How Woolworths is building an employer brand of choice

In All, The Human Resource by Fiona AnsonLeave a Comment

Woollies jobsLast night was the end of a long weekend.  Like most, mine was a busy one so, around 7pm, I sat down to watch some mindless TV.  With work the last thing on my mind, I was thrown back into thinking about it because of a Woolworths ad I saw.

No, it wasn’t perky 20-year-old in an eskimo outfit (albeit a very short one) chirping on about cheaper prices.  Nor was it about food in any way.  It was about careers.  Jobs at Woollies.

The ad showed a number of young Aussies talking about why they like working at Woollies and their proud parents talking about why that was a thing to be proud of.

The reason that the ad grabbed my attention is because it’s a standout example of one of Workible’s favourite topics — Employer branding.

I have absolutely no doubt that, as a result of this high-profile ad campaign, Woollies would be flooded with young jobseekers.  But, I’m guessing, however, that volume is not the name of the game for Woollies.  In fact, I know from talking to them that they’re inundated with candidates on a daily basis.  So, why would they advertise for more?  Well, they’re not.

You see, Woollies understand what many employers are still trying to get their heads around it seems – that people make choices about who they want to work for.  So, if you want to get the best staff, and have them choose you over a competitor, you need to build a case for “why us”.

It’s interesting to see the angle that Woollies have taken.  They’ve included the parents of the employees who take about their pride in having their child work for Woollies.  In doing that, they’re appealing to two audiences – the actual jobseekers and their parents who are often the ones to “help” their children find jobs.

In the search for work, supermarkets aren’t often the first thought for a glamorous careers however Woollies have put a new spin on their jobs.  Firstly by offering “careers” rather then just jobs, in fact, their website is www.wowcareers.com.au and isn’t that a great name?  And secondly, by talking about the experience, pride and “feeling” of working at Woollies – so that it’s more than “just a job”.

My twenty-year-old son nailed it a few weeks ago.  Because of what I do jobs, job seeking and careers are often the talk around our dinner table, my son (who is currently looking for a job) came out with this – “Mum, most of us don’t just want any job, we want to work for a brand we like”.  Like it or lump it, that’s the way the job-seeking youth think.  They want to hang with the “cool kids”.

While everyone doesn’t have the budget to run prime time TVCs like Woolies, we can all choose to invest something in building our employer brands.

What are you doing to set your employment brand apart and be one of them?

Co-founder and Director at Workible | HR Disruptor | What if explorer

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