Sanja Miladinović is winner of the Mark Awards in the EMPLOYER BRANDING MANAGER OF THE YEAR category. She tells CorD what the purpose of brands will be in the future in relation to employees.
To what extent are employer branding strategies crucial for the success of a company today?
As with any other business project, having a clear strategy is a condition for success. It is there to guide us, but it starts with an important analysis that gives us insights into the current market situation, as well as our current reputation as an employer. This basis is very important for further setting the goals of employer branding campaigns, not only in terms of response and expectations from the candidates we address, but also in terms of the need for us as an employer to modify, and even rebrand or adapt our culture, in order to attract the people we need. At PepsiCo, we conducted extensive global research to understand who our audience is when we talk about candidates, how they perceive us in different segments, different regions and what is decisive for them when choosing a new work environment. We organized focus groups locally, created Talent Personas to define our strategy more easily and to focus on the right things. Of course, it is not possible to implement all this if you do not have internal brand ambassadors who live what you are promoting and who are happy and satisfied where they work.
For the PepsiCo company, a significant advantage is the possibility of talents to work for other PepsiCo markets – from here in Serbia or even by moving to one of the PepsiCo markets anywhere in the world. For new generations, the possibility of working in global markets is a great professional motive. This kind of knowledge about the needs of a new generation is an important guideline for how we continue to shape our messages.
What will be the purpose of brands in the future in relation to employees?
Employees, like consumers, want to see the value a brand has for them. And this is not only about one primary value that the brand provides, but about a system of additional value that is reflected through the contribution to the improvement of a segment of society, a value that is important to them – whether it is about equality, inclusion, support for green agendas and influence on climate change. All this is equally important for employees. The ethics of the company or brand, as well as the goals pursued, are taken for granted, and all this must be supplemented by some strong, courageous and important support for the future of the entire community.
How do we measure the success of employer branding projects today?
Employer branding is much more of a marathon than a 100-metre race. Yes, it is important how many applications you received for an open position, but it is much more important that there is continuity and long-term relationship between employer and employee. It is much more than a single campaign, because employee satisfaction is cared for and worked on every day. When satisfaction becomes the continuous everyday life of the team in the company, a good reputation travels quickly and creates an environment that some new talents who may not have even considered this option will want to be a part of.
What does the Mark Awards recognition mean to you and how will it affect your further career?
First of all, I am very pleased that in Serbia we have such recognition for work in the field of employer branding and that this is an area that is recognized as important for the development of our market and individual companies. This is a significant wind in the sails of all employer branding teams, because we know that our work and contribution to the promotion and improvement of corporate culture, internal values and a good atmosphere are valued and help companies and talents to find their longterm business comrades and to create good practices in the region and share experiences.