ADP Aiming Brand Campaign at Both Potential Customers and Candidates

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Sep 11, 2015

You may know that ADP’s been around since forever (1949), that it has been in a much-talked-about rivalry with Zenefits, and that it’s handling payroll for half the companies in town, but its new brand campaign is meant to showcase the company as a whole lot more than that direct deposit slip employees get listing their pay and days off. Both potential employees and potential customers are the target market.

ADP’s in the business of insurance management, retirement administration, talent management, and much more, but, as I said, when you think ADP, most people think, “payroll!”

It wants to change that. And, it wants people to know it’s not stodgy; indeed, it calls a new location in Pasadena, for example, an “innovation center.”

Some ADP employees go as far as to call their employer a “tech company.” That’s a mixed bag, one ADP communications executive tells me. It does want to be seen as cutting edge, but at the same time, it’s a services provider, not just a technology products seller.

Anyhow, a new brand, revolving around the hashtag hellowork, was created by the company’s marketing team, but will be also used by the global talent acquisition team. It soft-launched a few weeks ago and is now launching in full.

The campaign, first on places like Facebook and YouTube, and likely later in print, conveys the message, as ADP says in a blog, that “You may have known us for payroll, but our HR solutions are uniquely building better, more efficient, and happier workplaces.”

But in addition to conveying what ADP’s all about, it’s meant to humanize the company and business — with ADP saying the campaign is about “a more human resource … a celebration of work and the people who make businesses run.”

ADP just finished up an RFP process for a recruitment advertising agency to help with the employment branding end of the campaign; the winning firm hasn’t yet been publicly announced.

The company is very into “cultural fit” hiring, uses employee referrals a lot, and hires a lot from its clients (heck, with so many customers, how could it not?). As for cultural fit, it doesn’t want people who’ll climb a ladder and beat the daylights out of everyone each rung of the way. Integrity, diversity of thought, working well with teams — that’s what’s emphasized in the hiring process. It’s also a highly virtual company, with large numbers of people working from home, and the majority of its talent-acquisition team working remotely.

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