I was surprised and impressed to see two employer brand advertisements in the front of a recent Time magazine (June 1 issue, Michelle Obama cover). One, for Verizon Wireless (VZW), promotes a new recruitment Web site called Who We Are and focuses on teamwork:
At Verizon Wireless, we're all part of a team. Whether it's cell technicians working together to make sure every call gets through, or sales reps collaborating to help a customer, teamwork is a top priority.
While I have a hangup with posed diversity group photography, I like the ad and the Who We Are Web site as a way to promote the company and its opportunities. It does a nice job of mixing hard-sell employer brand messaging ("a great place to work") with community outreach content and ties into the consumer brand ("world's best wireless service"). It says work for the leader, because we have the best people and the best technology. Interestingly, Sprint has an ad a few pages later, but it's exclusively for its consumer wireless phone service.
The second ad, for Starbucks, is much more of a consumer ad with an embedded employer brand message. The headline, "It's not just what you're buying - it's what you're buying into," applies that concept to many aspects of Starbucks, from the beans it buys to the farmers it supports to the staff it employs and insures:
...the little extra you pay for our coffee lets us hire and train people who know the difference between a macchiato and a cappuccino. Our people are valuable. So, in return for their dedication, we offer full healthcare coverage to everyone who works at least 20 hours a week. We continue to do this, even in hard times, because it's the right thing to do.
To me, this one is a tougher sell to the job seeker, although I like the copy. It says work here - we'll take care of you; we put the extra dollars back into our people.
Now we all know that it's each of our experiences with VZW and Starbucks that will influence and decide what we think of these companies. And it's the real work experience that will determine their employer brands. But I like these efforts - you don't see a lot of employer brand advertising in major magazines - tucked between ads for watches and banks and hotels.