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Employer branding: behind the scenes at Sioux Technologies

The Brainport Talent theme meeting about the topic employer branding that took place in Sioux Labs, the living room of Sioux Technologies, last Thursday was well attended by regional HR professionals and international talent.

Martine Dubling, Manager Recruitment of Sioux Technologies and Stijn van Eekelen of Sr. Glue invited people present behind the scenes and shared their experiences in the field of Employer Branding and challenged those present to work out an ‘employee journey’ for their company. That resulted in a very interactive session and the sharing of experiences back and forth.

Hosts/ guest speakers

Martine Dubling has been working for Sioux Technologies for about five years and is responsible for all recruitment activities within the company. Because of her background in software systems engineering, she has a good feeling with the target group.

Stijn van Eekelen is Creative Director and partner at Sr. Glue, that helps companies and organizations with their branding by translating communication strategies into video stories.

Report of the afternoon
After a brief welcome speech by Richard Kerste, manager of the Brainport Talent Attraction Program, Stijn van Eekelen kicked off the afternoon. Based on his expertise in the field of employer and corporate branding and on the basis of the structure of an employee journey, he started a discussion with Martine about the marketing strategy of Sioux Technologies specifically for the target group of employees and potential employees. During the interview, Martine made it clear that everything at Sioux revolves around the employees.

"At Sioux, everything revolves around our employees," says Martine. “We share a passion for technology, want to enjoy our work and working here feels like being part of a family. This is a common thread running through everything we do in the field of employer branding and our promotional activities. What we say and show must be real. Authenticity is a cliché word, but that's what it's all about. If we promote Sioux at an event or such, one of our colleagues with a technical or IT background always comes along. "

“You want potential employees to experience what it's really like to work at Sioux. In this, the cooperation between the various departments in the company is of great importance. With our expressions and testimonials we want to show real stories and real projects. You can find these stories by working closely together with group leaders. Together we prepare a content calendar that serves as a guide for our story to the outside world. The great thing about this approach is that our people are also proud to show what they are working on. They are then also very willing to share content. That means you have about 700 ambassadors who want to tell your story. "

Informal and accessible way of getting to know the company
“Sioux also offers potential candidates the opportunity to experience what working at Sioux means in an informal and accessible way. We call that ‘proefzitten’, potential candidates can just come and have a look, walk around and experience the atmosphere. We announce these sessions through various channels. In addition, we organize substantive sessions on technical and IT topics for both our employees and external parties. In this way we create thought leadership. We also organize this type of tech sessions or events for other target groups such as students and children. The ultimate goal in this always is to reach potential (future) employees that match with our company.”

It is important that people feel at home
“When people choose us, they experience that working for Sioux feels like being part of a family. It is important that our national and international colleagues feel welcome and at home here. That's why we have an onboarding program and, in collaboration with Holland Expat Center South, we take care of the entire relocation so that they can focus on work and integration.”

Attention for international employees and spouses
When employees come to work here , they are linked to a buddy and we also have a Cultural Awareness program for both our international and Dutch employees. We pay special attention to partners and children of our international colleagues. For example, some of the spouses work here and also partner and children come to Sioux Labs during evenings that we organize for

Involve and engage influencers and other target groups
We focus not only on the target group of (potential) employees, but also on target groups that exert influence on this primary target group. For example, we organize a mechatronics competition for student teams. The final of that competition takes place during the Dutch Design Week, when the different teams present their concept. They have already worked on this throughout the year under the guidance of their teachers and our employees. This way both students and teachers get to know us. "

Questions from the audience

Is the spouse involved in preboarding?
Martine: we bring them into contact with Expat Spouses Initiative before they come to the Netherlands. We also pay special attention to the accompanying family members when they are here.

You indicate that everything is about people to you, but how do you really show that?
Martine: We let our people tell sincere stories, they are our ambassadors.

Do you exclude people?
Martine: All our expressions must already serve as a selection criterion. Stijn adds: by being very outspoken, you build a brand. When you have lovers and haters, you have built a brand. A good employer brand attracts the right people and retains the right people.

How do you see if new international employees match your corporate culture before they get here?
Martine: We look for people with the same attitude and also look at which cultures match our culture based on the Hofstede model.

Is video the holy grail?
Stijn: it is important to align your message and medium with the target group. In addition, it is advisable to ensure that you have several films and testimonials. You have to tell a full story.

Employee journey
Below you find an "employee journey" with examples of some channels and resources that the people who were present use to reach and retain their (future) employee.

Some answers per phase

Source, engage, select: LinkedIn feed, vacancies on own website, vacancies on job portals, testimonials, stories from own people, events, vacancies on BrainportEindhoven.com, active recruiters, interviews / selection interviews, unsubscribing personas, challenges / competitions, being present on content , subject related

Hire, preboarding, onboarding: Information, onboarding programs, sessions, events, budget programs,

Retention, seperate, reunite: Expert sessions, attention to total family, room to share passion for tech, exit conversations, alumni program.