Building an innovative employer brand
Interview with Delta chief human resource officer - Mr. Charles Chen

Text by: BMD

Delta's successful employer branding has been widely recognized in recent years. Besides winning various awards including the First Prize in "Happy Workplace" from CommonWealth Magazine's Corporate Social Responsibility Awards in Taiwan, Delta has also received numerous accolades as an employer brand from China and the rest of Asia. For this month's "Brand People", we will interview Delta's Chief Human Resource Officer, Mr. Charles Chen, who will be sharing his practices and experiences in building Delta's employer brand.

Embracing social communities and integrating campus resources
"Besides hard work, successful employer branding also relies on enhancing a company's corporate value as well as the collective efforts of various business divisions," said Chen humbly at the beginning of our interview. Recalling his experiences when he first assumed the position of Chief Human Resource Officer at the beginning of 2017, Chen commented that there were many doubts concerning internal employer branding, and he pondered over what to do. What were some of his management practices? Chen stated, "An employer brand takes time to build, so that it is more than just fame. It also encompasses reputation and loyalty." After reorganizing the HR team in 2017, many new employees were recruited, and a Global Talent Acquisition (GTA) team was formed to build campus relations, build social network interactions, and to formulate employer brand strategies, action plans, and social network standards. Based in Taiwan, these practices will also be extended to the rest of the world and modified to meet local needs. For instance, most of Delta's promotions in China are done on WeChat. In recent years, we have also achieved closer interactions with our target audience using TikTok. Alternatively, Delta flexibly uses platforms including LINE, Facebook, and Instagram in Thailand. E-newsletters, loaded with enriched content and videos are also used to disseminate information and to reach more target audiences. Recently, YouTube content management has also been used for the Taiwanese market. Besides cultivating virtual social media, the HR team also strives to develop school campuses. Delta has set up joint R&D centers with leading universities and colleges including NTU, NTHU, NCKU, NTUST, and NTUT, as well as incubated more than 50 Masters and Ph.D. holders by collaborating with 22 professors. A dedicated Delta program has also been set up in Taiwan and India. Delta's employer branding is continuously reinforced through online merge offline (OMO) methods.

The Chief HR Officer (fifth from the right) leads Delta's HR team to build an innovative employer brand step by step

Emphasis on employers' perception and experience
Delta's employer brand can be characterized as "touching people's hearts with its authenticity and uniqueness while being driven by employee experiences". Chen commented, "Employee experience is the core to developing our employer brand. We treat employees with sincerity and strive to design every employee touchpoint so that employees can all perceive our thoughtfulness." The Chief HR Officer also used employee travel as an example: the HR team organized a railway trip by chartering a Taiwan Railway train, and a violinist was asked to play in the train cabin. By swapping traditional bus tours with this in-depth railway trip, employees were treated to a memorable and authentic experience that catered to all their five senses. When COVID-19 struck in 2021, the HR team immediately responded digitally by transforming the trip into a cloud-based trip, in which employees could freely explore the beauty of Taiwan on screen. The Chief HR Officer explained that creating "positive reinforcement" is an important part of building the employee experience. "By warming the hearts of employees, we can build employee loyalty and generate more positive, enthusiastic strength and impact on those around us, which in turn will attract more engagement and build cohesion."

Chief HR Officer (fifth from the left) enthusiastically participated in the marathon and joined Delta employees for a group shot before the race.

The 2019 Delta railway tour, in which more than 400 employees and their family members traveled throughout Taiwan by 8 Taiwan Railway trains.

Enhancing employee brand benefits through building cohesion and attraction
As for management performance of building an employee brand, Chen mentioned that the key was to "generate internal cohesion and formulate external attraction". "Internal cohesion" refers to understanding where improvements are needed internally and enhancing relevant skills by participating in external awards and competitions. Media exposure after winning awards can also prompt employees to understand that Delta is an excellent company to work for and it builds their cohesion with Delta. Employees would then become Delta's brand representatives. "External attraction" refers to managing employer branding, thereby making it easier to attract our ideal workforce. According to the annual "Most Attractive Employer" survey from Cheers magazine, Delta's ranking has dramatically increased over the past few years, jumping from No. 56 in 2017 and No. 27 in 2018, to No. 13 to 2019 and 2020 (No. 3 in the technology and manufacturing industry), and finally reaching No. 11 in 2021 (No. 3 in the technology and manufacturing industry). Besides building an ideal employer brand image in our target group, the number of resumes from job seekers have also dramatically increased accordingly. Many applicants already possess a fairly in-depth knowledge of Delta before their interviews and also identified with our vision and objectives. These are all significant results achieved from employer brand management. By using data analysis as a basis, the HR team obtains insights to the career needs and recruitment preferences of our target audience. In addition, by utilizing innovative technologies including big data and artificial intelligence (AI), employer brand management can become more precise and more intelligent.

Delta was awarded with a Gold Medal for Happy Workplace Awards in 2020 to honor its long-term commitment to building an outstanding workplace environment, and for persisting in its goals and fulfilling its corporate responsibilities in spite of the ranging pandemic and drastic changes in the world.

Develop your future sustainably at Delta
As the interview ended, Chen wished to encourage everyone to "Develop your future sustainably at Delta!" This is the employee brand event that Delta's Brand Management Division and HR team jointly organized at the beginning of this year. Delta continues to organize the event on campuses and social communities. Promotions are made on the recruitment platform in Taiwan, on Delta Career Facebook page and LinkedIn, and even on our Facebook page in Thailand and LinkedIn in Europe. "Develop your future sustainably at Delta" is more than just a slogan, it also reiterates Delta's core business philosophy, sustainability, and encourages everyone to pursue constant innovation and continuous learning, as well as to work with the goal of helping others to develop a more sustainable and better future!

Having joined Delta in 1995 and having served in various positions including Chief of HR in Delta China and Chief of HR in Delta SEA, Chen shares his thoughts and feedback over the years, "Always strive to revolutionize your own mindset and to never give up." Do not fret in the face of adversity at work, maintain sensitivity and passion, and step-by-step, you can build your own path by constantly pursuing a better version of yourself!

Online opening ceremony to the 2021 Delta summer internship program; the Chief HR Officer encouraged students to "sustainably develop their future at Delta"