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Developing an HR brand of an IT agency from scratch without direct financial investments in SMM

If someone still thinks that what was said in the title is a myth of first water, you are deeply mistaken, and I will prove it to you.

4 years ago, my path began not only in Fusion Tech, where I’m still working, but also in IT in general. I came to the position of an HR manager and a small spoiler - this is what helped me in the future, when I started to work closely with SMM and develop the company's HR brand at an “adult” level. So where to start?

     1. Hire a competent HR manager

What is an “HR brand” in a simple phrase? This is the image and reputation of the company. Not that image that is most often determined by paid lines in the ratings or purchased premiums. But the one that starts at the front door. And it is the HR manager who usually opens the front door to a new arrival or jobseeker. Coincidence? I don't think. They say you can't make a first impression twice, so the first impression about the HR manager (yes, about HR, not about the jobseeker) is formed right from the doorstep. And this means that the manager’s behavior should be as competent as possible and from the first words ingratiate with the company. That's what I did, so at interviews, jobseekers were often surprised at the promptness of our feedback and that we inform everyone about the refusal and do it reasonably with some tips to improve skills. For us, the wording “we will call you back” is a bad form. 

Therefore, being in the position of an HR manager with the function of a recruiter, the first thing I did was to win people over to me (as to the face of the company) and automatically to the company itself. 

       2. Start word of mouth

The courtesy of the HR manager, sincere, not strained hospitality, the ability to answer concisely to all the questions - you need to be ready for each interview. This is what became the basis for positive word of mouth, as market newcomers are quickly recognized in the community (I mean us at that time), and this is already the second free and effective tool for promoting an HR brand and creating a good reputation.

Further, social networks and job sites. Continuing the theme of “good manners”, job sites also have a function to inform the applicant about the status of his response to a vacancy. And this is worth doing, even just out of respect for the candidate who decided to choose you from the list of jobs (even if not only you). From these notes, over time, another word of mouth takes shape. Try not to be “they did not answer me.” By the way, an excellent case, once we snatched a full stack developer at the stage of waiting for an offer, who went through several interviews at once in different companies, but you know how? We gave him our answer before other employers.  

       3. Be active on social networks

And now social networks. We did not immediately begin to launch advertising on the sites. Therefore, I started with the “manual” introduction of the company into the communities of universities, other companies and communities, the communities of thematic events - everything where you can make an appearance. University communities, by the way, are very helpful in the context of recruiting interns if your company has a similar direction. We have. Thus, the third free tool is your activity on various platforms - communication / participation in discussions. Yes, it takes time, but it pays off. 

       4. Create true-to-life content

Half a step behind all this social activity is high-quality content that attracts attention and meets the demand of both job seekers and clients. After all, activity, ultimately, leads to company profiles, which means they should be ‘tasty’ and interesting. Our mission is to be useful, so our content is always full of cases, articles and stories from personal experience, because we are read by both jobseekers and those who just want to step on the unknown path called “IT”, that is, our potential and real interns. 

We also do not forget to share stories from the life of the company, everyone is interested in behind the scenes.

      5. Create a unique atmosphere

What do many companies indulge themselves in at the very beginning of the way? Cheat subscribers in social networks and overman. Creating "special effects" around the brand. Our agency did not pursue numbers either on the sites or on the staff, but simply worked for quality, while creating decent working conditions and a special custom (like our products) atmosphere - and this is also a brand image, which it makes no sense to even shout about, worth seeing once. Our current HR manager Dasha tells about this in the format of plates, following the example of the same guy from Instagram, in the section “HR in the frame”.

Therefore, 4 years ago there were seven of us on the staff, today there are seventy.

Using these simple methods, while the company was developing and increasing its turnover along with expertise, I created an excellent cushion for future targeted financial investments in advertising, merch, events, participation in awards, absolutely free and without flashy slogans.

Summing up, we touched upon several very effective tools at once that help in the development of the company's HR brand and do not require investments in advertising and empty cheating: a competent HR manager; as a result, the launch of word of mouth; activity in social networks and various platforms, including job ones; high-quality, and most importantly, useful life content; well, by default - to be, not to seem (in words and in vacancies), providing employees with competitive conditions in the labor market.

Now you know a bit more about us!

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