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Stand-Out Employer Brands of the Past Decade (Part Two)

Updated: Oct 26, 2023

This week, we are continuing with Part 2 of stand-out employer brands of the decade. We examined some more recent examples this week, and there are a lot more learnings we can take and apply to our strategies.

Here are our top bite-sized learnings from this instalment of the blog:

  • Take a stand about who you are and the realities of your culture. Don't be afraid to own who you are. Your future candidates will appreciate it. (Atlassian)

  • If you make someone laugh, they will remember you. There are so many common experiences within the realm of employee experience and culture. Levity is a great way to connect. (Fiverr)

  • Your employees are a great resource for storytelling, if you can be flexible and creative. Let them represent their role, their experience, their perspective how they feel it best. (Bolt)

  • Consistency, diversification and inspiring leader perspectives are a recipe for reach and awareness in employer brand strategy (Unilever).

  • Your employer brand campaign can accomplish multiple goals, including showcasing your amazing innovation, while amplifying employee voicing and spotlighting culture. Considered introducing a 'layered narrative' marketing approach. (Canva)

1. Atlassian - #TeamAnywhere (2023)

We loved the way Atlassian took a risk and declared a new way to think about remote work. The video #TeamAnywhere was dropped about 2-months ago and it takes aim at the “old way of working” in the first minute. This approach is interesting for a couple of reasons. It’s bold, and it has the potential to alienate some people. There are plenty of global citizens who feel attached to a more traditional way of working. This indicates that Atlassian is OK not being for everyone - a secret ingredient to a powerful employer brand.

The 3:39 short video takes us through the perspectives of various Atlassian team members from their co-founder to associates, all over the world. The compelling stories we hear are about different aspects of remote work - collaboration, balance and, of course, social connection. They approach negotiating work and life, when things are chaotic.

We hear from a single mom on the team who shares, “Where I work doesn’t determine how I work.”

There are conflicting ideologies about the nature of remote and hybrid work, but Atlassian does an incredible job of taking a stand and expertly weaving it into their employer brand narrative to become a unique selling point for their company culture. The way the video is shot keeps the viewer engaged and effectively showcases an intersectional representation of employees and their workspaces. Approaching the topic of ‘flow states’ and how individuality is a huge factor in success brings us back to the central message that you can deliver incredible results, make a difference and find your balance no matter where you are or how you choose to work.

This one scored high in #Innovation, #Emotion and #BreakoutPotential.

2. Fiverr - Another Generic Recruitment Video (2014)

Oh, yes. We like this very much. Satire, when done well, is extremely effective at connecting to a common experience. This is exactly what Fiverr does so very well here.

The video features a hyperbolic, stereotypical movie announcer voice over stock-looking footage of corporate offices. The kind of corporate video we’ve all seen 10,000 times. The voice over is dramatically and comically pointing out fixtures of the standard-issue corporate video (“let this oversized quote inspire you”, “here’s our token longboard bro”). It’s hard not to smile, because it’s such a common trope. And, the message is clear: At Fiverr, we see it too. Our culture is not fluff.

The most brilliant part oft this video is the line at the end: “If you are good at what you do, you can work anywhere. If you are the best at what you do, come work at Fiverr.” Wow. We wish we wrote it.

The big lesson here is how effective humour can be. If you make someone laugh, they will remember you. That’s a guarantee. It can be challenging to find the intersection point between corporate culture, employee value propositions and humour, but it’s there. It’s in the everyday moments we all experience and can find a little joy in. Next time you are storyboarding an employer brand campaign, ask, “How can we make people laugh?”

This one scored high in #Innovation, #Emotion and #BreakoutPotential

2. Bolt - We Are Bolt (2022)

Bolt shakes things up and shows how you can feature employees, creatively. The other great thing about this campaign is you can see it’s evolution in real time. Visit the Bolt YouTube page and take a look at the 2021 employer brand spot versus the 2022 one. You can see their approach become bolder and more refined. It’s a great example of breakout potential.

Last week, we put out a video about featuring real employees. So often, in employer branding, we get boxed into one or two approaches, mostly depending on the employees to come to the shoot ready with a great story to tell. Bolt makes their employees the stars of the show. The best part about this video is that all the actors are also employees (even the extras!). The production value on this video seems super high and we had to double check that they didn’t hire professional actors. Nope, all real employees. This is a great lesson. Often, we have clients who balk about featuring employees because they are ‘not comfortable on camera’. Well, what if they didn’t have to speak? Bolt finds a creative way to get the most out of their employee stars without having to engage in a ton of dialogue coaching.

The actual content of this video is awesome - it’s set in a fantastical, futuristic office and each talent group profiled has a funky persona. The focal point of the video is how Bolt solves problems to make transportation easier and more sustainable. Everyone on the team has a unique ability to solve problems. Our favourite were the operations folks - a hilariously accurate depiction of an intense group.

One thing to note here… while the spot is fun and upbeat, it does not shy away from showing the reality of Bolt’s culture. From this video, we can interpret the culture is fast-paced (maybe break-neck) and delivery-focused. In the first few seconds of the video, the voice over declares that Bolt is the ‘fastest growing tech company in Europe’. Candidates can understand what they are signing up for when they join this company - this means Bolt will attract people who align with their culture and values.

This one scored high in #Innovation and #BreakoutPotential

3. Unilever - Our Unilever (2010 - 2022)

We have to recognize Unilever for having maybe the most diversified yet consistent employer brand. This is an example of what a great budget and a passionate team can do. The Unilever employer brand has a life of it’s own through “Our Unilever”. This is one employer brand that can stand confidently as an example of how an employer brand absolutely, unequivocally does not threaten or dilute the corporate brand. In fact, it can be a wind beneath the corporate brand’s wings.

Unilever launched their careers YouTube page over 10 years ago - safe to say, they were early adopters. Now, they have 240 culture/careers-focused videos about life at Unilever and 9,500 subscribers. Many of the videos are formulaic - a quick snapshot of an area of Unilever’s employer brand strategy like Digital careers or future leaders. These videos average about 500 views and are poignant, consistent and on-message.

The stand-out piece of Unilever’s channel for us was the way they weave executive leader content into the employer brand. Remember, your future workforce wants to hear from the leadership of your organization on key aspects of your culture. We loved the video featuring Aline Santos, Unilever’s Chief Brand and Diversity Officer, talking about connecting to the company’s purpose through a set of core values. It’s a great perspective and Santos is an engaging spokesperson as she outlines how the mission of Unilever is to get closer to the reality of our world, be a force for good and champion creativity and accessibility.

Our favourite line: “The future of business doesn’t start at the toppling or the bottom line. It starts at the front line.”

This one scored high in #BreakoutPotential and #Emotion.

4. Canva - Canva Culture (2022)

Canva’s has one of those elemental employer brands. It comes through loud and clear in everything they do, whether it’s customer-facing or talent-facing. Everything conveys, “we make life more beautiful and help you be more creative - that’s what our company culture is based on, too”. You can really see this concept flow through their social channels and even their platform.

One campaign that caught our attention from Canva is almost hidden away. You have to go searching for it (which is not great - Canva team, hit us up ideas on how to get the word out there). It’s accessible through their careers platform as an unlisted video on YouTube. This video is GREAT! It’s short, punchy and the personalities of the featured employees really shine through. The video starts with some background chatter including, “I’m a little camera conscious,” immediately signalling these employees are here to be vulnerable.

The spot goes on to highlight how everyone on the team is inspired by a values-driven culture. Things like “set crazy big goals and make them real” and “make complex ideas simple.” The employees share what they love about Canva culture in a personal, compelling way. But, what we really loved about this one was the creativity in how they brought their own platform into the video - the framing technique is the creation of a Canva presentation.

This just goes to show that inspirational employer brands aren’t necessarily the ones getting the most views or viral attention. They are the ones that make the most impact when you encounter them.

This one scored high in #Emotion and #BreakoutPotential

What employer brand campaign did you like the best?

  • Bolt

  • Canva

  • Bolt

  • Unilvere

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