Gore is “Finally Telling its Story”

Jul 2, 2009
This article is part of a series called News & Trends.

Years ago, John Sullivan was doing some consulting work for W.L. Gore, the makers of Gore-Tex. “You guys are the best story never told,” he said to them.

Not any more. Gore will be telling scientists, engineers, and other prospective employees its story by launching a new global branding campaign from Arizona to China with a modest little theme: Join Gore & Change Your Life.

Barbara Pizzala is one of Gore’s global leaders in recruiting. Well, sort of: Gore does without official titles, direct reports, or indirect reports. She’s one of two co-champions of the project; the other represents the company’s corporate communications team. Pizzala says work started on the campaign about three years ago in Europe. It was put on hold, and then work began anew about a year ago. The ad agency TBWA, in Hamburg, has been involved.

The hub is a website, which spells out such things as the company’s fundamental beliefs and what it’s like to work there (if you need more structure, try the Gap).

As with most other corporate career sites, if you make it all the way through the Taleo system to the job descriptions, you may find them a little boring (something I said a year ago about Cellular South.) Says Pizzala: “Job descriptions will have a more brand-reflective look to them. This is something we are still working on. Each and every posting will be more brand-reflective than today.”

A second website, modified for European locations and using German and British English, will launch in Europe in about four weeks. A third site, in Chinese and English, will launch in Asia about four weeks after that.

Pizzala says Gore will drive site traffic using 1) big boards like Monster and CareerBuilder, and to a lesser extent, niche boards for the medical device field; 2) a minimal amount of print newspaper ads in Arizona, Delaware, and Maryland (and significantly more print ads in Europe); 3) campus recruiting and career fairs (it has bought new booths); and 4) social media, which hasn’t really begun yet.

Gore has brought on Jobs2Web to help with social media. “They’re educating us, Todd,” Pizzala says. “This is new for us.”

Senior Leaders Got It

Gore has never had a global employment brand.

“It is a first ever,” Pizzala says. “Historically, Gore does not go out and boast much about who we are. It’s a part of our culture — humbleness, humility. We expect our products will speak for themselves.”

But, senior leaders knew that had to change. They realized that the company wasn’t visible enough in some of its markets — in the Asian medical-device field, for example.

“If there’s one thing that really worried us,” Pizzala says, “It’s whether we were going to be able to hire enough of the right people. It was a pretty widely held belief among our senior leaders that talent would be one of our biggest constraints for growth.”

Gore has had little to no decline in its medical-division hiring, Pizzala says. While it has used the slow economy to develop and move people internally, there are some things you can’t train overnight — like when you’re trying to hire a scientist with experiencing dealing with the FDA. So, she says, “We’re finally telling our story.”

Branding junkies can learn more about the topic by checking out your April 2009 Journal of Corporate Recruiting Leadership; seeing Steve Fogarty’s presentation coming up September 10th; or by doing a search.

This article is part of a series called News & Trends.
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