Wijs is not aiming at the general public
The fact that the general public is not familiar with Wijs is not that serious, says Chief Networking Officer Ilse Jansoone - 'a.k.a. HR Director' advocates clarity in her e-mails. "We are a B2B brand and aim to be top of mind in the world of the media and digital communication. We make sure that we have a certain image in that community, for example that our building reflects our DNA. Based on that, people come to us - as a job applicant, potential customer, freelancer or whatever. Wijs is a brand, and we want to communicate as transparently as possible, so that all target groups are stimulated to work with us."
"We have turned our company inside out, and are showing very transparently who we are. It works: when people apply for a job, I don't have to give them a presentation of Wijs" - Ilse Jansoone, Chief Networking Officer at Wijs
How do they draw attention to themselves among potential employees? "As our CEO Bart De Waele says: We have turned our company inside out, and are showing very transparently who we are. It works: when people apply for a job, I don't have to give them a presentation of Wijs".
Founder and CEO Bart De Waele is crucial in that. When Wijs had just got going - under the Netlash name - he was the face of the start-up that everyone else saw. Even today, he is the main ambassador for the company, who shares his know-how with everyone, says Ilse Jansoone. "People who apply to work here sometimes say "I heard Bart at a seminar". It is one of the reasons why they apply here."
"Our employees also play an important role", she continues. "They always support the signals that the company sends out and amplify them by re-tweeting, liking and sharing. Everyone is an ambassador."
Now that the company has around seventy employees, the challenge of conveying one brand to our target groups in an integrated narrative is growing, Ilse Jansoone acknowledges. "And then it is important for HR to keep paying sufficient attention to our employer brand."
For some job applicants, the cool, hip image that Wijs enjoys masks the fact that people here also have to work hard, the Chief Networking Officer continues. "Some applicants have a picture that is too optimistic. They have the feeling that everything is always pleasant here, although of course it is also an organization with stress and deadlines, which is what you find in any company."
"Nevertheless it is important to be transparent about that. Today, it is no longer possible to hide behind an incorrect image that will soon be dispelled once somebody joins. The more transparent you are, the more people are able to make an informed decision - bearing in mind the disadvantages.
So the communication has to run in parallel with the changes behind the scenes. "Our customer target group is changing, with larger companies that have different expectations of our services, as well as of their contacts in our company. Today, we also need people who are not in their mid-twenties any more, and have quite a few grey hairs. Our young, hip image was rather too explicit for attracting people with a degree of seniority. We adjusted our employer branding communication and are allowing it to evolve with the maturity of the brand, with our market communication leading the way."