Jörgen Sundberg is a respected talent attraction and employer branding practitioner and thought leader. He has been involved in this work for over a decade. Jörgen hosts The Employer Branding Podcast featuring international employer brand leaders, rebels, and innovators, and he will be one of the roundtable facilitators at the Talent Brand Summit - London this 15-17 October.
Do you handle employer branding/recruitment marketing in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) as well as North America? If you handle it in both regions, what are the main differences or misconceptions that you’ve noticed?
Because I am based in London—the most global city in the world—we are often asked to engage on a global level. This will typically include EMEA, North America, and other regions. The first misconception is that talent challenges are somehow vastly different between continents. In my experience, organizations face similar hurdles wherever in the world they are based. Yes, employer brand management has been around a lot longer in Europe and is part of the management agenda of all large corporates. However, I think the uptake of employer/talent branding is bigger in America at the moment, perhaps due to the full employment situation.
One difference—as the title of an upcoming Talent Brand Summit session implies—is that EMEA is made up of 100+ countries as opposed to the 2 to 10 countries of North America, depending on how you count. With more countries, languages, cultures, online platforms, you face a bit more complexity and need more local support—especially for activation. And then there’s a little something called GDPR.
Are there any tactics or strategies that work better in EMEA than in North America or vice versa?
Media channels are much more fragmented in EMEA, and it takes some calibrating to figure out what will work in Finland versus Portugal. The same is true for job boards, social networks, and even influencers. Using local languages and even nuances will render much stronger results than if you blanket everyone with a message in English (which you might get away with in the U.S.).
What tools do you find indispensable for accomplishing your strategy and running your program?
First of all, I think there is a lack of specific tools for employer branding. Yes some social tools are great but they're arguably designed for marketing purposes. Then of course, you have your ATS and CRM platforms which are intended for recruiting. So let's get innovating folks, and let's share the best tools we have uncovered in this community and of course at the Summit in London!
I'd like to highlight a couple of tools though which I know are effective and I have the greatest respect for the founding teams:
Altru - You may have found that it's sometimes difficult to get employees to tell their story in the written format, or even to agree to be interviewed with a camera crew buzzing around them. Altru is a clever piece of tech that allows your people to shoot short videos on their phones that tell stories about everyday life as an employee. These clips are hosted on your career site and/or a separate micro-site and allow candidates to get a flavor the employee experience.
Pathmotion - As an ex-recruiter, I know how you sometimes find yourself sounding like a broken record when explaining what a job is all about. Pathmotion figures out what the most common questions are from candidates and routes these to current employees who answer them. Over time this builds up a huge Q&A repository which sits on your career site. A strong employer brand should clearly communicate what it's really like to work for a company, and this is the tool that could help.
Our clients have various tech running their ATS, CRM, and career sites, etc., but it’s about making the best out of a sometimes patchy situation. Ultimately, the best tool you can have is the right people on your team or project. Get everyone communicating well by using Zoom, Slack, and Google Drive, and you can accomplish anything!
What advice would you give someone who wants to jump into the employer branding/recruitment marketing field?
Work to get some experience in a related field. Most employer brand professionals will have a background in either recruiting or marketing, but branding, PR, social media, research, and project management would also be great stepping stones for a role in this space.
Also, explore more than just employer brand resources. Take an active interest in wider business news and trends to make sense of the underlying reasons for talent challenges in companies. Start by joining a community like this one and do a lot of listening. Then, do a lot of asking questions. :-)
Where is the best place you’ve traveled to and why?
This is a cop out, but living in London is honestly like traveling without going anywhere. There’s a serious rotation of people, cultures, and cuisines. And there’s no jet lag!
About our Member: Jörgen Sundberg is the founder and CEO of Link Humans, a boutique employer brand agency based in London that serves challenger brands (ones that don’t yet have brand trust and market share). They are a team of ex-recruiters and creatives who help brands link to the right humans. Follow him on Twitter at @JorgenSundberg.
Have a talent brand story you want to share? Drop us a line.
If you’d like to connect in person with Jörgen and other experienced employer brand practitioners from multiple continents, join us for the Talent Brand Summit - London in October!