Employees the key as LV= rebranding pays off
Wed, 16 May 2012
Putting its employees at the heart of its employer brand paid off handsomely for LV=, the public face of insurance and financial services mutual society Liverpool Victoria.
In the past four years an overhaul of the LV= brand has helped reduce the cost of recruitment from £4m to £2m a year.
The company hired 1,200 staff in the past 12 months, and the number of employees has grown from around 1,750 in 2007 to 5,500.
Paul Smith, LV=’s HR director, says that despite cutting costs “we are hiring more people than ever before”.
This achievement was recognised at the recent Recruiter Awards for Excellence, headlined sponsored by Eploy, when LV= won the award for Most Effective Employer Brand Development. (For full coverage of the Awards, please see the latest issue of Recruiter out this week.)
Smith tells Recruiter that a key aspect of this success has been using existing staff as employer brand advocates. “No one can tell the LV= experience better than current employees,” says Smith.
“The whole idea of our employer brand has been engagement not only with current employees, but also prospective employees and using our employees to be the voice of LV=.”
The rebranding featured ‘faces of LV=’, where photographs of staff sent in by staff themselves were used on advertising sites around the UK.
Working with marketing agency ThirtyThree, the campaign featured poster sites, branded trams and taxis, including the use of advanced image recognition technology. This enabled candidates to choose the LV= person they’d like to hear from by taking a photo of the ad, and then texting in the picture. They would then receive a call back from that same person.
“Our employer brand strategy has been about owning our towns,” says Smith.
“Employees feel really proud because they see themselves on these posters. It has helped us establish ourselves as a responsible employers in towns where we have offices, and that has been a fundamental part of our strategy.”
At the core of LV=’s refreshed brand was the proposition ‘Sharp with a heart’ to reflect the company’s values. “The heart aspects defines the way we work together, the sharp is about us performing as a commercial organisation,” says Smith.
LV= now hires 95% of its staff through its website and unique visits have grown to 13,000 a month.
“Hiring directly is very much part of our strategy and we have gained support from our business stakeholders. They recognise that we are adding value and currency to the organisation. Investment is not being used on agencies but going back into growing awareness of the organisation.”