The Office of Personnel Management needed an employer brand for the Department of Homeland Security that would establish a unique, focused identity for the organization that would effectively connected its current and future workforce through all corporate communications and recruitment materials. Sage was tasked by the Office of Personnel Management with creating a single brand for the DHS—one that would unite the many agencies inside the organization and present the organization to the outside world as a single entity with a single mission: to protect the United States of America.
From its very beginnings, DHS faced enormous challenges in developing an employer brand. Many federal agencies were brought together under one roof for the first time, with varying policies and work environments. As a result, employees tended to retain their identity with their previous departments. Potential employees are reminded daily, through national alerts of DHS origin, of the stress that could be associated with working at the agency. DHS needed a new employer brand that would help it to attract and retain the right people with the right skills.
To encourage current and prospective employees to consider themselves an integral part of DHS by developing a brand that defines the department’s mission and strengthens internal unity and pride.
Sage facilitated a messaging workshop with DHS stakeholders. Participants included DHS employees, managers, subject matter experts and new hires. Through this methodology, Sage identified the unique strengths of the organization such as: its culture, mission and objective, duties and responsibilities of primary occupations, benefits, and family-friendly policies.
Based on the results of this process and other stakeholder interviews, Sage crafted the tagline: “America’s Goal. Our Mission. Work with the Best.” The agency then established and expanded the employer brand in multiple venues through the use of key messaging, color palette and imagery. Throughout this effort, Sage employed black and white photography to give the supporting products the same sense of urgency and immediacy most individuals get from news photos.
The agency implemented the new brand identity through a wide variety of marketing communication tools, including an employer portfolio and 13 component slipsheets for recruitment events. These slipsheets provided detailed information on individual departments (i.e. Customs and Border Patrol) while at the same time reinforcing the message that they were each a vital part of the Department of Homeland Security. Sage also designed a tabletop booth for use at the recruitment events.
Other tools currently in development to support the DHS brand include a recruitment video, an interactive CD, and an employment Web page.
Since the employer brand was implemented, the many smaller organizations that make up the Department of Homeland Security have begun using the overarching brand messaging instead of messaging reinforcing their previous identity as an independent entity. As a result, large parts of the DHS are increasing their identification with the department, both as individuals and organizations.