Why Microsoft has a strong and authentic employer brand

Clients often ask us to provide them with examples of companies with a strong and authentic employer brand.   Fortunately, despite the fact that less than 30% of organizations have an employer branding strategy, there are many examples of organizations that have a powerful employer brand.  Microsoft is one of those organizations.  There are a number of factors that contribute to an authentic employer brand but we would like to focus on three that Microsoft has done a great job with –

  1. Being externally recognized as a great place to work
  2. Having a clearly defined Employee Value Proposition (EVP)
  3. Developing a digital and social media strategy

While the average employer doesn’t hire the volume of new hires that Microsoft does or have the resources that they do, there is still a lot that we can learn and apply from them.

Are you recognized as a great place to work?

Microsoft is listed as one of the 100 Best Companies to work for in Canada and the U.S.  Organizations on this list are ranked using the results of an employee survey, the Trust Index©, developed by global research firm Great Place to Work® Institute.  Great workplaces are built through the day-to-day relationships that employees experience.  The key factor in common in these relationships is trust.   Regardless of your company size, you can be recognized as a great workplace.  For example, the number one medium employer in Canada for 2013 is Habanero Consulting Group and they have less than 100 employees.  What are you doing to make your work place great?

Do you have a clearly defined EVP?

When you visit Microsoft’s career section the employer brand and EVP is very clear.  At Microsoft it is evident that innovation is a critical component of their EVP and their tagline “Be What’s Next” supports that.

Furthermore, Microsoft uses images and video to convey their brand.  What does your careers section on your website say about you as an employer?  Is it clear why employees love working at your organization?   Have you asked your employees what they value from working at your organization?

Do you have a social media strategy and are you engaging with your future talent?

It is evident that Microsoft has a social media strategy for the following reasons –

  • They use different channels
    • Microsoft currently uses Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and a JobBlog to talk about the opportunities they have and their brand
    • Each channel is used in a slightly different way
      • When you visit their social media sites the content and the way they engage with their followers is not the same.  For example, Microsoft uses Facebook to launch contests to engage with their followers and on Twitter they pose questions to their followers “In 140 characters or less, describe the strengths you would bring to team at @Microsoft. #IntroduceYourself
      • Content is updated daily
        • Content is updated daily and Microsoft does a great job of engaging with their followers regardless of the channel they use.  For example, Microsoft Twitter does not just tweet current opportunities–it provides varied content.  From thought leadership “The importance of personal branding – How to represent yourself”; to inspiration “You don’t go into technology without caring about changing the world.” – Melinda Gates; as well as a glimpse of what it is like to work at Microsoft “The more I work here the more I get to know really great people, & the problems get harder & more interesting”.

The average employer does not have to utilize all social media channels and the time required to engage with your followers as well as publish content takes less time than you think.  Regardless of your size, you know the talent you are trying to attract and therefore should utilize the best social media channel to help you engage and hire from this talent pool.

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