Ford Middle East and Africa
A LinkedIn Talent Solutions Success Story
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How Ford Became a Talent Brand Powerhouse of Employee Engagement
In three short years, Ford Middle East and Africa (MEA) has not only grown its physical operation in the region, but also its online presence, utilizing LinkedIn to become the most-followed automotive company in the UAE on the platform.
Ford Motor Company was built on the belief that freedom of movement drives human progress. It’s a belief that has always fueled its passion to create great cars and trucks. And today, it drives Ford’s commitment to become the world’s most trusted mobility company, designing smart vehicles for a smart world that help people move more safely, confidently and freely.
With approximately 203,000 employees worldwide, Ford designs, manufactures, markets and services a full line of Ford cars, trucks, SUVs, electrified vehicles, and Lincoln luxury vehicles. The company also provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit, and is pursuing leadership positions in electrification.
In its new regional office in Dubai, Ford MEA has increased its workforce from as few as 30 satellite employees in 2014, to more than 200 this year, hailing from more than 30 different countries, mirroring its standing as a truly global company.
What’s fascinating is the way Ford went about recruiting the top talent in the region. Rather than employ a recruitment agency to locate those best-suited to the Ford family, the company turned to the largest online platform for professionals, LinkedIn, to connect and network with professionals, especially regionally where social media penetration is higher than anywhere else in the world.
With over 100,000 followers for Ford Middle East and Africa under just two years, and more than one million for Ford Motor Company in general, the company is one of the most engaging brands on LinkedIn.
Building an attractive employer brand was of critical strategic importance to Ford MEA as they transformed the company to meet future challenges. Ford is certainly an attractive employer brand, scooping coveted awards as one of the world’s most ethical companies – eight years in a row – as well as being among the world’s most attractive employers in 2017, according to an annual survey of students worldwide.
In MENA, Ford has also been bestowed with the title of Best Employer Brand for a company with less than 500 employees. The 2017 Middle East and Africa Talent Awards measured companies’ employer brand presence on their LinkedIn Career page, and the engagement with the content posted, and Ford came out on top amongst companies across the region as the best employer brand that continues to successfully engage its professional audience.
In becoming the most engaging brand on LinkedIn, Ford focused on employee experiences and job opportunities. A quick glance at the Ford MEA LinkedIn page will show content that is predominantly about its employees and business, though it’s also the place where the latest roles to be filled are advertised, complemented by interview process tips and profiled employees who share stories about their experiences at Ford.
Noor Maki, Legal Counsel for the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa, for instance, saw the position for a legal counsel advertised directly on LinkedIn earlier this year. “I was attracted to the position as it was a reputable global company advertising for jobs directly rather than external recruiters. Due to the level of detail provided, I knew exactly what I was applying for and that I would fit the role,” said Maki.
Promoting a Culture of Diversity
Throughout the history of Ford Motor Company, diversity has been as much a part of the company's success as the great products its diverse employee base has created.
Ford’s senior executive leadership team fully endorses diversity and takes great pride in celebrating their workforce that reflects the society in which they live and work. According to Ford, its diversity makes it a better company, a stronger company, by bringing in fresh ideas, perspectives, experiences and life responsibilities, and by fostering a truly collaborative workplace.
Diversity remains key to Ford’s business strategy and that sees its regional LinkedIn company page engage professionals with content and updates that would resonate with them, share the company’s progress and demonstrate its commitment to its employees locally.
In addition, to developing followers in key operating regions, Ford utilized LinkedIn with targeted campaigns and recruitment adverts.
“This has helped us to increase our followers exponentially and we are proud to be the most followed automotive company in the UAE, and the second most followed in South Africa,” said Alexis Gibson, HR Business Partner, Ford Middle East and Africa.
“We ensure we target the relevant audience in terms of building our talent brand. We tell stories of employee’s careers that others can aspire to, and that showcases Ford’s passion for diversity.”
Ford Middle East and Africa
Empowering Employees to Be the Voice of the Company
Studies have shown that socially engaged employees are more engaged at work and this increases interaction at all levels within the business, encouraging pride in your brand.
Employees are Ford’s key voice on social media and they’re empowered to become brand ambassadors. Profile photos on its LinkedIn page are employees from the regional headquarters. For Ford, promoting employees is effective in that they also help display how proud and happy they are being with the company, while also helping to attract followers and share stories from Ford to their network.
“We want to tell the story of what it is like to work at Ford MEA, and of what our brand stands for. We do this by actively engaging our employees to create content on our social media platforms; if you have a look at our LinkedIn page you will see some amazing posts surrounding events like Father’s Day, or personal experiences about how the company touches lives. We also run workshops and provide best practice guides to help our employees optimise their presence on social media."
Ford Middle East and Africa
Employees are thus a key voice on social media, becoming Ford’s brand ambassadors. “We profile employees on our page, displaying their pride in working at Ford and the projects they’re involved in. This helps attract followers who share these stories with their wider network,” Dooms continued.
Together with LinkedIn, Ford also provides training to leaders within the company. In order to attract top talent and drive innovation and mobility in Ford’s emerging business – providing transportation for passengers and goods – the company also shares newsworthy content in areas such as the future of transportation, new technology and innovation, and the future of mobility and entrepreneurship, and how Ford supports this with the Henry Ford Entrepreneurship Academy program, of which Ford also launched a women’s workshop in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, earlier this year.
Tips for Job Seekers
“One of the most difficult things in recruitment is finding and placing people with the right skills and experience in certain technical fields,” asserts Gibson.
She recommends that individuals who want to get noticed by Ford’s recruitment team should “make sure you have a professional profile on social media, which displays your professional brand and key achievements. It also helps if your profile is relevant to the role that you apply for; read the job advert carefully and assess if it is something that you would be suited for.”
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