Kumari Williams, Director of TA at HARMAN International on employer branding strategy
Mar 20, 2019-Joe Matar
In case you missed it, you can check out part 1 here.
Full TranscriptJoe: Kumari, thanks for joining me today.
Kumari: Thank you for having me, Joe. I appreciate it.
Joe: Awesome, so I'm guessing that along the way there have been some challenges, some obstacles to overcome. Can you briefly touch upon any challenges you've encountered and, you know, what you guys have done to try to overcome or plan to do?
Kumari: Yeah I would say, you know, we haven't had any major hiccups along the way. I mean it's been a really good experience. I think establishing a strong steering committee at the onset of the project along with identifying who our work stream team members are and then establishing a really core group of individuals that are working on the project has significantly helped. We have to run really quickly and so to run quickly you need to be nimble and we said kind of out of the gate we need to keep a small core group but then make sure the communication is there to all of our stakeholders but at the same time make sure that the group is small enough so that we can move quickly. I would say challenges that we face are just like any other project: staying aligned, right? So making sure that you continue to consistently communicate with your stakeholders on a consistent basis so that people don't feel left out of the loop. Because we are global and we are large we have, you know, 30,000 people sitting all over the world making sure that that communication is there, with multiple time zones, that can be a challenge at any given point in time. But
outside of just your normal challenges with projects we've not really encountered anything major yet which is good, fingers crossed, that's a good thing for us. Just kind of normal project management stuff and making sure that we stay aligned with people those have been, those have been probably the, you know, that's been the big thing is just the alignment piece.
Joe: Good. And who is represented on that steering committee? What group members did you bring into that core group?
Kumari: So we've got our core group of five people and that's a couple individuals from my team. I have an individual, who who leads up social and branding for HARMAN and then Cheyenne Foran who is one of his team members and she focuses a lot on social from a U.S. perspective and then also has some global scope. And then I have a peer of mine, Marcus Burnt, who sits in Europe. And so he is a counterpart to myself and is focused largely on Europe but we're all working globally at this point and then he has a team member as well that's focused solely on employer branding. So the five of us have just been kind of in the trenches getting it done. Our steering committee largely consists of our HR executive leadership team. So we have our HR executive leadership team. We also have representation from corporate communications and also marketing as well. So our chief marketing officer as well as our head of corporate communications is apart. And I think they're critical like when you think about, we're slightly infringing upon their space, right? And so making sure that we're, the lines of communication are extremely open and we're very transparent with partners like corporate comms and marketing I think is critical to, you know, to the success of a project like this.
Joe: It's critical and I think it's actually pretty rare to have that marketing representation at the table in projects like the one that you are embarking on. But, you know, in my experience as a marketer it's just it's so critical to have, you know, employer branding and marketing come together because, in my opinion, it, you know, they're really just one, you know, your employees, your customers, your partners, you know, they create one mind map of your organization, right? And so like all of you need to be aligned. So that's great that you have your CMO involved and in communications.
Kumari: Absolutely, absolutely.
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