How to build an EVP for a business undergoing big change

Source: Shortlist, 19 October 2012

How can a business build an effective, all-inclusive employment brand, when one of its divisions is in structural decline but others are undergoing rapid growth?

This was the dilemma New Zealand Post faced this year when developing a new employee value proposition to support its recruitment marketing, the organisation’s head of recruitment Tina Morgan told the RHUB NZ conference in Auckland yesterday.

The company has over 7,000 FTE employees, and filled 99% of perm and fixed term roles through its internal recruitment centre in 2011. So far in 2012 it has filled 98% in-house.

Morgan said that NZ Post’s long-term forecasts indicated a decline of 40% in revenue in its traditional mail business between 2002 and 2018.

While its mail processing staff were likely to be negatively affected by changes to the business, the company was actively recruiting in other parts of the business including the thriving Kiwibank brand, its parcel service, and a number of new online services.

Morgan said focus groups had shown that people saw NZ Post’s brand as trustworthy and secure, “a great employer that looks after its people” – but not very exciting.

She said the organisation had developed a “People for Change” tagline to represent its employer brand, to highlight the fact that transformation was occurring in the business. This had an upside as people were attracted to the idea of being part of something new.

“As an external recruitment piece, the context is: Come and join us, be part of our evolution, come and help us make it happen.”

She said developing the branding had involved walking a fine line in talking about the great opportunities in the business, when the news wasn’t universally good.

“We’ve had to play it safe with our EVP messaging because while on one side of the business we have cool stuff happening, on the other side the mail processing changes aren’t so exciting, and could have a negative impact on people.”

Morgan said NZ Post would soon launch the new tagline in its recruitment marketing, and had already introduced some updated branding as part of a current campaign for 34 professional roles.

The campaign was being promoted through social media, ads on news websites, a dedicated microsite, and “jobgrams” – small, poster-style ads with their own URLs that could be linked from other sources.

“Generally with a project like this we may put 30% to 40% [of those roles] out to agencies. At the moment we have five of them listed with agencies, and we actually filled one of them ourselves – so about 10% this time and we believe that’s through the success of the online campaign.”