At a glance
HollyFrontier had an identity crisis: as a patchwork of individual brands, they struggled with attracting talent to their overarching company.
Wicresoft gathered qualitative and quantitative data to help define HollyFrontier's employer brand, featuring what made them a great place to work.
Uncovering and deploying a cohesive employer brand has enabled HollyFrontier to attract top-tier talent and compete with major industry players.
Wicresoft partnered with HollyFrontier to "refine" their employer brand.
HollyFrontier is an independent petroleum refiner that produces high-value light products such as gasoline, diesel fuel, jet fuel, specialty lubricant products, as well as specialty and modified asphalt.
HollyFrontier, a Fortune 500 company, has been expanding rapidly through organic growth and acquisitions. However, despite this growth, their talent acquisition team was facing a major challenge –no one knew who they were.
With locations all over the world, they flourished. However, as a result, the company was defined by a patchwork of many individual brands— each site with its own logo and each recruiter with their own pitch.
Although HollyFrontier had a general idea of the major advantages of working at the company, they never went through the exercise of understanding exactly why people make the decision to work there or why they decide to stay. As a result, they weren’t attracting candidates who matched their company’s needs and culture.
HollyFrontier partnered with Wicresoft as part of their initiative to bring its brand under one umbrella that accurately and authentically represented its diverse locations and personalities in order to attract and retain the best candidates for their organization.
Although company leadership acknowledged the need for such an initiative from the start, the real “lightbulb moment” came when we presented our competitive analysis and compared their website to those of their competitors.
The problem was not that they were failing to keep up with the industry. In fact, their website looked nearly identical to their competitors. The real problem was that they were failing to stand out from the crowd.
We demonstrated how Wicresoft could help them take advantage of the overall stagnation in the industry to set themselves apart as leaders within an otherwise homogenous industry by creating an authentic and impactful employer brand. And, to do that, they would need real stories from real people within their company.
In order to get the most accurate information possible to shape an employer brand, you need to hear from people at every level of an organization, and that’s just what we did. Traveling to 5 different locations across the U.S. and Canada, Wicresoft conducted focus groups and one-on-one interviews with employees and members of the company’s leadership team. We met with a diverse group of people—from boomerang employees and new hires to company veterans. We also gathered quantitative data from existing assets, such as surveys and questionnaires.
These employees were hungry to tell their stories and excited to see how their ideas would shape the company. HollyFrontier made a special effort to show its appreciation to these employees, and it was rewarded with enthusiastic buy-in from participants. Even with the great diversity of people presented in our discussions, there was a consistent message and energy to each site we visited.
“Those messages that you were able to craft from the feedback…hit a nerve with me. It not only made me realize that’s why other people are here… but why I wanted to be here and what attracted me to this organization.”
— Tara Owens, Director of Talent Acquisition & Talent Management at HollyFrontier
In all of our focus group discussions, four keywords kept popping up — safety, integrity, teamwork, and ownership.
These are the values that employees experience in their workplace, and these are the elements that would become the core of the company's recruitment marketing strategy.
As their website reads, “Safety is first. We care about our people and work tirelessly to make sure they return home safely every day. Everything we do is done with integrity. We encourage growth and exciting possibilities by championing a culture of teamwork and ownership.”
Currently, our client is working to incorporate their new employer branding messaging into their larger recruitment strategy. Everything from how they market their benefits package to the questions they ask in their interviews is now defined by a uniform employer brand.
HollyFrontier is also training recruiters to understand exactly what will make a candidate successful at the company and how to appeal to those ideal candidates. Providing a more defined structure to the recruiting, this employer brand ensures that, at every touchpoint, candidates have a positive experience and are being given a cohesive and consistent message.
“It’s hard when you’re a smaller company,” Tara says, “because you look around and you’re like, ‘Gosh, how do we get to the place where some of these bigger fish are?’...But a lot of times the people who are working at those companies won’t fit here, nor would some of our employees fit there. So, it’s about finding that person who works well in our environment and wants to be a part of what we have to offer.” In this way, HollyFrontier’s renewed employer brand will ensure the company is no longer a well-kept secret but rather a leading voice that attracts top industry talent and brings lasting value for years to come.
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