importance of diversity and employee affinity groups, and reaffirmed Dell’s overwhelming commitment to providing innovative and meaningful work to interns.
Enrico Scott shared his career journey with Dell EMC, beginning as a Global Trading Compliance intern the summer of 2013. Enrico flourished that summer under the guidance of two company mentors and with the support of EMC’s Black Employee Affinity Group (BEAG). He landed a second internship the following year in the Finance Department, a position that ultimately led to the full-time position he currently enjoys.
In the nature of Dell EMC’s spirit of mentorship, Scott continues to be active in the BEAG, organizing the Buddy Program which connects peer-to-peer new hires of color with millennials currently within the company. Scott revealed how at Dell EMC he has discovered his passion for mentorship and, as he puts it, “lifting as I climb.”
Scott and his fellow Hopkinton interns’ interviews paired well with the previously uncovered Round Rock stories, and resulted in three additional videos: Career Path, Diversity and Affinity Groups, and Meaningful Work, with accompanying blog posts to be released later in 2017. Since their launch on Dell’s various social channels in January 2017, these videos have been viewed more than 9,000 times.
Shifting to veteran recruiting content
The story-based intern content outperformed other types of content Dell typically releases, inspiring Newbill and her team to pursue a second “deep dive” by shifting the focus to veterans. Dell EMC committed to hiring 3,000 veterans by 2020 through Joining Forces, the initiative driven by former First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, which aligned well with the military focused hiring efforts already underway and Dell’s desires to hire such qualified candidates. The competencies that veterans possess align strongly with Dell’s culture code.
Veterans face specific challenges upon entering the workforce as they translate their military experience and skills into civilian life. Dell addresses these challenges with a structured framework for recruiting, hiring, mentoring, and supporting veterans and their families as they transition from the military to the corporate world. Furthermore, they also support service members during active duty and those in the Reserves.
Dell needed to find a way to communicate this formalized support in order to resonate with such a large pool of talented, qualified candidates.
What we did
To prepare timely content for Veterans Day, the Stories Inc. team interviewed 21 veterans and two military spouses currently employed by Dell at both the Hopkinton and Round Rock locations.
Their stories revealed just how effective Dell’s support system is for their veterans—when a challenge presented itself to veterans, they found mentors to guide them; when an active member was called into duty, their job was protected, and their family taken care of. And so much more.
Engineering Operations Manager and Air Force Veteran Molly Mae Potter tells of her obstacles post-Air Force. For nine months she struggled to find employment in an engineering field while recovering from a traumatic brain injury, until the day a Dell recruiter reached out to her. The transition during the first few months was difficult, but with the help of mentors she adjusted to the more laid back environment and learned to actually enjoy a work/life balance. She was named 2016 Ms. Veteran America and has since used this platform, and Dell’s resources, to aid other veterans struggling to find employment.
Potter’s stories along with her fellow veterans were used to create a compelling Veterans Day video and blog post to be shared on Dell’s careers blog and social channels. The video has reached more than 400 views on YouTube since its launch in November 2016.
Looking ahead, more deep dives to come
In just a few short months, the Dell employment branding and the Stories Inc. teams together produced a comprehensive picture of life at Dell to share with intern and veteran candidates. Videos, blog posts, social graphics and slideshares inform candidates what they can expect working at Dell. To date, our content on social sites has received more than 1.4 million impressions; slideshares have garnered more than 6,000 views; videos have accrued more than 14,000 views; blog posts have received 68,000 views, and all views continue to grow. And, more deep dives are already underway for identified talent niches.
The stories uncovered create a clear picture for candidates: Life at Dell is a career path game changer.
The entire Stories team is so wonderful to work with and the content they produce is world class! The entire process was simple and efficient. Stories consistently operated with our vision in mind and helped guide us when we were not 100% sure what we wanted the outcome to be.