2018’s best innovations in aviation and aerospace recruitment?
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Dubai Airports show what your recruiter brand can do for you

Introducing a reinvention

Dubai Airports’ reinvention of its employer brand shows why this is key to any recruitment strategy

This month I am sharing the details of my client Dubai Airports’ successful overhaul of its employer brand, including the key steps they undertook with the support of Havas People.

This process increased LinkedIn page viewers by 97% and reduced cost per hire by 310% (more results provided below), really illustrating how influential a good brand – or rebrand – can be.

Here’s Havas People’s report on the project, including more key metrics and how they were achieved.

Havas People report

Dubai Airports wanted to develop an employer brand that could reposition it as a commercial operation and true market leader

Dubai Airports is where the world connects. Boasting a location that’s just six hours away from many of the world’s most popular destinations, it’s at the very hub of international travel, with both Dubai International (DXB) and Dubai World Central (DWC) connecting millions of people every month. It’s a company that’s proud to call Dubai its home, working in partnership with airlines and other stakeholders to drive the growth of the city. They were seen as a public-sector organization but, while having some benefit, this was not a true reflection of what they were as a business or indeed the kind of organization they wished to be seen as by both current and future employees.

Working in partnership with Havas People, they wanted to develop an employer brand that could reposition Dubai Airports as a commercial organization and true market leader.

And to do that, we needed to bring its bold ambition to life – to always go further and to be the world’s best airport company. Understanding that customers spend a lot of time in their airports while travelling and waiting for their connections, it wants to deliver an unforgettable service that lifts that journey, keeps them entertained and moving. So, when it came to recruitment, they needed to make sure they attract the kind of people motivated by a desire to create those first-class experiences.

From gathering, collating and deciphering extensive research to creating an insightful articulation of a carefully crafted Employee Value Proposition (EVP), the Employer Branding project involved distilling the spirit of the company millions of customers know and love. That has the ability to connect with current employees and inspire potential candidates. And most importantly, play a significant role in realigning the organization to be seen as who they rightfully are.

The Dubai Airports journey began with plenty of data

They enlisted a research company to gather insights that could help determine who they were as an organization. While this provided a substantial amount of information, they weren’t entirely sure what it was showing them. And they certainly weren’t confident enough to make assumptions or take action. That’s where the Havas People Strategy, Planning and Insight team came in.

Understanding what Dubai Airports wanted to achieve, they revisited the research findings to conduct a gap analysis. In total, some 5,000 people provided the data we needed – from a series of one-to-one interviews and surveys across the business.

Creating the brand proposition

The insights gathered were used to cement some of the current findings and challenge others – but most importantly, build a true picture of the organization, where the employees thought it was going and what our new employer brand should be saying. They needed to stay true to themselves, but still differentiate them from competitors.

From there, a set of brand pillars and an EVP statement were created. This was tested with key audiences across the organization to ensure it wasn’t just in the right territory, but spot on in both sentiment and tone.

The final brand proposition?

Beyond exceptional, every day.

Once the brand proposition was agreed, Havas worked with the team at Dubai Airports to establish the creative brief

Again, this was about more than simply bringing the new EVP to life. It was about helping reposition the organization as a commercial business – both visually and tonally. Central to the new look and feel would be stunning photography – both landside and airside to show real employees at the centre of activity. And, more pertinently given the bigger vision, at the centre of the biggest aviation hub in the world.

At the same time, a video shoot profiled some key members of the Dubai Airports team.

Everything came together with an employer brand toolkit which included a set of employer brand guidelines, a suite of on and offline assets as well as brand and social media training to give practical advice to launch the brand, company-wide.

But most importantly, Havas People were also tasked with redesigning and building the Dubai Airports careers site in line with the new EVP look and feel, featuring full integration with their new ATS – going live in May 2017, with an Arabic version following shortly after.

Key results since EVP launch

While we can happily say that people have enthusiastically welcomed the new brand across the business, perhaps the biggest and earliest endorsement of this is that Dubai Airports have taken the decision to take the employer brand and adopt it for all future internal communications. This is naturally a great validation of the project, but it’s even more important for employees, candidates and the business as they will now experience a seamless journey. In other words, what they see on the outside is exactly what they’ll get when they join.

But we know numbers talk. So here are some figures demonstrating the turnaround after Dubai Airports adopted the new recruiter brand:

  • 43 senior hires made in 2017
  • LinkedIn page viewers increased by 97%
  • 76% of hires made through the new website
  • Female hires increased to 45%
  • Cost per hire reduced by 310%
  • 95,150 website sessions between 17 May 2017 and 31 July 2017
  • 4,904 clicks from programmatic advertising during that period.

Flight Jobs advises on recruitment strategies to complement your employer brand

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