In an exclusive interview with Manage HR magazine, Lisa Bigazzi Tilt, founder and CEO of Full Tilt Consulting, shares how her company helps brands create and execute intentional, targeted brand communication strategies for both internal and external stakeholders. When employees understand, endorse, and feel connected to their company’s mission and principles, they succeed in achieving organizational goals and in promoting the brand to customers, prospects, and candidates.
How is your company uniquely positioned in the employer branding space?
For 16 years, Full Tilt Consulting has successfully positioned brands through external marketing communications. In those years, we have also observed and gained a clear understanding of companies’ needs for effective internal communications to support staffing, manage organizational change, and other people-focused functions. Building on that knowledge, we developed another division of our company called Full Tilt Engage to focus on improving and enhancing employee communications and employer branding.
The global pandemic has completely changed today’s business norms, with most companies supporting a hybrid or remote first workforce while managing through labor shortages and changing customer expectations. The need to more effectively communicate with employees to help them understand their value and purpose within their organization led to the rising importance of HR executives with titles like Chief Human Resources Officer, Chief People Officer and Chief Talent Officer.
As the communication conduit between a company’s leadership team and its employees, these talent management leaders and their teams rely on Full Tilt to help them strengthen and clarify messages so that the entire workforce receives them in ways that are both relevant and actionable. We also help people management teams dive deeper into creating communications strategies that inspire positivity and demonstrate each brand’s unique strengths. Our combined expertise in handling both internal and external marketing communications uniquely positions us to achieve outstanding and measurable results for our clients.
Who are your typical clients and what are some of the challenges you address for them?
We primarily serve mid-sized companies that are between $500 million and $10 billion in revenue; we call them “momentum organizations” because companies of this size generally are facing rapid growth, transitional change, M&A expansion, and merging cultures.
When such companies constantly grow via acquisition, they tend to have multiple misaligned parts that need to better complement each other. Coupled with that, these companies usually experience inconsistent internal communication arising from disparate and duplicated HR roles. For example, an HR department may have several specialty executives or business partners with particular subject matter expertise in compensation and benefits, learning and development, and recruitment/ talent acquisition. Apart from their varying responsibilities, their messaging also differs.
Multiply these business partners in terms of the number of acquisitions folded into the organization and you have a patchwork of dozens of messages going out to employees in any given week, causing confusion. Such companies need a team that combines and clarifies important messages and provides a coherent, consistent drumbeat of communication to their workforce, in ways that reach employees effectively. Full Tilt brings more transparency, equity, and balance by creating open lines of communication within organizations, no matter where their teams may be located.
Could you also explain what the typical queries from your clients are?
One of the critical success factors for an organization is its people – specifically how they attract and retain top talent. Depending on company needs, we work with internal teams to define employer brand and employee value proposition (EVP), revamp recruitment marketing strategies and materials, and help strengthen diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) strategies, which is also an important element of building a resilient, successful workforce.
Specific to recruitment marketing, we help clients define their candidate journey, identify melt through their ATS, and optimize the careers page on their corporate website, along with offering guidance about engaging with candidates, tapping into new talent pools, and leveraging the power of social media to stand out as an employer brand.
Since most of our clients are high growth, they often hire thousands of new employees to keep pace with their rapid growth. We support their high recruitment marketing demands while shoring up their internal communications to retain talent.
How would you define your client engagements and their outcomes?
Clients come to us seeking a knowledgeable outside resource to look at their culture holistically and with fresh eyes to really uncover what is special and intrinsic about their company. There is most often a need to bring clarity to their employer brand, helping articulate who they are, what they stand for, and why people stay. Our approach and perspective define and anchor those points.
But we don’t create an employer brand—that isn’t a role anyone can promise to do because a company already has a brand. It can’t be forced or dictated, but more uncovered, defined, and distilled into a unique value proposition. What our team does really well is analyze the good things that are already happening within the company and leverage them to support organizational goals. Often, these are very disparate things that are sprinkled throughout the organization in some way. We dive deep and pull out those aspects that are celebrated within a company’s existing culture and double down on that. In other words, we move those celebrated communications from chaos to clarity in service of a company’s vision.
At this point, could you shine a light on some of the other benefits that you bring to your clients?
Our company is extraordinarily unique because we can manage both internal and external communications for a client, which plays into our strength of bringing more consistency to the knowledge shared both inside and outside of a company. We aren’t always engaged to handle both, but we make sure that we work in full partnership with the in-house HR and marketing teams to align all efforts in communications.
Our company is extraordinarily unique because we can manage both internal and external communications for a client, which plays into our strength of bringing more consistency to the knowledge shared both inside and outside of a company
We utilize the strategies, messaging, and focus areas that a company is working on internally and mirror the same for their external communications, and vice versa. We combine the clout of human resources and influence of public relations to achieve business goals, and clients benefit from our broad and deep experience.
Please share a client success story to further substantiate the value proposition of Full Tilt.
One of our clients is an international manufacturing company with a multilingual workforce. When they engaged Full Tilt a few years ago, they had no consistency or clarity in how they wanted to communicate with their employees or what they wanted to say. Even the look and feel of the company branding was antiquated and uninteresting. We worked with their human resources and internal communications teams to create an HR brand, stood up reward/ recognition programs with appeal to a varied workforce—salary and hourly, and introduced various communications channels and modules to circulate important information in multiple languages.
In addition to improving the receptiveness of internal communications, our brand promotion strategies helped the company gain traction in the market, attracting attention from market analysts specifically, and earn deserving titles and awards. These strategies gave the company and its workforce a sense of pride within the manufacturing industry and generated positive results for recruitment and retention. Even today, we continue working with the client in new and exciting ways to bolster their employer brand messaging.
What would be your concluding note for our readers?
I have found that companies spend time and resources on the teams and initiatives that are the more obvious revenue drivers while not giving the same attention to the important business levers that are foundational to long-term success. Clarifying an employer brand and standing up a strong employee communications strategy are foundational focal points around any organization’s greatest advantage – your people. These programs attract and retain talent, reduce recruiting overhead, and bring more cohesion to a company’s culture through a common rally cry. The outcome and the rewards are well worth the investment of time and effort.