Raising employer branding
Strategy to increase the number of qualified candidates for a software development company
Brief and goals
A B2B tech client was struggling with recruiting team members in an industry characterized by frequent job-hopping, motivated by competitive salary offers every three months – developers. They needed to fill various roles across all levels of experience due to multiple incoming complex projects that required team expansion within a year.
The objective was to achieve at least one new hire per month for roles including Software Tester, Dev-Ops, Full-Stack Developer, and Web Developer. Despite being present on Romanian hiring platforms such as hipo.ro and ejobs.ro, the leads were unqualified and failed to progress to the initial interview stage. This bottleneck in their strategy prevented them from finding suitable candidates and required a lot of time from the hiring manager, who couldn’t focus on other team development activities.
Setting the context
The primary challenge was attracting the right candidates to interviews. Our team began by studying the client’s work methods, team dynamics, core values, and their cultural organization book to generate an unique angle the company has to offer its future team members. Considering their challenges and industry context, we decided on the following marketing activities for employer branding:
A. Social Media Marketing: We aimed to establish an online presence on Facebook and LinkedIn to reach candidates at all experience levels. Our content revolved around three pillars: team insights (including testimonials, workplace photos, teambuilding, and after-work activities), exciting projects, and open roles presented with industry humor and insight, and an educational pillar offering tech course recommendations, accreditations, and CV-writing advice.
B. Monthly Masterminds Events: Each month, we hosted an event at the office to discuss industry challenges and important soft skills (e.g., “Working alone or in a team as a developer?”). Our goal was to build a community, showcase the client’s expertise, and give a sense of our client’s dynamic and team environment, while giving the chance to attendees to meet the existing team.
C. University Partnerships and Student Industry Events: To engage with entry-level candidates, we increased our presence in the student sphere, introducing them to career opportunities and promoting our client’s interest in nurturing buddy-ing tech professionals.
D. Professional Video Content: We invested in high-quality videos to showcase our client’s team and also increased employer branding, making video testimonials that highlighted the journey of team members in each open role.
Understanding our target audience and their needs was paramount. We researched the industry and developed three employee personas to tailor our activity plans: professional reconversions, students, ex-employees of other companies. We also identified their preferred platforms and topics to maximize our reach.
Our strategy focused on promoting the benefits of a great team, growth opportunities, and the cultural value of our client’s organization. Our interest was to approach those candidates who no longer wanted to work alone, who wanted to explore more the team dynamics, and were eager to contribute to a collaborative environment where their skills and ideas could be shared. Additionally, our focus extended to those just starting on the professional path we outlined. We communicated clearly about the growth opportunities available, such as mentoring and buddy programs.
By emphasizing team spirit, synergy, and community over the industry’s typical salary-centric focus, we aimed to:
- Establish the Position: Position the company as an excellent workplace with opportunities for growth, appealing to all experience levels and emphasizing the “dream team” concept for both employer and employee.
- Be Visible: Collaborate with educational industry leaders, produce professional content, highlight achievements, and share employee journeys.
- Speak Their Language: Creating context (mastermind events) with potential candidates and industry people talking about their interests, exchange ideas and advice, learn more about them and let them learn more about the organization.
After the first 90 days, which were dedicated to strategy implementation and adjustments, we observed tangible results. Within a year, the visibility of open roles on LinkedIn, hipo.ro, and the company’s website increased applications by 45%.
Over 30% of these applicants progressed to the interview stage, resulting in approximately two hires per month. This exceeded our initial goal and enabled our client to expand their team with valuable employees who integrated seamlessly.
In the end, it’s really important to say that our success came from two things:
- the implementation of the strategy, doubled by
- how much our client’s team cared about their people.
Adding new members is a team effort, involving more than just finding the right candidates. It’s about how the company supports their growth, creates a positive workplace, but also about how you communicate your goals, ideas and organizational culture.