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Operating in dynamic industries such as health technology, as well as lighting, requires Philips to attract different types of candidates into the business – those from non-traditional backgrounds as well as those who might not have considered the company as an employer five years ago or even last year.

Hence, it is necessary for the employer branding team to leverage on technology to define Philips’ messaging to candidates as well as communicate it in the most relevant way.

Chris Major, head of recruitment marketing at Philips Electronics Singapore, pointed out that technology has allowed the firm to speak with external candidates and current employees to help assess the perception of Philips’ employer brand, use video to bring its employment promise to life and engage its talent through an online talent community.

Its most recent example was in the localisation of Philips’ global employment brand.

“Philips has a single global message for all candidates called an employer value proposition. This is developed out of our head office in the Netherlands and is designed to appeal in some way to all candidates, wherever they may be,” Major explains.

“The challenge we face is taking that global message and tailoring it to suit local audiences. The start of that process is gathering the information we need on internal employment experiences and external perceptions of Philips as an employer.”

To do this, the employer branding team spoke with employees and external candidates in 22 key countries to understand their experiences and perceptions of Philips as an employer.

“That presented a problem from a logistical point of view, but we were able to overcome that by mixing face-to-face focus groups with leveraging technology enabled platforms such as Skype/video calls, online moderated forums and communities and targeted online surveys.”

The whole process was owned by the employer branding team, in close collaboration with talent acquisition and human resources.

“To ensure we had the necessary buy-in from our HR partners around the world, we included them in every significant step in the process. From helping define the types of candidate we should be speaking to, to work-shopping messaging, and ultimately, approving the final versions before activating and taking to market.”

Technology has allowed the firm to speak with external candidates and current employees to help assess the perception of Philips’ employer brand, use video to bring its employment promise to life and engage its talent through an online talent community.

As a result of the localisation, Philips now has a series of tailored messages for each key market worldwide to suit local requirements which is linked directly to its single, global EVP.

The messages were then activated locally through a series of assets and toolkits for the company’s talent acquisition consultants to use, as well as advertising and campaign content to help promote careers at Philips to external candidates.

Commenting on the results of the process, Major said: “We have seen a positive move in all our key talent acquisition metrics.

“Time-to-fill and cost-per-hire have been reduced, and (perhaps most importantly) our quality of applicant has steadily increased.

“Our messaging is designed to help candidates ‘self-select’ out of the recruitment process, and so we are seeing ever-more relevant and suitable candidates applying to open roles.”

Employee referrals through Philips’ employee referral programme have also increased by about 30% and career site visits have increased by about 20%.

“Additionally, among our new target audiences, we have seen a dramatic increase across a range of digital platforms in both awareness of our employer brand and a willingness to explore a career here at Philips.”

For more case studies from ABR Holdings, AECOM and Cisco, and the latest trends in HR Tech, head over to the Human Resources’ April feature. 

Image: Shutterstock

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