“Short-schooled or not, at bpost everyone is given opportunities”
How attractive is bpost as an employer? How does bpost find talented people? And especially: how does bpost deal with a tight labour market, in a sector that is transforming at the speed of light? We ask Lien Ardies, project manager for employer branding at bpost.
As one of the Belgium’s largest employers, bpost plays an important role in society. Is that an important attraction factor for candidates?
‘Absolutely. Our postmen – literally – bring the news. But we also deliver added value in sorting centres, post offices and head office – from the smallest stamp to the largest parcel. That impact appeals to our candidates.”
How would you describe bpost as an employer?
“We are an inclusive employer and encourage diversity. At bpost everyone who wants it is given opportunities and the space to grow, everyone has a place. In addition, in 2019 we focused on our values as an employer. More than ever, the employee is key. We want our employees to remain enthusiastic and show that together we play a major role in society.”
How does bpost express that in its employer branding?
“Our story is a we-story, because bpost is a brand we are all proud of. Moreover, we notice that our external reputation as an employer is growing stronger. We distinguish four important target groups on the labour market: starters and trainees, specialists for our head office, people who ensure behind the scenes that all shipments arrive in the right place on time and people who are closer to customers such as the postman or the post office employee. Every group has specific needs. That is why we align our approach with the target public.”
What does that mean in concrete terms?
“We look for the preferred channels of potential employees and only deliver messages that interest them. Experience and research thought us what drives them to apply for a job and stay with bpost. We build our segmented approach based on that. We appeal to a potential postman with assets such as freedom and working outside, a young starter with innovation and the opportunity to do great things. There is one common thread: we all go for a positive impact on society.”
Do bpost’s employees contribute to the its employer brand?
“They certainly do. Our employees are even our most important target group. We only succeed if we get them to believe in our story and if they want to tell their own story. We have around 26,000 employees in Belgium, and they are all bpost ambassadors in their own way. If only by sharing their experiences with friends and family.”
What kind of opportunities are given at bpost employees?
“We are the first employer for short-schooled people. That applies to 75 percent of our employees. And people who have missed opportunities get the chance to give shape to their ambitions. We are very innovative in that field: employees can obtain their high school diploma through us, give a completely new turn to their career, try new things and refine their talents. All of it through on-the-job coaching, self-study and training.”
What kind of initiatives have you created?
“We offer traineeships to our office starters. Graduates can participate in different projects in different departments during a two year period. They learn quickly, discover the diversity of our company and improve their language skills. We created a solid package of growth initiatives for every target group.”
Also for employees without a diploma?
‘Indeed. With FutureMe, we give them a chance to grow. It’s a two-, two-and-a-half-year with a mix of general and specific subjects. Employees study in their free time, both online and in the classroom. We look for the best school and pay all costs. This can be quite intensive for those employees. We give them the key. It’s up to them to open the door.”
Are there also people without a diploma who want to continue growing?
“Yes! They can sign an IVT contract (an individual vocational training contract). It is ideal for learning the business. When you sign an IVT with us, you always have a supervisor who will guide you. The focus is on learning and mastering the language, to limit the uncertainty factor at the start of your career.”
Why are all these options so important for bpost?
“We are convinced that we will all win if our employees can show the best version of themselves. This includes many opportunities, contemporary employment conditions, and strong internal mobility to grow in all possible directions. The world and our sector may be changing fast but we give our employees a certain peace of mind: bpost is there for you, your job happiness and your well-being.”