Ali Mahlodji—Successfully matching emotions: employer branding in a world of choices.

Successful people already knew as children precisely where they were headed and how to get there. According to Ali Mahlodji, this is simply not true. “In the case of 85 percent of people, their career paths were a zigzag course, not a straight line.” The founder of Watchado knows what he’s talking about. A school dropout and job-hopper, he tried out lots of occupations before he revolutionized employer branding with his “careers autograph album.”

“Do you know the young person who says: When I grow up, I’m going to be a Director of Collective Action? I don’t. And then companies wonder why no one applies.” Obscure job titles, interchangeable employer brands: young people in particular soon lose the thread. Young professionals need real-life examples that they can connect with emotionally, as Mahlodji knows well. And this is exactly what Watchado provides. The video platform matches the experiences of professionals with the needs of applicants—and provides emotionally attractive role models to help them plan their own lives.

The employer brand as an emotional hook is becoming an increasingly important factor when choosing a job. But what does this mean for your company? To find the right candidate from the ever-diminishing number of qualified applicants, emotions must be successfully matched. With brandsync®, we actively support you in this process. We start with a thorough analysis of the conscious and subconscious needs of your candidates and match this with your corporate values. We then develop your employer brand’s authentic positioning before successfully synchronizing it with your employees and media. This results in a successful combination of employer and candidate.

Find out more about brandsync®here.

Anyone who wants to successfully attract potential candidates not only has to know and understand their “needs,” but must also respond to these requirements in a credible fashion. Ali Mahlodji is absolutely certain of this. “Every company is racing around saying it’s dynamic. We are the market leader, we are innovative. All of them profess to great values, like respect. Very few companies pay attention to their DNA.” Mahlodji raises the problem area of interchangeable value propositions and calls for greater authenticity. Young professionals can only be reached using credible messages about employer brands.

“In a world where the pace of change is ever faster, people want something to commit to,” says Mahlodji. Employers can only get this commitment by answering the question “why?” Children always want to know why they are supposed to do something—as adults perhaps we no longer ask, but we are also looking for an answer. “We are only internally motivated when we know why we’re doing what we’re doing,” explains Mahlodji. Employer branding must give a credible response. At least when it comes to attracting the right candidates and getting them to commit.

You will find many more ideas for your own employer branding in this compilation of clips from the lecture by Ali Mahlodji:

Ali Mahlodji’s video platform Whatchado gathers together success stories; his own is one of the most exciting: refugee, school dropout, job-hopper. During his work as a teacher, he recalled what he himself wanted, aged 14: a handbook of life stories that anyone could flick through. So he began to shoot videos—and Whatchado was born. Since the start of 2012, the platform has seen steady growth, gathering more than 5,000 interviews, reaching more than 750,000 users per month, and becoming the regular recipient of awards.

Takeaways from the lecture:

  1. Understand the needs—it’s about satisfying needs, not maximizing options.
  2. Develop simple solutions—a solution is only perfect once it cannot be edited any further.
  3. Protect your DNApeople can only be reached through genuine values and credible messages.

Guidance from trio-group:

  • Employees are the most important brand ambassadors; people want to take their lead from people.
  • Applicants require clear positioning from employers: companies need to differentiate themselves in the market with credible value propositions.
  • The key to successful employer branding lies in the synchronization of messages and needs.
  • An employer brand is successful if it manages to build an authentic relationship with potential candidates, based on emotions.

Ali Mahlodji’s contribution is part of the video series “Science update” from trio-group.

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