We helped Devikone with creating an employer branding strategy and action plan, and running the weekly employer brand growth marketing actions.
“In our fast-growing industry it is easier to close sales cases than to attract top notch talent. In order for us to grow, Devikone of course needs both with a synchronized timing: closing new customers and hiring new people to work on the projects,” says Jussi Alare, Co-founder and Sales Director of Devikone.
Devikone is a software integration company working for corporations with €30M+ revenue – companies that want to modernize their software system entities, and rule the chaos in the midst of digitalization.
At first, when Devikone (“the Dev Machine”) was founded in 2021 they focused on acting as a subcontractor and a partner of other software companies. Now, in the beginning of 2023, Devikone is stepping on the gas of their own growth machine – focusing on growing their business sustainably by gaining bigger, own accounts instead of acting as a subcontractor.
In order to do this, Devikone has detected 3 things they must focus on in the HR and recruitment side of things:
- Increase their ability to attract and hire a growing number of senior integration software specialists
- Position their company & employer brand accordingly and build awareness for it
- Retain hired top talent with a strengthened, value-adding employer brand and employee experience.
“Easier to close a sales case than a new hire” – The need for investing in Employer Branding comes from business
Initially Devikone made the decision to start investing in employer branding when they realized one thing.
“We had already chosen building a brand as a strategic focus in order to become the most desired software integration partner for our customers. But at the same time we determined that getting new customers wouldn’t be the core growth bottleneck for now. The real challenge would be getting talented people to join. That’s why we initially chose to focus on strengthening the employer brand first,” says Jussi.
Jussi and the two other founders, Ari Salonen and Tuomas Palenius had a couple of different options on the table to choose from: headhunting and recruitment service providers, digital marketing partners as well as companies that did both recruitment and employer branding.
After careful consideration the three founders came to the conclusion that choosing a specified partner for creating the employer branding strategy and implementing it through weekly actions was their choice.
“I also think that it’s important to do things on a weekly basis to create the top of mind position for our employer brand. Still I continuously found myself in a situation where I was panicking after a busy week on a Friday afternoon, that we don’t have the time to create content ideas with a red thread – not to mention the actual content to post on social media,” Jussi thinks back.
For these things Devikone chose TalentBee as their partner:
- Creating an employer branding strategy with e.g. KPI’s, the talent “buyer persona” and content themes
- Outlining an action plan with a weekly content calendar and other actions to strengthen their employer brand and achieve specified recruitment goals
- Implementing the strategy and plan with weekly employer brand growth marketing actions such as content creation, publishing and promoting on social media.
Creating an employer branding strategy and plan is a smart way to start – Why?
Someone might ask: why not go straight to the point where you start posting content on social media to create buzz. Why use time and resources on creating a strategy first?
"Creating the employer branding strategy with TalentBee was easy. Their competence was shown in the fact that they chose the right things for the strategy. The most valuable thing for me was that it became crystal clear who exactly is our ideal talent audience that we want to attract more of." - Jussi from Devikone
“Well, as a salesman I would say that you can always start selling your product straight away. But with a clear strategy and plan it becomes so much more efficient. Creating a foundation and goals, doing the background work and planning enough is a smart way to start,” Jussi sees.
The employer branding strategy is the foundation for the whole investment and creating results: it outlines the decisions, KPI’s and focus points, what themes to start communicating about and who to target it to.
“Creating the employer branding strategy with TalentBee was easy. Their competence was shown in the fact that they chose the right things for the strategy. The most valuable thing for me was that it became crystal clear who exactly is our ideal talent audience that we want to attract more of,” says Jussi.
“After the strategy phase, it was valuable for us to get a tangible content calendar that brings clarity to what we communicate, about which themes, to whom and on which channel. All of this would have taken me months to prepare among other responsibilities – while for TalentBee it took exactly one month to get things up and running,” Jussi thinks.
TalentBee could offer the best conditions for a strategic EB partnership
“The truth is that we chose TalentBee after a careful risk assessment. We had to think about the possibility of things going wrong, too,” says Jussi.
“The strength of the vision of TalentBee’s experts has surprised us. They are a young company, but the employer branding know-how and the quality of the outcomes have been top class." -Jussi from Devikone
Here are three things that the Devikone founders were assessing before the decision of choosing their partner for employer branding:
- The contract terms and conditions. “There was a partner candidate that suggested to us a 12 month temporary contract with no other option. That would have been too big a risk for us at this point,” says Jussi. → TalentBee has only ongoing employer branding partnerships with a 2 month notice period. Our customers don’t have to choose us because of the binding contract, but because of the results we’re able to create.
- People they would be working with. “As a salesman, I know that people buy from people, and that was the case here as well. Personalities are of great importance to us, because this is ultimately a collaboration between individuals. The negotiation with TalentBee was pleasant from the beginning and we really liked their presentation,” Jussi thinks back.
- Passion and positivity. “As founders of a new business as well, we noticed the passion TalentBee had for what they’re doing. It was something that we share, too. Positivity, proactivity and ease of collaboration, that’s what matters to us,” Jussi says.
There is of course a special risk you take when starting a collaboration with a freshly launched business like TalentBee. This was also on the Devikone founders’ mind at first.
“The strength of the vision of TalentBee’s experts has surprised us. They are a young company, but the employer branding know-how and the quality of the outcomes have been top class. I was afraid that we would have to produce a lot of core information ourselves, but instead they have rolled up their sleeves and got down to business,” Jussi says.
Fast forward to creating tangible results – and getting to know each other better
After creating an employer branding strategy and plan with a practical approach, it was time to start implementing it with weekly actions. For Devikone it meant producing content to be published 2 times per week on the company Linkedin, career site and the founders’ personal Linkedin profiles.
“TalentBee has been able to produce super high quality content for our channels. They have a sales-minded attitude towards creating content. After the first weeks there has already been a lot of traffic to our career site,” says Jussi.
For us at TalentBee the beginning of a content collaboration is always about rehearsing and testing things to find the right tone of voice. When you’re creating content to post on someone else’s social media, it always takes a bit of time to get it to sound right.
“TalentBee has been able to produce super high quality content for our channels. They have a sales-minded attitude towards creating content. After the first weeks there has already been a lot of traffic to our career site." -Jussi from Devikone
“I feel like catching the essence of Devikone’s style has gone surprisingly well for me, but it requires background work. It requires a careful eye, especially when writing content for the Co-founders’ personal profiles. Studying how they themselves write messages on social media or on our internal communication channels, and getting to know them as people is important,” says Nea Raaska, Employer Branding Strategist from TalentBee.
To get the Tone of Voice right, we also ask for comments from the customer directly and honestly: “Does this feel like your own writing?” This is also where a clear strategy and the agreed content themes make things much easier.
“We are looking forward to our brand starting to become clearer and stronger, and people starting to be aware of our company,” Jussi says.
When that happens, Devikone can expect more quality applications, recruitment leads and contacts.
“It’s something that fascinates me: how much better hiring results we can get when awareness grows about what kind of a workplace Devikone is, and what’s it like to work as a software integration specialist at its best,” he says.