EMPLOYER BRANDING: BECOMING ACQUAINTED WITH PIRELLI

For quite some time now, Pirelli has been dedicating specific resources to employer branding activities, inasmuch as it believes it is crucial to present itself on the market as the employer of choice. It does so by communicating its characteristic traits outside the Company (e.g. internationality, meritocracy, stimulating and dynamic work environment, training and growth paths for young people and technological innovation), and spotlighting the work opportunities dedicated to new university graduates. Naturally, this is not done only on the Italian market but also globally. Considering only the countries where Pirelli has a presence with one or more production plants in Europe, the United States, South America, the Middle East, Africa, Russia and Asia Pacific, about 180 events/projects/occasions to meet were organised in 2013, where the Company promoted its own employer branding initiatives.

Special mention must be made of Brazil which, thanks to an enthusiastic and motivated HR team, has managed to achieve excellent results through its employer branding activities. It is worth mentioning that Pirelli Brazil had contacts with about 44,000 students in 2013 alone. About 4,000 persons applied for 100 internship positions offered in Brazil. A dedicated page was created on Facebook, where the Pirelli Brazil interns could share their experience at the Company, generating a significant virtual word of mouth process and causing the number of fans of this page to grow significantly. The careers sections on the Pirelli Brazil website was also made more visible and functional – through creation of the Work With Us channel – which led to the systematic and organised collection of curricula vitae. All of this has allowed Pirelli Brazil to draw on a greater number of talents wishing to join the Company, while also making the percentage of new university graduates hired by the Company after their 2013 internship rise to 55%, one of the best levels achieved in Brazil over the last several years.

In regard to the projects pursued at headquarters, they may be divided between several which can be defined as ongoing (i.e. which, on the basis of valid, justified reasons, are continued from year to year), and others that arise from particular or contingent opportunities or needs.

The former include all the activities that Pirelli operates in collaboration with its own university partners: Polytechnic of Milan, Polytechnic of Turin, the Bocconi University, the Catholic University of Milan, the University of Florence and the University of Turin (these universities are considered partners both on account of the type of students that they have – principally economists and engineers – and because they are physically located close to Pirelli sites in Italy). With these institutions, Pirelli has organised Career Day, panel discussions, job fairs, corporate presentations and occasions for meeting students directly at the firm so that they can “touch our company with their own hand”.

Also within the framework of these ongoing activities, it is worth mentioning the presence of Pirelli on the web through the publication of its company profile and job want ads on targeted sites: LinkedIn and Monster. In regard to Linkedin, between June 2012 and December 2013 our followers rose from 9,000 to 64,000, which means that they grew at a rate of more than 700%. At the time this report was written, Pirelli had the greatest number of followers amongst its leading competitors. Moreover, two more pages were created, one dedicated to new university graduates and the other to PZero.

Monster remains one of the principal channels for hiring new university graduates, together with Job Meeting and Job Advisor (both were new entries in 2013).

Visibility and promotion through universities and a significant web presence have enabled the Company to carry forward its new university graduate search and hiring process with success. A total of 23,311 persons applied for 42 internships offered in Italy over the course of the year (for a similar number of positions, there were 14,267 candidates in 2012 and 1,470 in 2011). Sixtyfive assessment sessions were held for a total of 611 interviewed candidates. Of these 601, 192 candidates proceeded from the first step (the assessment centre) to the second selection step. The final 42 new interns were chosen from that second group.

Aside from these activities, mentioned should also be made of other projects that were successfully carried out in 2013, including:

  • Bocconi Merit Award: to give support to worthy young people worldwide, Pirelli decided to collaborate with the Bocconi Foundation and make its own contribution to scholarships for particularly outstanding youths, with donations being made in both 2013 and 2014 (for more information, see: www.unibocconi.eu).
  • Leonardo Mobility Project: in 2013 Pirelli participated in an initiative promoted by AIDP (Italian Association of Human Resources Directors), which involved several Italian companies that offered to host one or more HR professionals from Romania at their Human Resources Department. More specifically, Pirelli hosted two persons from medium-large Romanian companies and assigned a project to each of them, to be developed and completed over the course of two weeks, one in the organisational unit and the other in the ambit of training unit. At the end of the two weeks, the projects were presented to the heads of the two units. On the one hand, the result was useful for Pirelli, which was able to “exploit” the new and international point of view of the two professionals. On the other hand, the two hosted individuals acquired training that allowed them to become more familiar with a structured multinational organisation.
  • HRC Talent Days: In collaboration with the HR Community, Pirelli sponsored an orientation day aimed at young university graduates, who were thus able to profit from the practical knowledge of experienced company managers at both Pirelli and other host companies. Aside from having sponsored, organised and hosted an orientation day with the participation of about 50 youths and eight testimonial companies, Pirelli was also testimonial during other orientation days held at other companies. Some of the topics that were addressed included: how to write a curriculum vitae; how to handle a job interview; work and social networks; the most requested professional specialities; selfmarketing: promoting “myself as the product”; job seeking methods; specialised search portals. The response of the youths participating through HRC was quite positive, and the organisers said that they were very proud to have contributed to clarifying their ideas and guiding the choices of young people who are finding their way around the complicated job world for the first time. Participation at this event gave the participating Pirelli representatives the HRC CSR Ambassador award “for its exquisite cooperation, invaluable participation in the HRC Talent Days project, and important contribution made to the professional orientation of our country’s youths”.

The work accomplished and commitment lavished on employer branding issues earned Pirelli recognition by Universum, the global leader in employer branding solutions. Its mission is to promote and improve communication between students seeking work and and the companies that want to recruit them. In 2013 Pirelli was awarded for the fastest and most significant growth in the ranking of top employers from one year to the next. This recognition motivates Pirelli to stay the course, well aware of the value that persons have in the organisation and thus the importance of being recognised more and more as an employer of choice.