Till Stüve, Employer Branding Consultant for DATEV eG, explains in this Visable interview how companies can communicate their attractiveness as an employer.
Employer branding is becoming more and more important for dampening the blow caused by the labour shortage. For nearly two-thirds of B2B companies, activities for showcasing themselves as attractive employers are today the task of marketing. Six per cent of the marketing budget in 2022 is slated for employer branding campaigns – and this amount will only increase in future.
DATEV eG (German) is a pioneer when it comes to employer branding. The company has been honoured with several awards for its campaigns in this area; and with Till Stüve, the software company has even taken on an own consultant for the task. In this interview with Visable, he explains what employer branding is all about.
Mr Stüve, DATEV eG is Germany’s third-largest provider of business software. How hard has the company been hit by the labour shortage in IT?
We are in a comparably good position, as we have a good reputation as an employer in the Nürnberg region. We are indeed seeing fewer applications, but generally speaking we can fill vacancies relatively quickly. However, it is becoming more difficult to find people whose profile precisely matches the position and can contribute the required specialist competence. For this reason, qualification and learning are becoming more and more important – both for new colleagues as well as for seasoned employees.
To win over people, companies are increasingly pumping more money into their marketing budget for employer branding. Does this make sense?
Yes, it definitely does, whereby I would warn companies against misusing employer branding – it is no “this is who I’d like to be” show that aims to put the company in the best possible light. After all, when the image that I show to the public does not match up with the reality that employees experience within the company, the colleagues won over by expensive campaigns will quickly become frustrated and leave.
DATEV won the BoB Award, the B2B marketing award from the Germany marketing association (Deutscher Marketing Verband), in the category Employer Branding. What was the campaign that was able to convince the jury?
The campaign was a series of videos entitled “Good answer!”. In various sequences, persons answered questions about working life – for example on the topics of flexibility, equal opportunity or other aspects of diversity – in classic everyday situations. These videos then lead to the DATEV landing page, where we try to give good and, above all, authentic answers to the questions; answers that reflect our company culture.
Who does the target group see in the videos? The employees at DATEV?
The authentic brand ambassadors are naturally our own employees, who we also integrate in many other campaigns. In this case, we purposefully chose not to use our own colleagues, as those asking the questions in the videos are not supposed to be our employees.
Which channels was the campaign broadcast on?
Till Stüve, Employer Branding Consultant for DATEV eG
Can give is a ballpark figure of the costs for this campaign?
The seven videos were produced with the help of an agency and a production company in a virtual studio to be budget-friendly – at seven locations that only seemed different. I would not like to give any numbers as to the overall costs.
Were you able to measure how well this award-winning campaign paid off?
Of course we measure how the videos faired in the market. About 85 per cent watched the videos to the end, which is significantly above the average of comparable videos. In the first three weeks, we recorded about 850,000 impressions. This, too, is a very high rate, and we are extremely satisfied with the visibility.
A general question: what makes for a good employer branding campaign?
The authenticity I talked about earlier is certainly a very important aspect. Which is why a company has to be clear which culture and values it really stands for. What’s more, a certain continuity is important for showing that the values also hold true. One-off positionings quickly fizzle out. And then such a campaign does not end when the content is put out into the world. It is essential that a dialogue is started up with the target group being addressed, to provide contact persons from the workforce or to be present on employer platforms like Kununu and to react actively and appreciatively there to positive comments and critique alike.
As your experience has shown, where do B2B companies make the biggest mistakes when it comes to winning over personnel?
When you make promises to potential employees that you cannot keep just to fill vacant positions. An example: DATEV is not a company where new employees can climb up the ladder at record-breaking speed. We aim for long-term and sustainable structures. In a consulting company, this can look a lot different. This means it’s important to only bring on people who fit with the company culture. After all, soft skills are much more difficult to learn than specialist knowledge.