When we set out to create the latest edition of our Best Employer Branding Examples in Tech series, we decided to focus on culture blogs, an important part of a tech recruiting strategy. That was the easy part. The hard part (and we mean really hard part) was resisting the urge to pepper the article with references to Culture Club lyrics. Somehow we managed to dig deep and fight off the compulsion. You’re welcome, America. Now let’s take a look at what we found.
Buffer makes honesty a core element of its employer brand
Why It’s Great - As a leading social media management platform, Buffer helps brands share content with millions of followers around the world. With its Buffer Open blog, it takes this concept to another level. For recruiters, scrolling through the blog’s timeline is an emotional rollercoaster ride. A story about how Buffer’s office pet policy improves employee happiness? Candidates will love that! A monthly check-in piece that covers corporate financial performance? Ok, that one is a little weird, but let’s see where they’re going. An in-depth expose on an unfortunate round of layoffs and what the organization is doing to regain its footing? Ok, stop right there.
At this point, most recruiters (not to mention marketers, executives, et al) wouldn’t be able to pull the plug fast enough. Won’t this sort of information scare potential candidates away? Absolutely, which is what makes it such a smart approach. As more organizations invest in employer branding, the amount of noise job seekers are exposed to is steadily increasing, making it harder than ever for companies to differentiate themselves. This often results in confused and disengaged candidates embracing the “spray and pray” method, forcing recruiters to sift through hundreds of unqualified resumes. What’s the solution? Honesty. As Susan LaMotte wrote in Forbes, “Reality and honesty may drive down volume but they’ll increase fit and satisfaction.”
Takeaways - Top candidates are doing research on your company before they apply, and you need to make sure you’re providing the information they’re looking for. You may want to shy away from bad news (and going to the same lengths as Buffer isn’t for everyone), but it’s always just a Google search away. By addressing it head on, Buffer can be a part of the conversation and ensure it’s providing potential candidates with insider context.
Microsoft makes its employees the stars
Why It’s Great - Given that this is the Tech Recruiter Blog, we won’t waste any time introducing Microsoft. With its size and stature, it would be easy for The House That Bill Built to lose sight of the individuality of its employees, treating them more like cogs than contributors, but take one look at Microsoft’s Jobs Blog and you quickly realize this isn’t the case. Loaded with long-form content, the Jobs Blog tells the unique stories of Microsoft’s most valuable asset: its people. Don’t mistake this for a dime-a-dozen “Meet the Team” page, though. Microsoft’s editorial staff has done its homework, conducting the sort of in-depth interviews necessary to tell a compelling story. The result is a series of mini-biographies that illustrate the amazing diversity of Microsoft’s team while showcasing the organization’s appreciation of everything they do.
Takeaways - When you feature your employees, think beyond marketing. It would have been easy for Microsoft to tee up meatball PR opportunities on its Jobs Blog, using its employees to paint a whitewashed picture of corporate culture. Instead, it chose to let its team take center stage, showcasing the unique personalities driving the high-tech work being done by Microsoft.
GE shows off its tech to excite candidates
Why It’s Great - No one has made more noise in the employer branding arena of late than GE. The company has made a significant investment in positioning itself as a “digital manufacturing company,” including a nationwide campaign aimed at recruiting software developers. With its GE Reports blog, the company has created a platform to showcase some of its most exciting and innovative work, and when it comes to tech candidates, innovation matters.
In its 2016 Developer Hiring Landscape report (download required), StackOverflow found that nearly 60% of developers believe building something new is the most important benefit an employer can offer. With GE Reports, General Electric gives potential candidates a look at the original and groundbreaking work they could be a part of. It may not be your typical culture or jobs blog, but the organization does a great job working in content tailored to students and prospective employees.
Takeaways - If you got it, flaunt it. Current and prospective employees want to be part of something new and exciting, so it’s important to highlight the cutting-edge technology you have to offer. There’s no guarantee that every day on the job will come with industry-changing breakthroughs, but if you want to excite candidates, lead with your most enticing offerings.