Wie adidas Blogs für Employer Branding einsetzt
Vor wenigen Tagen drauf gestoßen und nicht nur für gut, sondern für super befunden: der Corporate Blog von adidas. Der für mich bislang spannendste Eintrag dort stammt von adidas Mitarbeiter Florian Holstein zum Thema „how to land a dreamjob“. – In Anbetracht der ganzen Diskussionen rund um den Fachkräftemangel (an denen sich saatkorn. ja auch eifrig beteiligt) wird oft vergessen, dass es immer noch Bewerber gibt, die absolut „heiß“ auf einen bestimmten Arbeitgeber sind und sich dementsprechend einsetzen. Florians Beispiel zeigt dies auf eindrucksvolle Weise und ich empfehle allen Lesern, sich auch seinen Blogeintrag einmal anzuschauen! Für alle, die sich damit nicht tiefer beschäftigen möchten: Florian hat eine eigene Website unter dem Label „Florian is all in“ gestaltet, in der er auf eindrucksvolle Weise seine Leidenschaft für adidas und seinen Wunsch, bei adidas einzusteigen, darlegt. Kann ich nur jedem zum Lesen empfehlen:
Über diese spannende Initiative bin ich mit adidas ins Gespräch gekommen und wollte mehr erfahren. Auskunft gaben mir Steve Fogarty und Florian Holstein selbst, die sich beide hier auch kurz vorstellen. Bitte beachtet: adidas ist absolut international aufgestellt und die Konzernsprache ist Englisch. Von daher geht es jetzt auch in englischer Sprache weiter. Aber versprochen: es lohnt sich! 😉
FLORIAN HOLSTEIN, Category Manager Customization Experience, adidas Group Hi everyone! Here at the adidas Business Unit Interactive I’m currently responsible for the overall experience of our mi adidas and mi Team services. I’m really passionate about my job, because it combines the best of both worlds for me: being an athlete and a user experience architect. I love the spirit of our brand and how people are breathing it here at the adidas HQ in Herzogenaurach every day. Prior to adidas I studied Integrated Design and Digital Media in my hometown Bremen, Germany. Since then I’ve got more and more involved in the digital marketing and user experience field – most recently whilst I was leading the creative teams at an agency in Nuremberg. The intensity and the agile working style of the agency business now help me a lot in bringing value to our work at the adidas Group.
STEVE FOGARTY, Senior Manager Employer Branding, adidas Group Here at the adidas Group I’m tasked with building a global, top 5 employer brand, Web 2.0 and recruitment innovation strategy and an industry leading internal recruitment function. My combined passion for sport, fashion, talent acquisition strategy and innovation makes working here my dream career. Prior to adidas I spent almost seven years at Waggener Edstrom Worldwide. My role was to develop and implement integrated strategies to attract key talent. I served as a digital “trend spotter” for the agency’s staffing function as well as played a key role in advancing our talent relationship capabilities with CRM and Web 2.0/social networking strategies. I spent the first two years of my career on the agency side. The volume and intensity of agency recruitment laid the foundation for where I am today.
saatkorn.: You say it’s about time we should realize that getting jobs with companies has changed a lot too. Do you think Florian Holstein’s example is typical or still an exception? Do we have other examples like that at adidas (e.g. people joining the company aside from the „normal“ approach via an application)?
STEVE FOGARTY Florian’s specific example is definitely an exception. However, it is true that getting jobs with companies has changed a lot. With the advancements in social media, we have a lot more information at our fingertips. This allows our recruiters to find talent more easily and reach out proactively. Before social media, recruiting teams had to pay for research or cold call into companies to identify talent. These techniques are still used, but with social media you can pinpoint talent far more easily than you could have in the past. And you can be far more targeted. We do see creative approaches like the one Florian took. I have seen people send resumes on cakes, origami, drawn on shoes and many other creative ideas. In fact, we just ran an ad campaign for our Distribution Center in northern Germany, and one of our candidates photoshopped himself into the ad. This creative approach definitely can grab our attention. It’s important to remember though that this is only part of it. Getting the attention of a recruiter or a hiring manager is a great first step. However, the candidate also needs to be selective in the opportunities he or she is targeting. Sometimes we see a creative approach to try and secure a job well outside the candidate’s experience or skill set. This is much tougher to sell to the company. So, while you may have grabbed the organization’s attention, it doesn’t automatically mean the organization will see you as a fit for the position. In Florian’s case, he is a User Experience Designer and he targeted this type of position and then demonstrated his skill set in a creative way. This was a trifecta approach to securing the job. He was very focused and smart in his approach.
FLORIAN HOLSTEIN Actually the approach to stand out and go the extra mile has been around for quite some time. Especially in the field of digital marketing and development, to name only two examples: 37signals asked applicants back in 2009 for digital resumes, and Matthew Epstein became famous for his job application „Google please hire me„ last year. But it’s not just about standing out: applicants actually have to focus, do their research and provide a mind-blowing context for the recruiter. Unfortunately, I have seen far too many job applications in my career that did not even mention the work the department was doing. Context and focus are far more important than standing out at a first glance.
saatkorn.: Understanding the employer is a very important point to you. What are the most important things at adidas that made you wanting to join the company? How important is the cultural fit?
STEVE FOGARTY Understanding the employer is critical. Not just from the perspective of trying to convince the employer that you are a fit, but really understanding if the employer IS a fit. To illustrate this, let’s consider a global Pet Products company. If you hated animals, do you think you would feel comfortable walking into work every day? I would say not. This is as much a question for the employee as it is for the employer. When both come together in a strong cultural match, then it tends to be a marriage. If there are strong differences, it can create a lot of friction in the long run. Candidates should really consider what the company represents and if this is in line with their core values. And the company should do the same when assessing the potential employee. It’s important that both sides take the time to do this in an honest and up-front way. Given the investment and time for both the employee and the company, getting this wrong can create serious challenges for both parties. Getting it right means you have engaged employees who are aligned with a strong organization.
So, yes, cultural fit definitely matters!
FLORIAN HOLSTEIN Wow, what is more important than culture? We live in times of growing complexity, and I believe that a lot of things most companies have taken for granted for the last 20 years are simply outdated. We have a really strong company culture to embrace continuous change and innovation. It is also really important to see that you can make things happen with hard work. This sounds pathetic, but no salary in the world can beat that feeling early on Monday morning when you actually can’t wait to get to work.
saatkorn.: How would you describe adidas as an employer?
STEVE FOGARTY In a way, adidas feels more like a movement than a job. When you join adidas, it’s like becoming a member of a tribe. You can instantly feel a strong connection to the people and what the company represents. You will hear us say that we make the world a better place through sport. We believe this. When you walk through our corporate Headquarters, the World of Sports in Herzogenaurach, Germany, you will see and feel sport everywhere. There is real energy here and this is rooted in deep heritage. Adi Dassler started the company over 60 years ago with a deep passion for making athletes better. And, today, this is still in the organization’s DNA. The organization also understands that people are its greatest asset, so we constantly strive to create a great working environment. We are fortunate in that our employee engagement survey has phenomenal participation, and we use this feedback to continually improve our working environment. Our industry is competitive; it’s hard work and there is constant change. But you have the opportunity to work with very smart people who have a lot of energy and creativity from all over the world. And our people get to help shape the future of sport and style. This makes coming to work a true adventure every day.
FLORIAN HOLSTEIN Supportive, passionate and challenging. I love the energetic spirit of adidas and how people are breathing it here every day – the passion for sports is literally everywhere. Yes, it’s not always easy and it’s a lot of hard, demanding work, but nobody cares if you go for a two-hour run during your lunch break. You’ll meet people from all over the world; everybody is really open-minded and friendly. And you can often meet senior executives during their training sessions at our stadium. The campus is relaxing and LACES is an exciting place to go to every morning.
saatkorn.: Social Media plays an important part in your activities. This goes for Florian as well as adidas as an employer. How is your perspective on Social Media? – Is it just another channel or THE channel?
STEVE FOGARTY Social media does play an important role in our activities as an employer. I don’t know if I can say it’s just another channel or THE channel, but I will say that it’s becoming integrated into a normal way of working. As I mentioned earlier, social media has become one of the most important tools for proactive hiring that we use. We often think of social media in terms of just social engagement. But we have to remember that it is also a wealth of information that allows our recruiters to proactively reach out to top talent. At the same time, we also see this as a very important tool for engaging with our communities. For big companies especially, it can feel like a black hole for applicants. We get hundreds of thousands of applications a year, and only a percentage of these applicants will get jobs. So what better way to engage them than to invite them into a community where we can hear their concerns, update them on things happening here, and inform them of the best ways to get their foot in the door. Our communities are very much about engagement with our candidates and sharing our passion for our brands, not just about making hires. We are also in the process of building an entirely new social intranet and a whole new way of learning that relies heavily on social media. In the past, we have used telephones and e-mails and even instant messaging; in the future, one of our most common ways of communicating may very well be social media.
FLORIAN HOLSTEIN I grew up with digital media and I really love social technologies. But I think we’re treating it prematurely, and the question needs to go far beyond „channels“. In the last century, channels came and went, but today,the new interconnected world and the constant flood of messages won’t go away. In the future, we’ll need to focus more on what we say and ask ourselves if we really have something important, meaningful or helpful to say instead of where we say it.
saatkorn.: Steve and Florian – thank you so much for the interview – and all the best for you and adidas!!!