Taking Employees to the Stars: A recap of EBstars global festival

01 December 2023

Christmas came early for the 106 Comms team, last week at the virtual Employer Branding Stars Global Festival. Over the course of 2 days, 30 partners and 70 speakers from 50 countries gathered on EB Stars’ interactive platform to share insights, discuss case studies, and celebrate the people and organisations who are pushing employer branding to new heights.  

For those who may have missed out, we’re excited to share some top takeaways… and do reach out if you’re interested in discussing further!  

Long-term trust relies on the balance between external market needs and internal realities. (Ted Meulenkamp, Mondelēz International)  

The afternoon sessions on the 28th kicked off with a case study exploring how to measure employer branding impact. As an agency who collaborates with a multitude of global brands, we were keen to see what performance indicators mattered when spearheading on such a scale. We were given a comprehensive look at Mondelēz’s strategy, how they build up long-term trust with a focus on brand penetration. A major facet was ensuring employee empowerment and balancing external market needs with the internal reality of your business. Fundamentally, Meulenkamp pointed to maintaining an overall corporate narrative whilst keeping your main indicators febrile to respond to the changing landscape with more agility.  

Visualise the employee journey outside the confines of their start and end dates.  

Recruitment and retention go hand in hand. A panel discussion fielded questions about hybrid working’s impact on recruitment, the potential conflicts of time to hire eras, and maintaining cross-departmental goals. As organisations, we need to be considering building retention plans into the hiring phase and maintaining relationships even after they’ve moved on. Thinking in such a way is the best way to build authenticity and consistency in external and internal communications.  

Harness the power of advocacy as a path to trust. (Vicki Saunders, The EVP Consultancy) 

In the digital age, people are shouting louder than they ever have before, about their beliefs, about their values, about the parts of their lives that are important to them. This can be an incredibly effective tool when it comes to employer branding. Vicki described how the brain is affected when observing an individual speak passionately towards any topic, and how the impact and passion of one can be transferred to another – that is the power of advocacy.  

Maintaining a favourable reputation has never been more critical for organisations – and what drives reputation is advocacy. Employers should be taking advantage of this, through developing strategies to encourage their people to publicly endorse them.  

An understanding of data leads to an understanding of human nature. (Mark Horley, Tonic) 

One of my favourite panels of the festival touched on the intersection of, and disparities between, data and creativity. Carlos Politi from Amazon raised the notion of the ever-present story that is told through an employer brand – and argued that data facilitates to help us learn how to communicate that story. Data and creativity work cohesively when there is a balance struck that helps organisations to create human connection through analysis.  

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