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Overhauling an Old Brand

November 6, 2007
Related Topics: Contingent Staffing, Strategic Planning, Featured Article
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Last year, 145-year-old Union Pacific decided it needed to revamp its brand to compete for talent inside and out of the railroad industry.

    "We put a lot of emphasis on the field positions—the people who are out running the trains, replacing the ties and so on," explains Dina Tilgner, Union Pacific's director of recruitment. "We made an effort to understand the folks who've been good hires over the past three to five years—what their demographic characteristics are, what kind of attributes they have, what they like to do in their free time, what motivates them."

    Focus group research helped Union Pacific identify the type of individuals it needed to recruit. "These are tough jobs, with lots of hard work and long hours," Tilgner explains. "We need people who are motivated by being able to see the fruits of their labor. At the end of the day, you know if the train has departed or arrived on time."

    To appeal to them, Union Pacific streamed video in which employees described their work and the satisfaction of meeting day-to-day challenges. Union Pacific also included a map graphic so prospective applicants could see job openings in the part of the country where they wanted to live. "We wanted to make it easy for them to see where they could fit in," Tilgner says.

    To drive traffic to its employment Web site, Union Pacific developed complementary displays, brochures and giveaways for college job fairs. "Everything has the same look and feel, the same images," Tilgner says. "That way, they all feed off each other."

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Workforce Management, October 22, 2007, p. 42 -- Subscribe Now!

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