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In Conversation with Jens Rye and Amanda Mompalao de Piro, Circle K

As the world becomes more complex, working with Employer Branding on a global arena can’t be done in a blink. To attract and retain talents on this scale, knowing to whom, what and when to communicate is crucial when activating communication.

So, how does a major global brand manage to recruit and keep up pace in developing their Employer Brand, globally and locally? Circle K is a world-leading convenience and fuel retail business with a mission to provide convenience and make people's lives easier. The Employer Branding function in this organization is as important as the brand itself and keeps on developing through time and space. To understand more about Employer Branding on a global arena, we had a conversation on the topic with people and communication experts Amanda Mompalao de Piro, Senior Manager Marketing and Communication Europe, and Jens Rye, Director People Development Europe.

Amanda and Jens, what are your thoughts working with your Employer Brand through meeting the “many people”, mirroring the society face to face in so many countries?
First of all, we do not allow ourselves to get overwhelmed by the reach of our Employer Branding efforts across nine different European countries, instead we try to focus on individuals and personas. We cluster potential and active candidates like we cluster customers. We analyze data on age groups, backgrounds, experiences, and preferences to help us understand who we are talking to. By leveraging data from pure insights to drive action and better decision making we can create real value and by focusing on one end user at a time, we are more likely to design the right strategies and activate the right tactics on both a European and local level. Additionally, we have a strong governance model enabling us to seek synergies and best practices across our countries, while also having highly competent local teams knowing exactly how to talk to their local markets with right branding tactics. We strive to work as one team where we play to each other’s strengths to win in the market. And even though we work for common solutions, we realize that candidate markets differ across regions and countries: we need to be “super global – super local”.

Lastly, we always look for ways to get smarter. We look for new sources of data, new sources of inspiration and new sources of knowledge. We understand that being in the business of talent acquisition is about being relevant. It is about keeping the brand alive and it is about engaging candidates in different stages of their days, months and even lives. We want to be a home both for the candidates who stay with us for 2-3 years to reap the great development opportunities that we can offer, and at the same time for those that will stay with us forever.

Interesting to hear how you found a good way of balancing the global perspective with the need to adapt locally. On the topic of data that supports you and when you are looking for new sources of data, what insights have you found are needed for working globally as well as locally with your brand?
We see a high value in knowing the differences and similarities between our different markets, and how candidates prioritize differently when looking for a job. This helps us to tailor relevant and effective communication on both a European and local level. We know that certain messages are viable on an overall level and that parts of our communication need to be adapted locally depending on each market's unique conditions.

In addition to the geography, we also see the opportunity to understand the differences between target groups. Being in a people business we strive to understand how we can reach the best candidates and communicate with them based on specific target group insights.


In your work so far, what has been some key learnings and key tools?
The biggest learning on our Employer Branding journey is the complexity of connecting the overall companywide Employee Value Proposition (EVP) with local communication that is relevant for each individual candidate and candidate clusters. And in reverse, it is challenging to always link local tactics back to the overall EVP and creating consistency in our messaging while at the same time accelerating innovation, testing new concepts, and increasing pace of our work. We want to become better every day!

To help us navigate this complexity, we both work on optimizing our brand toolkits internally to support our local teams to stay in line with the overall ambition, but also improve our own sharing and collaboration efforts. This way we learn from each other and approach this challenge as One Team!


You have an integrated way of collaborating between HR, Marketing and Communication when working with your brand. What would be your key tips to make this collaboration work well?
Having a common understanding of what relevant candidates think about our brand is a great help to the work process. And we truly believe in being analytical and data driven as far as possible. It is easier to start from the same insight base when we move on to prioritize target groups, messages, and initiatives.

We have the advantage of being able to work together across departmental boundaries at a European level. The total knowledge and experience thanks to our European setup, creates a completely perfect base to work from as one strong team. We use our common resources and knowledge in a way that makes the work both effective and fun.

We have also established a cross-functional governance model, meaning HR and Marketing together collaborate on accelerating the Employer Brand performance. Combining HR’s passion for people and insights with Marketing’s expertise on channels, communication and messaging makes it possible for 1+1 to become greater than 2. It’s all about teaming! Whether it is designing new strategies or develop campaigns, our projects will always have representation from both functions. This does not only make our discussions diverse and open, but it also secures that any employer branding efforts stay aligned to the overall brand communication. After all, employer brand and company brand are two sides of the same coin!

Katarina Önell

Client Director

070-184 22 82

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