Brano Vargic, President HRComm (Slovak Association for Human Resource Management and Development) and Dalibor Dalibor Slavik, Partner, SLAVIK & STELL recently met up with Brett Minchington to discuss World Employer Branding Day 2016 to be held in Prague 28-29 April 2016.
Dalibor and Brano hosted Brett for the first International Employer Brand Leadership masterclass in Bratislava, Slovakia in October 2015 for 130 leaders, Following the success of the event, Dalibor and Brano, along with Petr Hovorka, co-owner of World Employer Branding Day co-organising partner, BrandBakers. discussed further initiatives to advanced employer branding in the region. World Employer Branding Day 2016 is a great way to continue this evolution!
Brano - What was your driving motivator to establish World Employer Branding Day 2016?
When I started in the industry in 2004 there was very little information about employer branding available. I decided I’d do something about that and set about writing articles which turned into books which turned into global research studies. Along this journey things started to become a lot clearer.
In 2006 I started conducting employer brand masterclass events and summits. One country grew to two countries and in 2016 I have been fortunate to train leaders in 33 countries.
In 2016 I wanted to do something very different and I knew if there was a way I could bring the global employer branding industry together it would be good for corporate leaders, agencies and most importantly the growth of the employer branding industry.
Brano - Could you tell me more about the concept?
We are bringing the global employer branding industry together in Prague for two days of learning, networking and inspiration. Day 1 includes an Employer Branding Summit with 15 International speakers and the day concludes with a cocktail reception (or after-party as many are calling it!) at the Prague Hilton Cloud 9 Skybar.
On Day 2 employer branding colleagues from around the world will come together again and explore the beautiful city of Prague on a walking tour followed by a country partner and delegate lunch. I wanted to create an event where there would be ample time for people to connect and enjoy great conversations. There will be more than 25 nationalities present during the two days and it is important for those flying in from around the world to be able to spend quality time with key industry people.
Dalibor - Which countries are the delegates coming from?
The team of country partners are coming from 26 countries and to date we have received registrations from leaders from 25 countries. Leaders are coming from employer branding emerging markets including Kuwait, Mexico, Philippines Uzbekistan, Ukraine as well as the more developed employer branding markets of UK, Sweden, Australia, USA and Canada. I was surprise when we receive a registration from Kuwait. It’s not a country that first comes to mind but it excites me to see that employer branding has now achieved global reach at a level I never imagined back in 2004.
Dalibor - How did you select the country partners?
I invited agencies who I have partnered with over the past 10 years. Many of these partners have also hosted me for events in their country. These were people I could trust and knew are interested in the greater good for the industry. Most events are usually exclusive to one agency, but this event is different. It is the gathering of the key players in the global employer branding industry. It provides a great opportunity for leaders to connect with the leaders who are driving best practice in companies around the world.
We've also had many requests from other vendors wanting to get involved as country partners which has been excellent. This event will go down in history as a key milestone for the advancement of the employer branding industry.
It’s really pleasing that global companies such as the World Employer Branding Day Global Community Partner, Randstad Souceright are contributing to the growth of employer branding through, research, thought leadership, consulting and the Randstad Award which is now held in 25 countries. I have been fortunate to be involved in 6 of these awards, they are an outstanding event and it’s great that companies irrespective of the strength of their corporate or consumer brand are awarded and recognised for their employer brand. This provides incentive to other companies to do better the following year. This all has a positive influence on the development of employer branding practice around the world.
We actually had 18 country partners accept within the first 48hrs of the invites going out. I knew this was a very positive sign for the event.
Brano - Why did you choose Prague as the host city?
It ticks all the boxes, it’s central, it’s beautiful with breathtaking architecture, the people are very warm and welcoming and the local cuisine is amazing! I visited Prague for the first time last October and as soon as I stepped onto the Charles Bridge and admired the view, I knew straight away, this is going to be the host city for World Employer Branding Day 2016.
Brano - How are you marketing the event?
The event is being promoted throughout the world by the country partners in their local market and we are also using our social media networks to reach the global audience. We are also relying on word of mouth to spread the word amongst the global community - it's the most effective form of marketing.
Dalibor - You’ve put together an impressive line-up of International speakers? Why did you chose these particular companies?
Most of the speakers I know very well. We have either toured together with our other International employer branding events or we met through their involvement with the Employer Branding College. The aim is to include a diverse range of companies, case studies and personalities to bring a good balance of theory, best practice and engagement to the event.
It was important to include speakers from surrounding countries such as Slovakia and from the host country Czech Republic. These are emerging markets for employer branding and local leaders will benefit from local case studies as well as learning from those driving best practice at a global level.
I also chose speakers who I know will really enjoy connecting with other leaders to share their experience. We’ve brought together a global dream team of International speakers!
Dalibor - Which companies are coming?
I always get asked that question. I’ve come to the realisation that it is not only Google, P&G and adidas Group who are leading the way in employer branding best practice. Great case studies are evident in all regions of the world in companies of all sizes. Sure, it’s pleasing to see companies such as IBM, IKEA, Vodafone, Luxoft, McDonalds and JTI supporting their leaders to attend the event. I am equally excited when I see brands I have never heard of also sign up. That’s good for the evolution of employer branding industry which is one of the key objectives of World Employer Branding Day 2016.
Brano - Are you planning World Employer Branding Day to be an annual event?
It was only planned as a once off event. How exciting would it be to hold it in a different place every year? Maybe it’s a way I can finally get all the country partners who promise to visit me in Australia to hold them to their word.
Brano - Tell me a little about the book that is being launched at the International Employer Branding Summit on 28 April 2016
I wanted to capture the event in history so decided to also invite the industry to co-author a new book of employer branding case studies from around the world. The book, "Employer Brand Excellence-case studies from around the world” will be published as an e-book and made available free of charge around the world by country partners involved in the event.
Brano - So what’s next on your International agenda?
For the past few years we have been building the global reach of the Employer Branding College and its certification programs. I have been coaching leaders in the global online Level 1 Certificate in Employer Brand Leadership course and I absolutely love it! It allows me to understand what’s happening in employer branding in companies around the world and provide the opportunity to share resources and knowledge I have gathered over the past 12 years. Leaders from 30 countries have participated in the programs to date and the next phase is to licence the program so thousands of leaders around the world can build their employer brand competencies. Companies are going to need leaders with these competencies, not in 3 years or 5 years but right now in 2016! I know it’s a long shot but my ambition is for every companies to have a leader trained in employer brand leadership. That is what is motivating me to strive harder and further!
Brano - Well, thank you for your insights Brett, I look forward to seeing you in a couple of weeks when you visit Prague and again from 28-29 April for World Employer Branding Day 2016.
You’re welcome! It’s my pleasure. It is great to chat with both of you again.
For tickets to World Employer Branding Day 2016 please click here>