A few weeks back, my Aussie colleague and kindred spirit Louise Weine of NAWO (the National Association of Women in Operations) asked me to be a guest on her podcast to chat about Employer Branding. Specifically, she wanted to talk about the common struggles that her member organizations are having in recruiting and retaining top female talent. Let me just say that I love this topic because it gets to the core of what brands are increasingly starting to focus on in their branding efforts – and that is, how corporate culture drives brand expression. With employees demanding greater transparency and authenticity from the place they spend nearly half their waking life, it’s no wonder that brands are finding themselves in a bit of a bind.
How can we market ourselves to top talent as a company of the future while being true to the realities of working at our company? And after the honeymoon wears off, how can we be sure that we’ve set the right expectations during our recruiting and onboarding processes such that our new employees feel they’ve made the right choice when inevitably work/culture challenges arise?
Here is how Louise introduced the topic of our discussion:
“This episode is all about attracting women to operational environments – those of us who work in them love them, but these are work environments that have traditionally been blokey, highly operational, industrial – and generally have been assumed to be unattractive work environments for women.
Operational businesses in multiple industry sectors in Australia such as manufacturing, transport & logistics, agriculture, utilities, telecommunications, mining & resources – continue to offer great career paths and fabulous opportunities, but these are often overlooked or not effectively marketed to women. If I could have a dollar for every time I have been told – ‘we looked for woman for that role but we couldn’t get anyone to apply.’ Or the good old ‘this is not really an attractive work environment for a woman – it would take a special kind of woman to work here successfully’.
These kind of comments prompt so many questions in my mind and there are so many There directions I can take around this topic, but today we are focussing on the positives of operational work environments and how to best market these to female talent – but doing it in a way that is authentic. Not dressing up a wolf as Red Riding Hood or selling mutton as lamb!! The reality is there are a many talented women who would relish the opportunity to pursue careers in operations. Especially with our NAWO members who are committed to achieving truly inclusive workplace cultures.”
Below are links to the NOMS facebook and careers website for your reference. One thing that I didn’t note in the podcast, but that stood out to me immediately when I first saw these examples, was how the actual design of these campaigns wasn’t anything spectacular. It’s something I want to point out because so often – and I’m guilty of this as well – we tend to put more effort into making something beautiful than we do making it thoughtful. And I chose this as an example because it’s an example of how smart strategy lays the foundation of (and perhaps can even carry) a powerful campaign.
*The creator of this campaign is communications agency Havas People
Recent screengrabs from the NOMS social media and career web page:
From the website