Employer branding: the crossroads of HR and marketing

March 1, 2019


Employer branding: the crossroads of HR and marketing

Employer branding: the crossroads of HR and marketing

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Adrie Smith: Hi, everyone! Welcome to the Recruitee webinar. This week we’re going to be covering employer branding: the crossroads of HR and marketing.

So, just to give you a quick introduction, my name is Adrie Smith. I’m the Head of Content at Recruitee. I’m responsible for the blog, for the podcast- now we’re going to have a podcast!- also the webinar and we also now have a Talent Acquisition Innovators meetup group here in Amsterdam.

And in case you don’t already know Recruitee, we are a talent acquisition platform and we’re designed to help make collaborative hiring a reality for you. So if you haven’t checked us out already, please do: go to the blog, check out the content that we have there, but also you can do a free trial. I’ll give you guys a link at the end.

But first things first, let me get out some house rules so you know how this works. We’ll be doing kind of a quick question and answer with everyone here. But then, if you guys want to have your own questions, if you have your questions somewhere in between, you can leave them in the questions tab here on Livestorm, and we’ll get to them at the end. So just leave your questions there throughout and we’ll get to them! We’re going to be circulating the webinar recording on our TA Innovators Facebook group. You guys should have already gotten a link to that in the emails leading up to the webinar, but we’ll also send you a follow-up link afterward.

And last one, our next month’s webinar is going to be on sourcing talent on Slack, Facebook, and Instagram with Brian Fink. He is a RecruitingDaily regular contributor, also keynote speaker – should be quite interesting. So, definitely join us then. But now let’s get to this month’s webinar. So, we have two people from Nmbrs with us today. I’ll let them give their own introductions. So, if you can give us a little bit of a brief overview as to who you are and how you got involved in recruitment and employer branding…

Andreia dos Reis: Yeah, so hi, everyone. I’m Andreia. I’m actually from Portugal, from a small town in the south of Portugal [Incomprehensible]. I always need to say that because I’m very proud. And yeah. So, I work at Nmbrs,  I’m responsible for employer branding at Nmbrs, and yeah, to be honest, my career path, it has been a bit, as I like to call it, schizophrenic [laughter] because design, and I worked as a graphic designer for quite a long time. But then I found, yeah, discovered marketing, and when working actually with [Incomprehensible] an [Incomprehensible] recruitment company, I fell in love with employer branding, and, yes, and now I’m in employer branding. I think we’ll also explain it also a little bit of what I like about it and everything during the webinar. So, yeah. Oh, just one more thing that I always have to say because it’s very important- it’s part of who I am. I’m a very huge Harry Potter fan.

Rita Mendes: [laughter] Of course.

Andreia dos Reis: It’s only my introduction and [yours], so yes, this [is] my introduction.

Rita Mendes: So me, I’m also Portuguese and speaking about schizophrenia actually, I have a major in psychology, so it’s how we diagnosed the career path of Andreia [laughter]. So I’m a psychologist, in Nmbrs. I’m part of Andreia’s team. I’m taking care of recruitments of Nmbrs. So, my path is a bit more normal than Andreia. So I started, so as [a] psychologist, I did master in work and HR psychology. I started working in HR, in an internship. Actually I wanted to do assessments management in companies. I hated recruitment back then in 2014. But then recruitment found me. So I started as an HR consultant doing sales account management, sourcing, interviews, offers, a lot of things in the same job, and then I joined also the company where me and Andreia, we met, which is a tech recruitment platform. And we there, we kind of started working together. I was doing- I also did a bit of account management and interviewing, but actually I ended my path there as a talent career counselor. So, I was helping tech professionals finding the jobs that they want and what kind of career paths would make sense for them. Like kind of counseling. It was pretty cool but I was needing a baby: I wanted to help a company, and HR departments trying to a bit to understand if the values I have as an HR in real world in an HR department can be seen. So here I am in Nmbrs for one year already.

Adrie Smith: Yeah. So, obviously we’re here today to talk a little bit about Nmbrs but also about employer branding, and because Nmbrs is quite close with Recruitee, we know kind of the story, but not everybody is super familiar with the Nmbrs story. So, would one of you be able to share with the audience here?

Andreia dos Reis: Yeah. It’s actually, I love to tell the story because I feel like it’s very personal. It’s not only about business, business, business. But so Numbers, we’re a payroll and HR software supplier for the [Inaudible] Swedish market and other markets. And the [Incomprehensible] when they started the company, they started the company with the premise that employees are [a] very important part of any company. They will be responsible for delivering [Inaudible] relationship with customers that will have any [Incomprehensible] in the business development and growth. And because of that, they do deserve the best experience possible.

So, we are working on that mission by building a tool that HR professionals and accountants building everything they can use to connect all the most important key users to make sure that they spend less time on the processes, that is still occupies a lot of time in HR, and they can focus more on engaging with their employees and focusing on the strategy of the business itself. And yeah, it seems that the reason behind this bit of a sales pitch is because that the same passion that drives our business also drives us as a company and what we want to do inside the company with all our employees. So yeah, it’s still a work in progress. We still have a long way to go, but we really want to make sure that our employees, that Nmbrs is a place where our employees want to be at and where they feel challenged and want to grow. So yeah, I think it connects very well. That’s why I really like [Inaudible] the story and the reason behind [it].

Rita Mendes: If I may have, I think, Andreia was mentioning the founders, and I think one of the things that are really in the DNA of Nmbrs, each team has this very huge impact on the organization. So it was the thing that I, okay, I fell in love with this company [for] is when I realized that, okay, the team is really the key decision point, and I think it all starts with them, because they are very different. So, one of them is like this huge energy, like the guy went over on the companies like, ye hey! Let’s sale! Sale! Sale! Sale! Which is more into sales and marketing. And then you have our CTO, Louise, which is [a] more calm, more like technology lover and so on. But I think that they are very different as people and what unites them is really this passion about, like, building a nice HR product that makes people happier. And I think it’s a bit like how it works in Nmbrs. So, all teams have very different people. So me and Andreia, we are kind of crazy. But then in the rest, we are very different, but we are really passionate about what we do and what we want to achieve, and these passions and these, like, differences and the fact that we can do our [own] decisions- it’s really what I find very unique about us. It’s very nice.

Adrie Smith: So, how does this kind of quality for Nmbrs actually translate into an employer brand? Like what other employer brand takes that unique part of your story- this, like, desire to make a really nice HR tool, a desire to, like, kind of put different people together and make something good-. how does that translate?

Rita Mendes: I think-

Andreia dos Reis: Go, go, go, go, go.

Rita Mendes: I like that we started in, I think, at same time [laughter]. Actually I would say in the root. So it’s really in the root about the goals of the employer branding. So, what we perceive, what we want to sell- so what is the message that you want to sell, that you want to say to the community, to the people? So it’s a bit also in the part of the EVP, which is our employer value proposition. It’s the thing that those two actually are two key points from our employer branding strategy. So, we trust the team to do the right thing for the organization. So, value proposition one and the fact that we are building these very nice product that will give value to everyone, and even if it seems like a very boring field, HR, payroll field, we kind of wanted to make it cool. It’s like what Blanks did with Fintech. So, we kind of want… No, this is an important field, and it’s a bit a message that we want to pass. So it’s not like we do activities to show this specific or this specific, these two things are really in the roots of anything that we do employer branding wise to deliver to the world. So it’s a part of DNA, not like a thing specific[ally].

Andreia dos Reis: Yeah, exactly. I think we’re only using employer branding to show that. Yeah.

Adrie Smith: And what kind of tooling it, well, what kind of employer branding tooling are you using to get that out to your candidates or get that out to the broader public?

Andreia dos Reis: Yeah, I mean we’re doing a lot of stuff right now. We like to use more imagery and videos and everything, also, because we believe that it’s better to show than tell. So yes, we’re developing a lot of content in terms of approaching our employees [and] including them on the initiatives that we do. So, the blogs- a lot of our employees write articles about their experience for us. And also with the videos- we are creating now a lot of the employee testimonials videos and yeah, my goal for it is not to show what Nmbrs is doing for them but more what they are doing for Nmbrs, and more important is who they are. So, who will be the people with whom everyone who wants to apply will be working with? So, that is more, we just want to be transparent and show the amazing talent that we have. So yeah, in terms of tooling I think it’s more that interesting.

Rita Mendes: And also a bit, I think careers, if we go to tools, then the career sites also. So we, are present in the…  including Recruitee advertisement moments. So, career sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Glassdoor. Then of course I think our partners also deserve an important keys from us. So, all the recruitment partners that we have that are also part of our employer branding because they’re out [and] they are saying stuff about us. So, all the recruitment platforms, tech, non-tech, everyone is there and passes a bit the message of us.

Andreia dos Reis: Yeah, it’s true. It’s also a partnership. So it’s not only about what we’re doing for the company or for ourselves. It’s really what the, yeah, they may think of that we’re working with partners with Recruitee. Yeah.

Rita Mendes: And event, I’m also forgetting.

Andreia dos Reis: As well.

Adrie Smith: Yeah. I know, I’ve been seeing recently that you guys have been doing quite a few events because, are you guys also doing candidate events, as well? Or employer branding where-

Andreia dos Reis: Yeah, we tend to. So, we started with the, well, we started with employer branding last year, so we used as the launching a reason to go to the [incomprehensible] festival in-

Rita Mendes: [Incomprehensible]

Andreia dos Reis: Yeah, it’s like a tech job fair. Well, it’s more of an event and also has a job fair. And yeah, what we do, we just want to understand more the markets. So, who are the people we are attracting, where they are, and yeah, finding a way that we can really connect with them and talk to them, understand them, what do they want, who do they need and also to make them know us, yeah, know Nmbrs, who we are, what we do, what do we want. So yeah, I think it’s a conversation that goes both ways.

Adrie Smith: So, I think one of the things that I was kind of most excited about talking to you guys, both of you here today, is I know you have this candidate experience team. You guys, Nmbrs, seem to be doing it very different from the way a lot of companies do it in that employer branding is either seen as everyone’s responsibility and then that’s no one’s responsibility. or it’s put only on HR or only on talent acquisition, only on the recruiter. Can you explain a little bit about what this candidate experience team is? How [Crosstalk] and yeah. How you run it, how does it work?

Rita Mendes: So, I think this is going to sound a bit lol but I think the truth is really Nmbrs is like that. So you don’t have- we don’t make teams split by function, so you don’t have, like, the marketer’s team or the developer’s team or the HR’s team. So, every team in Nmbrs works cross functional. So, every team has always, like, different fields of expertise thats achieve a decision. And so, I know, for instance, that usually as you sell usually or employer branding is these like poor area that no one cares [about]. It’s like, oh, it’s all about videos and la la la, or it’s part of the HR team that has like an HR doing copy, God knows how about employer branding, or it’s all even the marketing team that takes care of that as like a side project of the marketing team. But what we believe in Nmbrs is like you make, we are divided by a product, so each team has one product. So our product, as you can imagine, is the candidate experience.

And so our team needs me and Andreia, and we are responsible for this product. Andreia brings in our more marketing side. So, knowledge about brands or knowledge about [incomprehensible] performance, events, how the users and how the people get attracted to a product. And I bring more of the HR knowledge. So I bring the recruitment expertise into the table. I bring what candidates want or where they are, what they are looking for, what kind of company are they seeking, and what kind of motivations do they have? And with these two knowledges you put in place like a road map of okay, what is the candidate journey, the candidate experience that we have with both mindsets. And since we have these more cross functional mindsets, that also allows us to bring in, like, other knowledge from other sides of the company. So for instance, if one of our projects is to rebuild the job posting experience, okay, me and Andreia, we are very good in what we do. But maybe like the person that actually does that job knows more about that job specifically. So, we bring the person into the table to work on that specific project with us. Andreia [Incomprehensible]

Adrie Smith: For the output then?

Andreia dos Reis: Sorry, sorry?

Adrie Smith: You’re responsible for the output. So anyone who needs to tie in is tied in?

Andreia dos Reis: Yeah. So in a way, so we are responsible for yes, for building the strategy and implementing it, as well. However, like Rita] said, we are not the experts in everything. So we always try to include as much people as possible like this, the key people that need to be involved on the things that we need to do. It’s like Rita said, if we have a job opening, I think the people who do that job know more about it than we do. So yeah, we try to include them, as well.

Adrie Smith: Okay.

Rita Mendes: What I can advise maybe for more functional organizations, so teams that are more split into expertise: I think it’s, when you start a project, try to think, okay, let’s invite people to come to the discussion. Because what happens is,like, we kind of isolate ourselves. So the HR, it’s like, okay, we need to improve employer branding. What we are going to do. And they only talk between HR teams instead of okay, let’s invite someone from, I don’t know, someone random from tech can come in and make their own opinion because everyone is a candidate, everyone is an employee, everyone knows about these things. So everyone knows what it feels like to be in an experience as a candidate, because we all are candidates in a certain moment.

Adrie Smith: So as I understand it, you kind of bring to this candidate experience team, the attraction, I guess, feeling expertise and then you’re really, you’re a bit more on the candidate, well the actual nurturing when the candidate comes through the system and how to optimize that process. How have things developed or changed since starting on this project? Are there any key moments or key achievements that you’ve been able to say, okay, we’ve changed this around, either on the nurturing side or on the attraction side?

Andreia dos Reis: I think that’s, I don’t know, as soon as we started to work in employer branding, the first thing that we did was trying to figure out where we stood. So not only what was employer branding, what we wanted to do with it inside of Nmbrs, but also, what was the, how did you call it [incomprehensible], the status-

Rita Mendes: The state of arts.

Andreia dos Reis: The state of arts of our situation both in Portugal and in the Netherlands, which is where we have the opposite and we want to attract as well, and yeah, I think it was more like that. So yeah. Who are we trying to attract? Where are they? Do they know us? What do they know about us? Yeah, what can we give, and regarding for the candidate experience, I think it’s, we have, Rita and I, we’re very, very people person[s]. So we really like to focus on them and what do they want and what do they need. And one of the things that I learned from [Incomprehensible], and that I really value is that the recruitment process is not only about who we want and what we want from them, that it’s really a communication between both parties. It’s also what the needs and what they’re looking for and if Nmbrs is the best fit for them. So yeah, Rita, do you want to add more about the candidates experience in terms of the recruitment process? Because I’m very proud of that.

Rita Mendes: Thanks, thanks for being a fan. I think, Andreia and I, we share this people thing, and even if we are both specialized, we care for each other’s work. So it’s like Andreia gives me a lot of input about, okay, maybe you can send this content to this candidate in this step. And I’m like, I love to sell, so Andreia, let’s negotiate this with this partner and blah, blah, blah. So, it’s very interesting to see. But because I think in the end we are very synchronous in what we want to achieve. So we want to give to candidates a good candidate experience and consistent. And for this… Nowadays, everyone talks about talent personas and the employer value proposition. And we also did that. So it was also one of the moments, okay, when we started, when we realized, okay, what we want to do, we wanted to understand with whom are we talking with and who we want to also to attract [to the] organization. Because I think employer branding is not about, “Hey, let’s have a lot of applications”, it’s more about having the targeted applications to the organization. And we did that work not only for helping Andreia to target better people in marketing and events and things like that, but also for us to understand, okay, how can we build this candidate journey since the very moment they listen about Nmbrs until [they] leave Nmbrs? Actually what kind of people are there, what they are looking for, what they are expecting from this journey and what can we do as a pair here to make sure that this experience is consistent every single moment.

Because at the moment, employer branding is like this buzzword that nowadays everyone speaks about. Oh, ping pong, let’s do, if it is about ping pong tables and about the fares and about Paris, about everything. But then people forget if you’re fun in the video, you also need to have a fun hiring process, and you also need to be a fun company. And that’s what we try to do. So the crazy Rita and the crazy Andreia that appears in the videos are the crazy Rita and crazy Andreia during the hiring process, I can tell, and we are also the crazy Rita and crazy Andreia within your organization, and this is what you’re going to find in Nmbrs- And not in Nmbrs-  it’s something that we believe that we need to do. So, if you are, like, a formal company, don’t be afraid of being a formal company. Like, there are people that love formality. Just assume that, be consistent, because if you sell something and then, like, when you buy the product and it’s different, trust is gone.

Andreia dos Reis: Yeah. One of the things I also want to add based on [what] Rita said is that we are talking a lot about employer branding in the attraction parts, but the actual one other thing that is very important to mention is that employer branding is not only attraction. So employer branding is the entire employee life cycle. So it’s also the attraction, engagement, and retention, as well. For us, we are the candidate’s experience. So we are focusing more on the attraction parts, but you also have an employee experience squad, and they focus more on the unrest, on the engagement and the, on the intro of the attraction.

And like Rita was saying, as well, and very well, about the consistency. For me, employer branding, it’s about three things: so, consistency- not only about what you communicate and how it happens inside the company, but also, one important thing that we cannot forget is that customers are also very, very important and employer branding is, also, for them. So, in terms of consistency is also the experience that you deliver to employees and to candidates should also be the experience that you deliver to customers. So, everyone with whom you communicate, both outside and inside the company, they should all have the same experience. And that should be based on your values, on your mission. So the message should all be the same. The other thing that’s, for me, it’s very important in employer branding is to work it inside out. So, it’s, again, like Rita was saying, I think that it’s more important to- before starting to communicate who you are as a company- to look inside and understand who you are as a company. So what are the engagement levels? Is there a culture? What type of culture do you want it to be? And really foster and nurture your company and your employees. And then, yeah, then work on the outside and working at communicating that in the most transparent way possible. Again, people will understand if you say something, and then the minute they get inside the company, they see, yeah, it’s not good for any of the parts. And also, yes, if you are a more formal company don’t communicate in a more informal way because that is not how-

Adrie Smith: You actually are.

Andreia dos Reis: -you actually are. Don’t be afraid. I know that now there is a lot of competition and difficulty in hiring people. But again, like Rita mentioned, it’s like there are people for every company, so they will get attracted to [you].

Rita Mendes: It’s like love, there’s always someone [for] you [laughter].

Adrie Smith: It’s like dating right?

Rita Mendes: Oh yes.

Andreia dos Reis: Yeah, the last point, it touches on what you said, because of the ‘who is responsible for employer branding’. I think that, for me, employer branding is not only HR, it’s not only marketing or communications or recruitment, employer branding is everything -also because of the impact that it has on the customers, on the stakeholders, on the employees, on the candidates. But yeah, a team, a specific team should be responsible to make sure that employer branding is being developed, or leaving it spread across the entire company can be a bit confusing or the ownership is not clear. And that’s why we divided it like that.

Adrie Smith: So you said a little bit, you talked about finding who you are inside the company first. And, to me, that kind of strikes a note. I think about it for our company. I think we’ve sent around a number of Typeforms. You can even do a Typeform, and you’d send it around your company and say, okay, what do you think we are? You give them a list of, for us we had a list of adjectives, like how we would describe Recruitee, how we would describe our colleagues, how we would describe our after work events, stuff like this. So you kind of get a good feeling of what people feel the company actually is. And I think that’s easy for a company of, I mean I think we’re just over 50 people now, I think that’s easier for a company of this size. But for a company when you start to get to 100, 200+ people, that becomes a lot more difficult. How would you recommend finding out really who a whole group of 200+ people are?

Andreia dos Reis: Yeah, I think that for us we’re still implementing that. We’re around 120 people. But I think that one important thing also to mention about that is that: so employer branding, everyone is talking about employer branding, but usually it’s more applied in the big companies with like 1,000 or 5,000 people, and employer branding can be applied like, I don’t know, [to] any company exactly. The thing is that how we will apply [it] to a company of 5,000 people will be completely different than a smaller company, also because in smaller companies, maybe you don’t need this super strategic process, or you can be more relaxed. For us with the, yeah, with 120 people, I think, it’s also, yeah, it’s very important to make,to understand the company and to create like a survey. Or if it’s not a survey,here are several tools of the employee engagements where you can assess what people think about how people perceive the company.

Rita Mendes: And I also think usually- what can we advise to more bigger companies to assess who they really are, I think the question is? The only difference is scalability. So, you need to do the exact exercise that you do for a company of three people but for 1000. So when it’s three people, what [do] you do? So, you talk with the three people, and you kind of almost interview the people to understand, okay, why [do] you like this company, why are you still here? What do you like about this company? What made you fall in love with the company? Once you were here, what made you fall in love with the company? And this kind of exercise with three people is quite simple.


But then when you have, like, 1000 people, you do exactly the same. Somebody set[s] off [to] interview 1000 people, or you randomly choose the people that you’re going to talk with, or you try to understand what kind of people can you pick to be significant. So it’s like a research that you’re doing. So, you go for, you need to have people. If you have like more, company, need to go with level by level. And trying to understand what level, what kind of things each level wants and also, and very, very important, also, [is] time that the person is in the company. So because for instance, one person that is for 20 years in this organization has a different perception about the company: their feelings towards the company, what made the person who applied to the company stay [with] the company, what motivates the person to stay in the company. It’s way different than someone that starts now in the company, because, also, the company changes across time, cultural changes. And you need to be aware of this change, as well, when you’re building, like, your strategy as an employer branding [professional]. But I think, if I may say this is really personal, but I think the more simple we get [with] these things, the less huge and crazy they seem. So it’s just scalability and what you do with three people. It’s not different. It’s just the type of people that you’re going to talk with.

Adrie Smith: So, is that how you guys are planning to scale your employer branding at Nmbrs?

Rita Mendes: I think that’s a very pertinent question that we still don’t have an answer, a rigid answer, to. I think the key moment of change will be when we start to hire more people, because our employer branding now is done based on three aspects:so based on the fact that we have two offices, that Portugal has tech professionals, almost, and Amsterdam is more commercial side and organizational side. [And] the fact that we are hiring, like, new people, our growth is not that usual. We are not like this startup that is going to hire 100 and 200 people in one year. That is not our case. And, also, the fact that at the moment we are like this and what we are doing now makes sense for what we are now, but maybe like in two years or three years if we need to hire 100 and 200 people, we need to be ready for that. So, we need to always reassess the strategy each year so [we] understand what’s going on and what we can do differently.

Andreia dos Reis: Yeah, exactly. I think that one of things that we’ve learned since we started working with employment branding is that exactly, we have a goal. For example, now we’re hiring for [Incomprehensible] companies, we’re not hiring for that many people. So our strategy for employer branding also needs to adjust to that. And yeah, every year is a new thing, and for 2019, we kind of know what we want to do. But yeah, for other years, for how we imagine or how we see employer branding in five years for Nmbrs yeah, we have no clue. I think we’re still figuring, yeah, what works for us and what we want to do.

Rita Mendes: And also, the stage of employer branding where we are, as Andreia was saying before, it’s really important because we are creating, we are still in the creating phase, we are in the awareness phase. So, in Portugal we did this job to be more known in the tech community. And now we can go to be more picky, I’d say, in choosing what are the people that we want to target in Portugal. But in Amsterdam, we still have to do a lot of work to put our name in the field, our name, ‘Hey, Nmbrs exists, guys’. And so we are in this stage, and this also affects our strategy at the moment. Once we are more known, also, the strategy needs to readapt.

Adrie Smith: So, would you consider… So before you talked a little bit about how you work specifically at the state of art, like how you were currently doing right when you started. And given that you already kind of seem to have a very different situation in Portugal versus Amsterdam, does that mean that your employer branding is slightly different or slightly skewed in both locations?

Andreia dos Reis: I mean, the target audiences are a bit different also because of the culture and mindset. So yeah, we need to adapt to that. Again, always being true and keeping it consistent, the communication, but yeah.If in Portugal, the state of arts is already a bit known, and here we need to adapt a bit, and yeah, we’re still doing that, so we’re trying to still understand who are the people we are attracting, which channels should we use, where are they, what do they want, what do they need? So yeah, everything that we did in Portugal we’re doing now in the Netherlands and in Portugal yeah, we are being more actionable. Also testing something that already works to see if it still goes on. But yeah, I think we’re learning with both experience and something that can be applied there, maybe it’s not applied here. Something that [is] applied here cannot be applied there. And there are things that we can apply in both places. So yeah, I think we’re-

Rita Mendes: Ecosystems are also very different in Portugal. In Portugal, our value propositions for the community that we are targeting here in Portugal are more, they stand more easily. So it’s just, it’s not that big, like we have a lot of nice companies in Portugal, it’s not what I’m saying. So, but our type of company, our type of way of working considering the type of people that we are attracting, we stand out better. So the job is more, okay, where are these people? Because once we are there, they like us.

In the Netherlands our way of working, our way of being, our way of taking care of things does not stand out as much for the community that we are targeting in Amsterdam as it does in Lisbon. So in Amsterdam, the secret, it will be to find our, that specific niche where our specific EVP will “cling!”, but we are stealing the market research in the Netherlands, I think. And we [are] also targeting, different personas that we are targeting for the Amsterdam office are more diverse, as well. So the focus is that it’s not that we are focusing on personnel, we are focused actually into, in Amsterdam two, two and a half more or less. So it’s,the work, is also more difficult there- more competitors, I’d say, in the sales conversation.

Adrie Smith: So then, what are you guys doing? What are your plans then to come stand out as employers in sort of a highly competitive market? Because I think a lot of people have this [Inaudible] right, that it’s, number one, there’s talent shortages, number two, other companies are also offering amazing workspaces, benefits, etc. How do you stand out?

Andreia dos Reis: I think it will be mostly also in the experience that we give people. So, we will not be the company who will say, yeah, we’ll give you this amazing thing, do that amazing thing. We want people to be at Nmbrs because it’s a place where they feel challenged and they want to grow. Of course we have perks and benefits. That is normal. That is who we are. But I think that’s, I don’t know, we also need to be a bit true to ourselves. And we don’t want to go for over the top things that are not who we are. And we also need to understand that maybe if some people want that, then maybe Nmbrs is not the best place. And yeah, we need to also communicate to the people that are interested in what we have to offer.

Rita Mendes: Also in the Netherlands, what we are doing is also trying out channels. So, when I say channels, I say partners- so recruitment partners in every sense of the way. So, one of the works that we have been doing is like establishing conversations with different types of partners and try[ing] to understand what can work best and what are the partners that also advise us best considering our way of doing. Because the way that we do things in Nmbrs does not make sense, for instance, to work with that company or to work with that company. So, kind of finding the partners that understand a bit what we do and that are also connected with the right type for us, of community that we are looking for.

And that also happened in Portugal, because in Portugal we found partners that they feel HR, they feel our organization, and their voice are also similar to ours. So they aren’t connecting with candidates and with people and which stakeholders that understand who we are. So they are more close to our persona. And because of that we also increased our, okay, where are the people that we want to attract? And it’s also a bit the experimental work that we are doing in the Netherlands, market research basically. It’s a sale. We are trying to find a new world, let’s say.

Andreia dos Reis: [Inaudible] So, we don’t know everything, and we have to do it all along. So, what we are doing is that yeah, we’re finding companies who really have more insights, [Inaudible] and we’re willing to share, and we are approaching them and see[ing] if we can share some knowledge. We’re going to events, we’re going to meetups. We’re talking to people in the industry that we know, we’re going to communities on Slack, and we’re trying to reach out and trying to understand. I think that before people were a little bit afraid of sharing what they were doing like, ‘Oh my God, I don’t want people to copy what I’m doing, because then they will see it.’ But there are different people, there are people for everything. So, now I think people are more willing to share, as well. And yeah, we’re trying to reach out and try to understand how to behave in different markets.

Adrie Smith: And by recruitment partners, Rita, you were talking about agencies or service providers or…?

Rita Mendes: A lot, not only recruitment providers. So for instance, our tech challenge software provider, we talk to them if Recruitee also wants to share knowledge with us- we are here. It’s these things like we are not afraid of. I have a lot of nice conversations with the Recruitee customer care team with a lot of emojis. It’s fun. But I think in HR, one thing that me and Andreia, we learn with the tech professionals in our previous company, they are very community oriented. They are not afraid of asking ‘Oh my God, I don’t know how to do this programming line and not to do this.’ And they go online, and they go to Stack Overflow, they go to [Incomprehensible], they go to Reddit, they go everywhere to ask to find out their answers. And this humble spirit that we try also, too, with me and Andreia.

So, we don’t know all the answers; who knows, after all? So, what we tried to do is a bit to have this tech mindset and going, ‘Okay let’s go outside, and let’s try to find out who has already solved this problem,’ because I think we’re in 2019, and no one is trying to find the wheel anymore in the world. So, of course someone already solved the similar problem in a similar period of time.

So it’s a bit this mindset. Don’t isolate yourself. Never. Don’t be afraid to ask help from your partners. They are not only providers, it’s like, always like it’s win-win when the partner, I think also some recruiters mostly, I can tell because I’ve been there, we are a bit, how can I say? Sometimes we are afraid of asking help because we are afraid that people around us feel that we are not good in our jobs. And if you can, if you have numbers that support you, if it’s more efficient to ask help than finding the wheel I don’t know where, why not asking help? Just justifyit. Justify with numbers the investment that you’re doing.

Adrie Smith: Yeah. Well for us that’s like part of the reason why we host this webinar is to kind of promote an open and honest engagement- well, engage in conversation about problems that everybody has, right? So hopefully people have learned, and they’ll get the chance to ask some questions. But, hopefully everybody will have learned something about the way that Nmbrs does their employer branding. And I think it’s all, well now it should all be about kind of promoting a nice open engagement, engaging conversations with people.

Andreia dos Reis: Yeah. I think that’s, people now are really looking for a community, more engaging relationship with people. So I feel that the problem that companies now are having with hiring people and yeah, trying to understand what they want, what they need to create for candidates to come to them. I think it’s really about putting ourselves out there, and it’s really approach[ing] the people that we want to attract and understand and talking to them and also with the partnerships. Yeah, it’s really just going outside of our bubble, leaving our zone, and try pulling people, yeah. Going to, that’s my [Incomprehensible] now are becoming such a big thing. [Inaudible] connect and change the experience, and that’s the same in the workplace.

Adrie Smith: Yeah, definitely.

Rita Mendes: [Incomprehensible] knowledge, I think it’s like recruitment employer branding, “drinks”? I don’t know if it’s even an English expression. But [I] get inspiration from many fields: from HR, psychology, marketing, sales, design (Andreia, wink, wink for you), user experience, CRM, you name it. That’s analytics. So just be curious and try to understand what fits best for your own company.

Andreia dos Reis: Exactly. Yeah, that’s important. Not everything fits.

Adrie Smith: So I think we have some time for some questions. So I saw a couple of questions on some related issues. Sorry, sorry about that. We have some questions coming in here. So I think we’ll start with this one: “Art Testimonial or statement video is kind of old data, so outdated?”

Andreia dos Reis: I think it depends how we work at it and also how you do it. So one of the things that we really understand from candidates is that whatever you say on your career page, people will trust it better if it comes from an employee. Of course, it doesn’t mean that if it’s coming from a video, it works better. But the reason why we started to do the videos was yeah, just to show our employees and the amazing people that we have working at the company.

And actually, the way that we use the videos is during the recruitment process, because we have, well, people from the other squads interviewing candidates. Before the interviews, we always try to share one of those videos, especially if it’s one of those people who will be interviewed who will be the interviewer, and we try to share it and then create more of a relationship between the candidate and the person who will interview them. So ‘Listen, this is the person who will interview you. If you want to know more about them, just check this video or check this article that they wrote,” and we just want to close a bit the gap and the communication and, yeah, make it tighter. So first, it’s really communicating who we are as a company. And at least for now, the feedback of the videos has been amazing. So yeah, it’s something that we want to continue doing.

Rita Mendes: We also build it. The secret is also the way that you build the video itself, so it’s not about, okay, let’s pick a person that we know that it’s like this huge investor of the company, bringing the share and ask him, ‘Oh, what do you like about this company? What do you like? Blah, blah, blah.’ We want to know the story of the person. So, okay. ‘What are you doing in the company [in the] first place. What’s in your experience? So, what’s [it] been [like] so far, like your experience in the city?’ (if you’re talking about someone that’s coming from abroad). Or  why the company fits well in your life. So, it’s a bit like to try to focus on the person and not focus on what you’re trying to achieve with the video. Okay. So not focus [on] ‘Oh, we want to file to make a video about saying good stuff about the company.’ That will sound silly. Be authentic. It’s my motto.

Andreia dos Reis: Yeah, but it’s true. It’s one of the things that, since we started making the videos, I was always very, how do you say, very firm on that? It’s that I don’t want this to be a video selling Nmbrs. I want this to be a video about the employee, of course, because it’s about Nmbrs. Nmbrs will always be a bit there, but I don’t want this to be a self-video. So it really is the way on how you do it and the goal behind it. So when developing these sort of things, at least how we did it was to first think about what is the goal, what do we want to do with it, and what do we want people to take out? We build around it.

Adrie Smith: Yeah. We actually have a blog post about some of the best career videos.

Andreia dos Reis: I know, I saw.

Adrie Smith: I really, I really liked one, there’s one by Dropbox, but they took it off, which I don’t know why because they did it instead of doing a, they did like basically the candidate interviews, but with puppets. It was like actual Muppet puppets. So I thought that was quite creative. And there’s some really good ones in there. So I’ll forward that afterwards. Maybe I’ll drop it on the TA Twitter and Facebook group. But like, I think doing the research on that one, there’s some that were so funny and so good and then there were some that were, yes, a bit more traditional, but really, they feel authentic. They feel like, that this is really the person talking about their day to day in the office. And I think, yeah, of course, maybe if their day to day in the office is not that exciting and maybe not [crosstalk]

Rita Mendes: I hate working in this company, I don’t even know why I’m doing this video [crosstalk]

Adrie Smith: Tons of people who don’t mind working, when they find their video they worry [crosstalk]

Andreia dos Reis: But it’s along with the, what you were saying before, that if you are formal, if you’re informal, just embrace it.

Adrie Smith: Yes. So next one here. What would you advise companies who published positive reviews on their glassdoor? That sounds absolutely staged. Recognizing when one is staged is as easy as recognizing a fake Amazon review.

Andreia dos Reis: For me, honest, I think that we learn as much with negative feedback as you learn with positive feedback. Maybe even more. So for me, all the reviews that we have more employee. Yeah, we have good things, and we have bad things, but we use that as feedback. If companies are publishing reviews that are completely staged, again, people can see that a mile away, [crosstalk] so I would advise not to do that and just embrace it. If people have something bad to say about your company, use that as a way to change it. So if it’s not working, it’s not working. Okay. Let’s change things. But yeah. Pretend and the show, the only,  the rainbows and Unicorns and everything.

Rita Mendes: Consistency.

Andreia dos Reis:  Yeah. In Portuguese we have a saying, let me see if I can translate it, that it means that you caught a liar faster than a [crosstalk] a liar faster than a person with a limb?

Adrie Smith: Oh you catch a liar faster than some of the[crosstalk]

Andreia dos Reis: Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.

Adrie Smith: Okay [laughter].

Rita Mendes: We are the weird, in Portugal,  but it’s true, it’s true. I think, I mean, if you want to build a company that hires a lot of people, but in the first six months, everyone goes away, or in six months everyone is saying bad stuff about your company okay. Just do it. If you are like that, just do it. But the risk of that is like, you’re losing employees in one year. Like, if you build, I mean there’s no perfect person in the, a company is made by persons, right? If a person is not perfect, why in the world [would] the company would need to be perfect?

People get attracted to stuff based not only on what they are good at but mainly on what [makes]them less good, imperfections. We are driven by imperfections. So for instance, in Nmbrs we are very, oh we are very [incomprehensible] and very “Coochie Coochie Coochie”. So people like that, that thing on us, and because sometimes we get very ‘Oh my God, I don’t want us to be seen in the world and, and this is our characteristic!’ you know, and yes we have, we have no manager structure, and we have problems, but who doesn’t, you know? Let’s improve.

Andreia dos Reis: Yeah. But also be honest in terms of if you are willing to change something or not, so you don’t need to change something just because everyone is saying, ‘Oh, I don’t like this. I don’t like that. Oh, well all this complaining is not [crosstalk].’ So also understand what you can control and what [you] can’t and the, yeah, and go with that.

Adrie Smith: I think we have one here. Another one: the overlap between employer branding and content strategy-oes it include paid ads, regular, organic SEO or both or none? Curious to know how you do it and how more tech [inaudible]

Andreia dos Reis: [Crosstalk] So with our content strategy right now, we’re still working on it, but yeah, it’s paid and not paid. So for jobs, we create job ads. We post on job platforms. We use referrals, we use our network.gain, yeah, we tried to include as many people as possible, other types of content, like articles, the videos, infographics, yeah. It’s usually non-paid unless we want to promote it. SEO, yeah, we’re still working on it. It’s still a work  in progress, but it’s both. Yeah it’s marketing. So, yeah, it’s both.

Adrie Smith: Well, I think one of the more, well, how I got it initially, got to know you was you reached out to me and was like, ‘Hey, we have a really interesting story to tell about how we hire and, you basically featuring you on the blog and it’s, that’s also another piece of content that I think people, for me working in content, I feel like people under-evaluate is approaching your partners, your recruitment partners or is it people that you, your service providers or people who work with you and also getting your story known through those sources as well. Because I think it’s, yeah, it’s mutually beneficial, and it depends on the way that you angle it, of course. But I think that’s also a massive way to kind of promote your employer brand, as well.

Andreia dos Reis: Yeah, exactly. It goes on the partner a conversation with you. I follow your blog, and I think that you have really interesting content, and so I hunt you down on LinkedIn, again [crosstalk]Rita Mendes: You have a stalker [laughter].

Andreia dos Reis: That’s important to say, ‘I really, really want to work with you. We can do a partnership, I can share more.’ So yeah, and it worked.

Adrie Smith: Amazing. Okay. I think we have another one here. The candidate-customer experience team is very much focused on external employer branding, or you’re also focusing on internal employer branding? If so, how?

Andreia dos Reis: Oh man, I cannot talk about that [crosstalk]

Rita Mendes: Oh…

Andreia dos Reis: [inaudible] So again, yeah, I’m very passionate about employer branding, and to me employer branding, again, it’s not only about attraction; it’s about engagement and retention, as well. So, yes, we do have candidate experience squads, but we divide employer branding in two ways, because that was the way that we found that we could focus more our expertise. So we have the candidate experience, which goes from [crosstalk]

Rita Mendes: Until the hire.

Andreia dos Reis: Yeah. Which goes, yeah, everything before, until the hire part. As soon as there’s a hire, then it goes to the employee experience squads, and then they are responsible from the hire parts until the retire. So everything about employee experience, the onboarding, personal development, everything. Oh and we also have people coaches. Yeah, so yeah. Do you want to explain how [crosstalk]

Rita Mendes: Of course [crosstalk] so we have, so the teams are organized by cross-functional, right? So each team has a product, and it’s formed by cross for different functions. So me and Andreia,candidate experience. And employee experience, for instance, has HR, facilities, and pre-onboarding, also. So employee experience as it is. So we have also different expertises, and then you have the people coaches, and they are both coaches. So our HR team, so our HR chapter, has these three teams, and these three teams, each one has its each product.

And Andreia’s work- so she’s in candidate experience focus, but she also has impact on the other teams as employer branding, because, as she said, like, employer branding does not end in the hire. It also encompasses the experience overall of the employee in the organization. It’s a, it’s all, because I think employer branding helps one thing. Employer branding helps in keeping the voice consistent, every stage of the, of the journey of a person in the company. So it’s not only about candidate versus employee; it’s [a] person’s journey in your organization. You are the glue, Andreia.

Andreia dos Reis: Yeah. Just to add, to add one thing to what she said, so, again, like it’s said, we are the people chapter, and we have three squads. But even though we are separate, we communicate between the three because again, experience and consistency is important throughout the entire employee life cycle. So we have a monthly, a chapter meeting where we strategize, we see if we are aligned in the, in what we want to accomplish, in our goal of making sure that people want to stay at Nmbrs so yeah,we align ourselves. Yeah.

Adrie Smith: Yeah. So I think, we’re coming to the end, unfortunately. It’s been absolutely fabulous talking to you both. I just want to bring attention [inaudible] already planned. It’s going to be on March 28th, Thursday, also at 4 PM (CEST). Yeah, you can sign up using the recruit.ee\webinar-en link, but you can also do it through the follow-up email that I’ll send right after this. But yeah, hope to see you also there. Also, here is a list of resources that I’ll just leave up. Recruitee.com, you can see we have a brand new website, or rebranded. It’s very beautiful [crosstalk]. I know, I’m so happy. Also, you can check out the blog. I’ll send you guys the career inspiration, well, the career video inspirations, that we have from the blog, the recruitment videos and yeah, if you want a recording of the webinar, you’ll have to join us at TA innovators, where we’ll be sharing that and yeah, I think that’s it for today, but I just want to thank you both, well-

Andreia dos Reis: Thank you.

Adrie Smith: Andreia for coming in and, of course, Rita for calling in. It’s been absolutely fabulous having you both, really [crosstalk]

Andreia dos Reis: It’s been [crosstalk]

Rita Mendes: It was nice.

Andreia dos Reis: Oh, and also for everyone watching please, connect with us on LinkedIn. Again, we don’t know everything. We’re still trying to figure out and learn from as many people as possible. So also share your experiences and just approach us anytime.

Rita Mendes: And Adrie, I think me and Andreia also owe you a very huge thank you for hosting us, you’re an amazing interviewer. You can come to [our] candidate experience team and interview candidatesif you want to [laughter].

Adrie Smith: Rita, I will log off now, and for slide up, just so everyone can see [incomprehensible], and Rita, you can just log off as well.

Rita Mendes: Okay. I’m going away then.

Andreia dos Reis: Bye.

Adrie Smith: Bye.

Beth is the former HR Community Manager at Recruitee. Based in Pittsburgh, Beth enjoys spreading the word about recruitment innovation.
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