How Netflix is developing its employer brand in 2020

How Netflix is developing its employer brand in 2020

With the corporate world still in disarray and many senior leaders not knowing which way to turn, crucial aspects of company culture, employee satisfaction and talent management are at risk of being neglected.

What’s more, it’s never been trickier to approach and attempt to remedy such issues. With everyone’s circumstances varying so widely, it can be hard for organizations to know what to say and how to say it.

However, a sensitive, inclusive and compassionate approach to employer branding could be the key. In today’s problematic climate, this is potentially more crucial than ever.

For instance, according to a LinkedIn Talent Solutions study earlier this year, it was discovered that communicating empathy and authentically showcasing your company is a better long-term solution for growing loyal and lasting connections.

Netflix is one example of an organization taking this principle to heart, focusing efforts on developing its employer brand in 2020, and showcasing company culture through empathy.

The WeAreNetflix ethos

In a presentation as part of LinkedIn’s Virtual Conference Series last month, Netflix sought to offer some further insight into its efforts. Employer Brand Managers Amir Moini and Marquise McCoy delivered a joint run-down of how the brand’s intentions, actions and ethos have manifested in recent months.

The pair outlined how WeAreNetflix, the organization’s external-facing brand, acts as a powerful outlet for showcasing culture through meaningful content, ultimately showing working professionals and potential future employees that Netflix is a place where they can thrive.

McCoy said: “It’s all about encouraging people to work with us, and making sure that they see Netflix as a place where they can belong.

“People can really get a behind-the-curtain look at Netflix. We want them to feel excited and let them know that they can be proud of the work that we are producing, and have it all reflect them and their teams.”

‘Meaningful content’, as Moini terms it, really lies at the heart of what WeAreNetflix is about. And in doing this, the brand is able to reach an estimated 5 million people worldwide, utilizing mediums such as LinkedIn and Twitter, its careers site, and its podcast.

“We want to prioritize content that showcases the act of giving back; that gives actionable takeaways that people can apply to their own lives or companies,” said Moini. “We aim for things that bring a smile to people’s faces. Things that motivate and inspire them along the way.”

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A multimedia, content-led approach

For many organizations today, the mediums of audio and video content are major factors when it comes to content strategy. The format has become a bedrock of new media and has quickly seeped into all areas of the working world.

For Netflix, The WeAreNetflix Podcast is no exception. Broadly, the format comprises a series of discussions between employees from around the Netflix brand. The launch of season three, however, has seen a shift to a more case-study-based approach.

In a recent episode, the panel spoke at length about what it was like contributing to the design and execution of a virtual, cloud-based studio.

“A lot of people appreciate the ability to hear conversations between employees in a way that goes way more in depth than a video or blog ever could,” said Moini.

Having recently flown past the 1 million downloads milestone, this is clearly a powerful medium for the brand.

Similarly, the team recently conducted and recorded a video conference call with Netflix’s various Employee Resource Group (ERG) Leads from around the world, including those who represent Pride, Mental Health and Black ERGs.

McCoy said: “We realized that these leaders are the ones providing community and comfort for many of our employees around the world.

“We wanted to take our experiences and our best practices as well as our challenges, and share them with the world so that people can use them to their advantage.

“We’re hoping that they can use this content and find some value in it.”

In addition, McCoy explained that the brand has experimented with using Netflix Originals; extracting quotes that highlight a source of inspiration and motivation, and posting the clips on the WeAreNetflix social media channels. Another example of meaningful, original multimedia content.

This engaging, content-led approach is instrumental in how WeAreNetflix garners its following, amplifies its message, showcases Netflix’s company culture, and ultimately, strengthens its employer brand.

Some key takeaways for HR leaders

McCoy and Moini went on to add some further insight as to what a content strategy such as this should entail, and some of the best practices for other organizations considering a similar approach.

“I think when you’re doing content examples, you have to ask yourselves: ‘is another company doing it? And if they are, how can we do it differently in order for it to stand out?’,” said McCoy.

“Not everything has to be about COVID and this ‘new reality’. Sometimes we need a break and some entertainment. It’s super important that when our audience come to our channels, they’re getting a break from what’s going on,” he said.

Moini added: “The days of promoting work perks, for instance, are over. You’re going to have to take a moment to recalibrate and ask yourself: ‘what about our actual work culture in a virtual world is meaningful?’.

“At Netflix, we’ve always shifted away from that because we want people to join the company for the right reasons; we’ve always talked about coming here to do the best work of your life.”

Going on to formulate this into a more actionable takeaway for HR leaders, Moini said: “I would recommend doing an exercise about the elements of your culture that really stand out and make you unique, and how you can amplify that and tell stories about it.”

However, wrapping up the presentation, he added a final, defining statement to summarize the brand’s approach to the disruptive climate of 2020.

“We’re all in the same storm, but not in the same boat,” he said. “I think that’s really important to consider because not everybody has, for example, a work from home setup. So, posting content about that may not resonate with everyone.

“Be mindful of everything you’re posting and how it resonates with each person and their different experiences.”

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