Coditas is a well-known brand in the ‘offshore product development’ space.
The brand’s reputation has always ensured that it never had to build up large marketing and a sales team. The quality of the work was enough to spread the word about their services, which has always resulted in a steady pipeline of clients for them.
However, there was a challenge.
The clients were knocking on the door. But there was limited in house bandwidth to answer the call, and take on a new project. The challenge for Coditas was that the in-house team did not have the bandwidth to take on any more projects.
Coditas felt the need to increase its workforce by having a strong employer branding strategy. This strategy would aim at attracting the right talent, that not only provides exceptional value to the company projects but also fits in the organization’s culture.
There was already an agency that had worked with Coditas in the past. I wanted to make sure that the work that they have done does not go to waste.
Why reinvent the wheel when we already have access to the data, right?
The agency had done some good work, in terms of brand positioning and brand story. However, the agency had not been successful in going all the way. There were still missing gaps in the story that needed to be filled.
However, the work done by the agency gave me a nice foundation for my work that followed ahead.
Step 2: Interviewing the Founders
It goes without saying that the Founders of an organization, get a major say in formulating the brand story, mission, and vision. As the Founders have been a part of the brand journey since it’s birth, they know the brand from multiple perspectives.
Additionally, no brand story can take birth in this world, without the blessings of the CEO. The CEO is someone who has the power to spread this story in the organization and rally and align all the departments so that they follow the story.
During my interaction with the founders, I asked them questions such as –
“Why was Coditas started”?
“What is your background story?”
“When was Coditas started?”
“Why do employees join us?”
“Why do clients choose to work with us?”
This conversation was insightful and allowed me to go into the roots of the origin story of Coditas.
From the conversation, it was clear that the CEO, Mitul Bid, had started Coditas with one simple mission. He had observed that most of the organizations, especially in India, used terrible coding practices. These practices resulted in substandard code and a low-quality software that was full of bugs. Mitul was not okay with this. Hence he started Coditas with only one simple mission – To produce code, that is ‘clean’.
Step 3: Interviewing the employees
It was necessary for me to understand brand perception from the employee perspective as well.
A true employer branding story cannot be a gimmick. It cannot be something you just say to attract the right candidates. It has got to be true from within. It has got to be something that the organization believes at its core.
Although the previous agency had already interviewed the employees, I wanted to have a go at the interviews myself. Hence, the recruitment team helped me schedule an interview with 6 employees.
- Two of them had recently the organization.
- Two of them had been a part of the organization for 2 years.
- Two of them had been a part of the organization for more than 4 years.
The diversity of the employees ensured that we got insights from employees that fit into different experience brackets.
The employees were asked questions such as –
“Why did they choose Coditas (a mid-sized company), rather than choosing a bigger, multinational organization?”
“What do they like about working at Coditas?”
“How have they grown professionally since they have joined Coditas?”
It was astounding to see, the patterns that emerged. For many questions, Identical answers were given by different employees.
Here are a few common answers from the exercise –
“I joined Coditas because I was bored of working for a multinational company. I had to follow strict processes, which restricted my freedom as a coder. Additionally, the hierarchy bogged me down. I just wanted more freedom.”
“I love working at Coditas as I get a lot of exposure. I am not restricted to one technology; I can explore other areas as well. From a learning standpoint, this experience has really helped me.”
And hence, through these interactions, it was clear that the employees connected with the brand for values such as –
Step 4: Employer branding story and content marketing strategies
From the above 3 steps, it was clear that an ideal employee for Coditas is someone who is keen on growing, hungry for success, and wants exposure.
The core positioning of the Coditas continued to be an organization that follows clean coding practices. However, it was decided that in addition to that, Coditas as an organization promotes the growth of the employees, and also helps the employees express their creativity through the work.
We also agreed that we need to bring out these employee stories to the world. These stories would help the brand to justify its positioning and values. And hence, ‘employee interview strategy’ was introduced. As a part of this initiative, I had to interview an employee and make a blog article out of the conversation.
Here is an example of one such conversation.
While, its too early to gauge the actual impact of the Employer Branding story and the Employer story initiative, this activity certainly gave us momentum, in our efforts to build a brand that has a strong employer branding positioning.