Ri Five minutes with: Katie Logan

Ri Five minutes with: Katie Logan


Katie Logan is Associate Director at MSL, and has over 7 years’ experience working in the employee communications industry, across a range of industries and audiences.  Ri5 found out how MSL are tackling the change in consumer behaviour when it comes to recruitment marketing.

What are the biggest challenges facing the recruitment marketing world right now?

I think right now, recruitment marketing faces similar challenges to wider society. The traditional approach to rec marketing has changed almost beyond recognition, with social, political and environmental factors impacting heavily on the recruitment landscape.

Just like consumers, candidates want things at the touch of a button and expect personalised, bespoke communications from employers all the time. Digital innovations, like social media, provide people with constant access to information, news and stories around the clock, meaning opinions on brands and businesses can be built, changed, damaged or just forgotten, in an instant! This has a huge impact on any brand messaging you put out and means we have to be incredibly audience focussed to ensure messaging lands in the way it was intended.

At the same time, programmes like the BBC’s Blue Planet II have opened our eyes to behaviours that are destroying the environment. The final episode in particular has had a huge impact on the way people behave and think about the environment – apparently since it aired, nearly 90% of viewers have changed the way they use plastics. Which is great!

This change in consumer behaviour is reflected in the expectations of employees and applicants. From a recent MSL survey, we found that 59% of UK employees expect the organisation they work for to take a stand on social issues, while 88% are less likely to work for a company that advocates social or political positions that don’t tally with their own.

These are all factors we now need to consider as part of our comms strategies. Traditional questions we would ask like ‘where to advertise’, ‘what are we saying’ and ‘who am I talking to’ pale into insignificance compared to some of the tougher social and political questions we need to ask ourselves when we come to creating our target personas. It’s an incredibly complex landscape to navigate.

How is MSL tackling these dramatic changes?

Lucky for us, we are surrounded by amazing brains here at MSL! We have a huge team of specialists and they support the central account team with exceptional insight, behavioural analysis and platform intricacies to create bespoke solutions for our clients. This helps us tackle some of the really tough challenges we are starting to see come through and address our clients’ needs.

Also, because we are part of a much bigger group (Publicis), we  have direct access to incredible global partner agencies – like Salterbaxter, our specialist sustainability sister consultancy, and Publicis Media who share their global media expertise and platform knowledge with us. This gives us the ability to  line the right experts up to serve our client needs and challenges quickly.

How do you begin to tackle huge social issues in your clients’ recruitment campaigns?

We’ve been working with EY on a really compelling piece of work recently around belonging in the workplace. It’s a very topical space, and one that invites a huge amount of debate, so, we were conscious that our messaging had to land well and represent the truest articulation of life at EY possible.

To do this, we worked alongside our insight, content and creative teams to research and understand, what it actually meant to ‘belong’ in the wider sense. We then engaged a behavioural psychologist and partnered with YouGov to help inform this understanding and apply this to the world of EY to bring our campaign to life.

And how did you manage to synthesise this into a communications strategy?

Well, when it comes to communicating a challenging topic such as this, it’s so important to empathise with your audience, to really understand what they want from an employer and how they want to be communicated to.

Storytelling is at the very heart of everything we do it’s about defining the world we are navigating, understanding the problem we are trying to solve and the point of tension for the audience. Working on the EY Belong campaign was a complex journey but was hugely rewarding at the same time. Both the MSL team and EY learnt a lot along the way, and we’re all delighted with the outcome so far.

So how else can your unique offer change the world of recruitment marketing and employee engagement?

We recognise that in order to really innovate in the world of recruitment marketing we have to engage across the whole employee life-cycle. The EY ‘Belong’ campaign is just one example of how an internal inclusivity message can be effectively communicated externally to impact recruitment initiatives. This is a journey we definitely want to take more of our clients on, to truly provide a joined up candidate journey, where the candidate knows they are at the heart of the organisation and that their contribution to the business - and the wider world - really makes a difference.

Another area we’re currently investing in is organisational change and transformation. We’re increasingly partnering with our colleagues at Publicis.Sapient to help clients digitally transform the way their people work.  When you implement huge technical and organisational transformation globally into the employee engagement and employer brand mix, that’s when you start changing the agenda and have really powerful conversations.

Wednesday, 17 April 2019

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