siemens, winning secrets

Siemens took home the bronze award for 'Excellence in Employer Branding' at the HR Excellence Awards 2021, Singapore.

In this interview, Winnie Chik, Head of Talent Acquisition, Siemens, shares why and how the firm's employer branding journey is "inherently driven" by employees, how it overcame challenges brought by this, ways in which the programme led to organic growth on its social channels and career pages, and more.

Q What is your organisation’s winning EB strategy, and what are some milestones you’ve accomplished along this journey?

Our employer branding strategy is centered on empowering employee advocacy through localised, authentic storytelling. We believe that great employer branding comes from employees’ experiences – their highs, lows, and the careers they’ve shaped. That’s what people want to hear about, and what inspires candidates to come on board.

By sharing employee-generated content, we have established Siemens as an employer of choice and engaged and connected with candidates in a context outside of traditional channels, such as job ads.

Throughout the process of building our ASEAN advocate programme, our milestone achievements were as follows:

  • Improving our Singapore Strait Times Ranking by 29 places (from #71 to #42) and topping the Engineering and Manufacturing category
  • Since completing their articles, multiple employees have been promoted including an emerging female leader to our executive team.
  • Year on year improvement in Universum ranking for Singapore’s most attractive employers 2021 from #56 to #33 in 2021.

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  • We also received recognition in multiple countries for various awards including ‘Top Graduate Choice’.

Q Unexpected roadblocks are part and parcel of executing any initiative. What were some of the barriers that you and your team experienced while rolling this out, and how did you successfully get past them?

Our strategy was to build a programme inherently driven by employees, so the first challenge was to identify and onboard advocates who exemplify Siemens’ values and culture.

As noted above, we tackled this by approaching senior stakeholders and involving them as advocates first, then asking these stakeholders to nominate star employees across each region who were the right fit for the programme.

We also worked closely with The Martec to identify our key audiences, choose the right advocates, curate potential topics based on in-depth research and analysis of trending topics, and maintain engagement amongst advocates.

Q As evidenced by the win, this initiative clearly delivered some amazing results. What was your gameplan for measuring ROI? What are some proud achievements you can share with us on this front?

To determine success our original plan was to focus on the hard data, the engagement, and impressions on company and advocate social channels, the traffic to our careers page, job applications, and any increase in followers on our company channels.

Since launching this initiative, we have seen significant impacts in terms of the above hard metrics as well as some unexpected benefits including strong employee retention with the advocate group. The advocates have reached a potential audience of over 50,000 with their stories, and across our Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn pages we achieved a milestone of over one million organic impressions.

Another highlight we are proud of is delivering on our goal to increase traffic to our careers page. The stories from our employees are the second-highest traffic driver to the Siemens careers page after organic search.

As a female leader, it was important to me personally that Siemens showcased the amazing women in our organisation. For International Women’s Day, we shared the stories of over 31 women in six countries, which gained strong organic traction. As this article was key to our diversity initiative, we created a paid campaign that had a reach of 2,613,440 with 4,386,765 impressions and 10,742 link clicks.

Q We’re now seeing HR manage portfolios that were previously considered far from their job description. In your view, what are the top three skills and attributes of today’s successful CHRO?

After the difficulties of the last two years, I think it is vital that CHROs remain adaptable. You never know what is going to happen and how you’ll need to pivot your strategy. I’ve learnt that it’s important to be open to learning new things, particularly adapting to new technology and ways of working. We pivoted to utilising ingenuity in our company blog throughout this programme as well as by working with our partner, The Martec, to turn our employees’ stories into videos and engaging articles.

An often unappreciated skill is being able to take a step back, look at the overall metrics and, analytics and measure success in increments – so you can adapt quickly if the campaign isn’t working as well as intended.

In a nutshell, the top three skills and attributes are:

  1. Adaptability and open-mindedness
  2. Adopting new technology and data-driven strategies
  3. Having a growth mindset tempered with resilience if things don’t go to plan.

Image / Provided

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