June 29th, 2020
1. What is the current state of employer branding in Kaufland – main challenges, opportunities, inside and outside the organization?
As one of the largest private employers in Romania, we know it’s a long way to the top. Kaufland got here by having a strong organizational identity, a competent management system and by offering career development opportunities with various benefits.
Because working at Kaufland can be challenging and engaging in the same time, we encourage creativity and we help our employees grow, both professionally and personally, offering them various development programs. We respect their time just like we appreciate their contribution, that’s why at Kaufland everything is measured fair and square – we respect all payment days and no extra hours go unnoticed in our employees’ paychecks.
Our family, as we like to call it, has over 15.000 members and only by staying together we achieved the title of Top Employer in Romania 5 years in a row, as well as 2 times Top Employer in Europe – making us the only retail company in Romania to hold this record. Also, the presence in the Top 50 Most Desired Employers in Romania for 2020, where we had one of the fastest-growing results, shows us that our programs and projects are appreciated.
Like all families, we stayed together and have developed tools to make it easier. Our internal communication platform, Connect, is constantly updated with news about the benefits and opportunities for our employees. Therefore, we always know what happens in the company.
Besides the fact that we are connected to each other, we keep close ties with the local communities and we are always there to give a helping hand by encouraging our employees to do volunteer work.
In the Kaufland family, there is a place for everyone, we are ready to help one another at any time and that’s what keeps us together: teamwork, trust in colleagues and a common desire to achieve performance together.
Among the challenges we face as one of the largest employers in Romania is being inclusive by maintaining diversity and equality in employment. The equality of chances, irrespective of origin, gender, age, sexual orientation or disability is an important aspect for us. We realized that the number of employees with disabilities was quite small compared to the total number of employees. So, we doubled our efforts and starting with 2019, Kaufland planned and implemented a program to ease the hiring of people with disabilities in Romania. To that extent, and keeping in mind the diverse employment needs required for this group, we have developed both a series of dedicated jobs, as well as a dedicated communication and recruitment pipeline to address the people with disabilities and all the stakeholders that could support this effort. Following the pilot program in 2019, the effort has now been scaled to include all Kaufland stores and facilities in Romania. We believe it is very important for an employer nowadays to get involved in social actions.
2. What successful employer branding campaigns did you run until now?
We want to be approachable and trustworthy for our candidates and at the same time we consider that it’s important for our employees to identify with the company’s values and also with the messages we communicate. We like to think of ourselves as trendsetters which engage and contribute to the development of the younger generation.
That’s why, at Kaufland, we believe that there are no small jobs, regardless of the hierarchical level, each and every role is important to us and our business. So we decided to build a strong presence among youngsters at large festivals like Untold and Neversea. And we changed the experience by offering attendees “festival jobs” such as activating the button which released special effects for the festival stages. We also gave them special job names: The Windkeeper (air), The Firemaster (fire), The Funlord (confetti). Thus, everyone could take a part-time job inside the festival. In this way, we wanted to promote our part-time positions in stores, which are often misperceived. This jobs can be very dynamic and one of the advantages is that it gives employees the flexibility they need and extra time for studies, hobbies, family or other activities.
To reach out to the young ones we offer traineeships and internships in almost all departments: Sales, Logistics, Acquisitions and more. These programs aim to lead to permanent positions. To promote these, we run campaigns for each of them through creative messages and visuals.
We also keep close ties with universities and students by giving scholarships to those studying in German-speaking countries every year. After they graduate, we offer them the opportunity to work with us.
Our latest employer branding campaign is called Pas cu Pas – “Step by Step Towards Performance” and it features Cristina Neagu, the best handball player in the world. Through a series of weekly videos, visuals and social media posts, we are going through the essential steps that anyone must take, either in business, career or in sports, in order to achieve performance. Cristina is totally on board with us, she shares our values, therefore she is a great match for our voice and intent.
3. What are the tools that bring the best results in your employer branding campaigns?
Top employers use top tools and an inside-outside approach.
On the INSIDE, we start with those that fuel our business, our employees. They are our ambassadors and the most trustworthy source of information for those outside the company. So, we always survey them regarding our employer branding efforts.
Secondly, we develop a wellbeing culture at Kaufland by making sure everyone is happy, regardless of their position in the company. We also encourage a healthy work-life balance.
OUTSIDE, we go to job fairs, festivals and other events where we try to steal the show with creative activations and bold communication to attract talent. And on the digital frontier, we keep an eye out on our social media channels and on employer review websites, where we gather feedback from current and former employees regarding the experience they had while they were part of our team, as well as interview feedback. We display comprehensive and transparent information on the platform.
4. What are some key learning points you would like to share with the employer branding community?
Our advice is quite straightforward, just like we are.
#1 KNOW YOUR PROSPECTS.
Do the research on your audience, know all the trends or even better, make them, and always pay attention to the needs of your audience.
#2 DO WHAT YOU SAY.
In the age of information, transparency is the key. Be authentic and direct and your audience will follow you.
#3 BE HUMBLE.
Don’t only offer an opportunity, see opportunity in every prospect. Strive for balance in the employer-employee relationship and sit down as equals at the same table.
#4 BE FLEXIBLE.
Embrace change, understand your situation, and adapt to every new setting.
#5 WALK THE TALK.
Our values not only sound good, but we also act on them. Working at Kaufland is not only a job, it is an opportunity to experience values in action.