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HR Smalltalk: Starbucks Canada Employer Brand Case Study

We were recently enjoying a beverage at our local Starbucks outlet, and noticed a posting on the bulletin board for a job fair. Always curious to see how one of the Best Workplaces in Canada positions their employer brand, we looked a little closer. It provides an excellent example of many of the lessons that we’ve shared previously about how to create an effective employer brand.
Identify what is important to your ideal employees
We can see that the kind of people who are attracted to working at Starbucks are those looking for opportunities to grow as an individual and to grow in their career. They value making connections with their clients, their community and with the overall vision of the company. They want to be a part of something that is meaningful to their community and to the world. They want recognition for their contributions to the company and to the community. They want to be considered not just as an employee, but as a partner in the business. If when you read these values you thought they were written directly for the Millennial generation, you wouldn’t be alone.

Share your employer brand
The values important to their employees are front and center when you visit the Working at Starbucks page in the Careers section of their website. The values of “To Be a Partner”, “Opportunity" and “Connecting to Something Bigger” are a big part of Starbucks’ employer brand story. The use of video to share employee stories highlights examples of employees living these values in their work.

Be consistent with your marketing brand
The video on the Our Canadian Story page in the Careers section shares some powerful client stories about what Starbucks means to them. From a home from away from home, to where they met their spouse, to cementing a mother-daughter bond, these stories provide emotional validation to the employer brand claims about “Connecting to Something Bigger” and “Be Meaningful” values.

Monitor your employer brand
Starbucks promotes hashtags like #tobeapartner and #extrashotofgood in their Careers section to facilitate conversations on social media about what it’s like to work at their organization, and also how they contribute to their communities.

So what does this mean for your small business? Do you have Starbucks’ marketing budget? Unlikely. Can you take key lessons and apply them to your business on a shoestring budget? Absolutely. When you’re clear on what is important to your ideal employees, share your story in an authentic, clear and consistent way to reach both clients and employees on the internet and via social media, you’re well on your way to setting yourself apart from the crowd and sharing a compelling message.

Your employer brand is critical to the success of your efforts to hire and keep top talent. If you’d like assistance with employer branding for your Vancouver-based small business so you can compete for talented staff, please contact Clear HR Consulting for expert human resource management solutions.
 
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