Technique 4 minutes, 52 second read Mark Johnson, Editor, Just.Marketing
Infosys, a US$12.6bn digital services and consulting company, was voted the world’s third ‘best-regarded’ company by Forbes magazine last year. With such a glowing reputation it might seem that recruitment would pose few challenges. But competing for talent in a sector that includes giants such as McKinsey, Accenture, Deloitte and KPMG, its smaller, management consultancy arm, Infosys Consulting, has a mountain to climb.
The market-leading pay and incentives packages offered by its rivals pose one challenge. The digital skills gap, which in markets like the UK is estimated to cost companies £63 billion a year, poses another.
But Infosys Consulting Chief Marketing Officer Chris Fiorillo has been tackling these significant obstacles with a successful thought leadership and content marketing strategy that has reduced time-to-hire, reduced staff churn and improved employee engagement.
Talent attracted to the brand
Chris says, “We’re positioned as a challenger brand to McKinsey, so I’m acutely aware of the need to position the firm in a way that captures attention and engages people. People are your product in the services sector.”
The strategy has reduced time-to-hire in the past two years from an average of three months to just two or three weeks. Retention over the same period has been almost 100% with top-performing staff while annualised attrition in the UK hovers below 10% – at or near industry best.
“We can attribute a significant piece of this, especially the upstream parts, to a stronger brand, better reputation in the market, and a clear value proposition,” says Chris.
Created over the last two years, the content created by the Marketing team is housed on the company’s consulting-specific hub of stories and thought leadership www.infosysconsultinginsights.com.
Content is regularly pushed out through networks such as Twitter and LinkedIn – the latter being a key amplification channel for Infosys Consulting. Importantly, Chris considers every single piece of content for LinkedIn in a shortened version such as a video, blog post or banner.
This enables Infosys to reach its network of followers and target C-level decision makers, as well as reach employees with its thought leadership and great ideas. The focus is on corporate success stories.
“As the editor-in-chief of our digital properties, I take a very proactive role in shaping all content, making sure it’s relevant and engaging, and most importantly unique. This is really my best set of criteria to decide what to take forward,” he says.
Being authentic is key
One of the first challenges the hub was created to address was the struggle to attract talent of the right calibre. So content is designed to explain the brand, corporate capabilities, show that working at the company involves doing “interesting things” and in doing so shape the identity of the company in a fiercely competitive recruitment market.
“As a consulting brand, it’s so important that we can tell cool, unique success stories that give people the opportunity to contribute. It shows that we have many platforms for personal development and it plays a key role in recruitment,” says Chris.
Content strategy and tone have been considered carefully. In essence, the content aims to let the results do the talking on areas of expertise ranging from changes in European banking payment services to ways of improving the use of data.
“The things you’re able to show and the great stories and value benefits you can share will, in time, sell themselves. So the tone has to be authentic. That’s really important.
“In a lot of places, thought leadership and content marketing is hard-hitting and ‘salesy’. Instead, we talk about what we genuinely did for a client – the solution we developed and how we solved a client’s problem. These are the centrepiece of the site.”
Calls to action are usually light-touch to maintain authenticity of tone, usually in the form of an expert to contact for more information.
Making the talent shine
Crucially, from a recruitment and employer brand perspective, the content explains the solution but is always crafted to highlight the consultants involved.
“It’s about positioning the people, partners and senior consultants – the people doing the commercial pursuits, because they are the thought leaders.”
Although he concedes content marketing is rarely the reason a client signs a typical seven-figure contract, it does support client engagement in other ways, such as closing deals.
“No client will buy from us based on content alone. C-level decision makers are really hard to reach so content has to be unique and interesting to reach them. But it can be used to authenticate a pitch or proposal.”
Experience at the company has also shown that it helps to improve client engagement.
Chris says, “All of the people who engage with clients can show this content to them and it helps to position our consultants to the clients. If they are in a meeting, for example, and we’ve just published a story about the consultant, it also builds their credibility in the meeting.”
Do we belong here?
With a workforce of young analysts that is roughly 50% digital native, digital content has proven invaluable in boosting employee engagement. Decentralized offices in which consultants spend a lot of time with clients and meeting rarely with colleagues can undermine team culture. But the hub is helping to counteract that and build a sense of belonging in the firm.
“When we started, the content was generated entirely by us. But many of our consultants in practices across the world now come to us with ideas. They want to contribute. Having something published gives them a sense of belonging and they can see that it helps them stand out in the firm.”
So although the end goal of the content was client engagement initially, it has inspired the workforce in many other ways.