Before we met the team at Mozilla, employer branding hadn’t been a high priority. Instead, they relied on their loyal fanbase in the open-source engineering community to help them grow. But they knew they had a broader story to tell—and they’d just been given new headcount goals that were significantly higher than anything they’d faced before.
Miki Johnson, Job Portraits Cofounder: Because Job Portraits interacts with so many engineers in the startup world, I’d certainly heard about Mozilla—that they’re very mission-driven and known as a wonderful employer. But outside a tight-knit engineering community, many people didn’t know their name or that they build Firefox.
We were adding technical roles, but also growing in Sales and Product, and we’d never messaged to those candidates before. We weren’t making the case for why a salesperson should join Mozilla.
Miki: Even a lot of engineers who knew the company were only familiar with Firefox. They didn’t realize Mozilla is the birthplace of Rust, or know about all the fascinating work the team is doing with emerging technologies.
Mardi: Job Portraits was a nice culture match for us. We could tell they were looking for the right clients, not just any clients. And there is a real humanity to the team, which is surprisingly rare.
Diane: They’re so good at dealing with stakeholders and making people comfortable. Our team trusts them.
They’re also scrappy. Structured, but not rigid. There’s a bias for action and getting things out the door.
Miki: I felt an immediate rapport with Mardi, Diane, and the rest of the team. They’re kind, generous, and funny. They understand the value of what we do. And they’re honest—no B.S.
What we did
Miki: All of our Employer Value Proposition, or EVP, projects start with an audit. We do competitor analysis and look at the top 10 places you show up online, from your careers page to social media.
We also use a UX research tool to interview candidates in key segments to understand what they think of the current employer brand. We get their feedback on careers pages, job descriptions, and social media accounts.
Diane: It’s one thing to reference generic industry blog posts about what candidates might want. Having access to primary research based on direct candidate feedback about Mozilla took things to another level.
Miki: We also have conversations with company leadership, hiring managers, and ICs to understand why they joined, why they stay, and what sets the company apart. And we get aligned with marketing, brand, and talent acquisition strategies.
Diane: We were setting up a ton of interviews, but the process felt really smooth. Natasha managed logistics on the Job Portraits side and was super-efficient.
Miki: When the research is done, we roll it up into an overview that includes an EVP for the whole company as well as specific segments. We also provide opportunities for growth, ideas for content to bring the EVPs to life, and a distribution strategy.
Diane: Seeing our EVPs for the first time felt like opening a birthday present!
Mardi: It was clear Job Portraits understood Mozilla, and having a third party reflect our culture back to us was powerful.
Diane: When we shared the EVPs with the rest of the team, Mitchell Baker, our executive chairwoman, said, “This sounds like Mozilla.” It was the utmost validation to have our founder say this.
Mardi: We decided to move forward with content production, and Job Portraits was the easy choice.
Miki: Part of our work was about surfacing existing content, getting it on the careers page and into job descriptions—and into recruiters’ hands. For instance, Mozilla had thousands of photos that weren’t being fully utilized. We edited, tagged, and organized them into a photo library.
We also built one-pagers for recruiting events, helped with the copywriting on the careers page, and wrote content designed to highlight the EVPs—including a story on remote workers; a story on “Project Street View,” which showed Mozilla’s care for their employees and willingness to tackle hard problems; and profiles of twomembers of the team.
Diane: We get a lot of internal engagement from the stories, and the Talent Acquisition team loves them. It seems that employees do, too, since they have tweeted and shared them, which is a big help in amplifying our message.
Mardi: We’re just scratching the surface. Now we need to activate the work we’ve been doing—find other ways to use this content and measure the impact.
Miki: We’re planning more stories for next year, as well as social media support. We’re excited to help on that front, because we know the value of this kind of content goes through the roof when we can get it in front of the right people.
Diane: We’ve built the framework. The engine is in the car. Now we just have to add some gas.