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For Bosch, implementing its global employee value proposition (EVP) in Africa posed a challenge. Paul Vermeij, Bosch's Vice President for HR in the African region, explains how they went about it

Bosch Africa entered the African market riding on the wave of its global brand, but not enough of the talent market recognised us an employer, let alone an employer of choice. Our global employee value proposition (EVP) had been successfully implemented in the European markets but rolling it out in our African markets, where we are dealing with nine different countries that each have various target markets, was a challenge.

Identifying the target markets within our regions was the first step in the process; the next step was to find where to engage our talent and then gauge what our talent is looking for when deciding on an employer.

Our main market lies within the technical experienced professionals and fresh graduates from all disciplines who are using a common recruiting platform to engage with potential employers. And that is where we needed to start our journey. The main aim of the Bosch Africa page on this platform was to create awareness that Bosch Africa is not just a company that offers products and services, but that we are an employer as well. We are using the platform to tell our story and build our brand within our new market, seeing a growth of over 16,000+ new users in the first year.

Since the launch of our page our recruitment costs have gone down by 60% as the usage of recruitment agencies has decreased. There has been a substantial increase in the number of applications received for each job advert, with an average of over 470 applicants per advert, and the recognition of our brand has increased by 60% from the interaction we receive from potential candidates, according to data received from LinkedIn.

Tailoring our EVP to speak to the needs of our talent proved challenging as we tried using the one-size fits all approach. The wants and needs of the North African market are vastly different to those of the West African market. The next challenge was to assess what it is these markets wanted and needed from employers. This took us on a journey with GCC in the form of a study of what resonates the most within our regions, from skills development, work-life balance to social responsibility.

We took the outcome of the study --what potential candidates are more concerned about when looking for an employer--and linked them to our core messages, which form part of our EVP. These messages talk about life at Bosch and what resonates most with our organisation. The study really showed us that our perceptions of our respective markets was not in line with what was happening on the ground. This led us to better tailor our communications to our external markets and re-educate our internal staff on what else our organisation offers.

The difference between the markets was not as big as we initially thought, and one core message focused on learning new skills echoed among all our nine countries. And that is where we started building our Africa communication strategy for our external market.

Recording successes

Trying to implement in nine countries at the same time proved to be a mountain of a task, so we restructured our approach to start with our three big focus countries, Morocco, Nigeria and South Africa. These countries are the ones with the highest recruitment needs, so testing our EVP and its success on these countries makes absolute sense.

In South Africa, redoing the template layout of advertisements to showcase the diversity in the organisation really hit it off with our internal and external markets, as the results of the study showed that working in diverse teams is something potential candidates are looking for. In Morocco we were able to tailor our communication in terms of our offerings to attract more candidates, as we spoke to their needs more than their wants.

The next steps are to relaunch and refocus our internal branding. We need to re-look at our internal staff and speak a language they recognise, as they are our biggest ambassadors. As this is a predominately service environment, our staff interact greatly with the external market. We therefore need to ensure that our internal branding is in sync with the external market.
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Title Annotation:Talent Matters: The Employee Experience
Comment:HOW BOSCH IS CUSTOMISING ITS GLOBAL EVP FOR AFRICA.(Talent Matters: The Employee Experience)
Author:Vermeij, Paul
Publication:African Business
Date:Aug 1, 2019
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