#DisruptHRTO is happening tonight at MaRS in downtown Toronto. Ahead of the big event, we got a chance to chat with one of the amazing speakers, Elizabeth Williams.
Elizabeth is an award-winning Toronto-based brand and communications expert who helps organizations have better conversations with customers, prospects, employees and shareholders. She writes the syndicated BizMarketer blog, and is a frequent contributor to industry conferences and publications.
Tell Us About Yourself – Your Career History and How You Came to Be in Your Current Role
I’ve been a marketing and communications professional for more than 20 years, mostly in the business-to-business space (B2B). I’ve worked for many of Canada’s big brands including Aon, BMO and Rogers.
I joined ADP Canada in 2012 to lead their brand and communications teams. In that time I have become increasingly interested in the intersection of HR and marketing, specifically around how employee experience informs customer experience which informs brand experience and, ultimately makes or breaks the whole marketing equation.
Earlier this year, I decided to take that insight out on my own and I have since been consulting with big and small companies about employer brands, and how they are part of the broader conversation all organizations have with their stakeholders. I also do a lot of work with change communications.
What Does an Average Work Week Look Like For You?
As a consultant, there really isn’t such a thing as “average”. In between working on-site with clients, giving talks to executive teams and trying to build my business, I’m doing a lot of research into how marketing and HR need to spend more time together to build great brands and do something about the generally abysmal state of employee communications. I’m on-site with a few clients most weeks, I do I try to have at least two or three cups of coffee with smart HR and marketing leaders and I spend a lot of time wishing it was golf season.
What Motivated You Pursue a Speaking Opportunity at DisruptHR Toronto?
I really think HR people need a friendly kick in the rear to reach out to their friends in marketing. There’s a whole skillset there that they need to tap into, and it’s not the easiest conversation to start. Plus they promised me a doughnut.
What Will You be Speaking About at DisruptHR Toronto and What Inspired You to Choose this Topic?
I’m going to talk about how HR can make a business case for an employer brand that will get marketing onside, and help the leadership team understand why you need an employer brand.
What Impact Are You Hoping to Have with the Audience and the Greater HR & Talent Community?
I hope to change the conversation about employer brands from something “fluffy” and unnecessary to a strategic tool that drives measurable results such as improved corporate performance, lower cost to hire, better retention and a vast reduction in the theft of yoghurt from the fridge at work. I might have made that last thing up.
Are you Attending/Speaking at Any Other HR-Related Events in the Next 6-12 Months? If So Which Ones and Why?
Hoping to speak at other Disrupt events and at the Your Workplace conference in June in Toronto. I’ll be attending HRPA in January in Toronto, and catching some of the webinars on HR.com.