Helping the UK's most down-to-earth construction company reach new heights


Launching the VolkerWessels UK employer brand

A proud past and an exciting future

VolkerWessels UK, one the UK’s largest multidisciplinary engineering and construction contractors, approached us with a major challenge. As part of their goal of becoming their sector’s ‘employer of choice’, they needed us to help define their EVP and develop an attractive, distinctive employer brand.

Not only were they looking for a way to differentiate themselves and heighten their brand exposure, they also needed to represent all nine of their individual business units under one comprehensive employer brand umbrella which they could all get behind.

A big corporate with a family feel, VolkerWessels UK had always put their people first. With the success of the business going from strength to strength, it was imperative that they established an employer brand identity that would do them justice.

We needed to find a way to capture the essence of the business and share its unique vision. So, as always, we started by doing our research. Through a series of in-depth leadership interviews and business area focus groups, some themes emerged that began to hint at their true employer brand nature – entrepreneurial, family feel, grounded, ethical, non-hierarchical.

And we turned those themes into what became know as their ‘can do’ attributes:

  • Collaborative to the core
  • Always authentic
  • Naturally nurturing
  • Distinctly dependable
  • Open for originality

Employer brand proposition

Wish to? Want to? Can do. We make things happen here. By working together as partners and people, on individual paths towards united goals. We celebrate successes, we foster our strengths, we challenge one another, and we strive to win, together. Always with quality and integrity at heart. We’re growing, but we still want to keep it personal, keep it grounded. So we rely on genuine, authentic professionals to carry the torch. Those looking to do more but not lose touch with reality, to be part of something big and still stay grounded. To be part of a team but remain individual.

Working here means being a can do-er. A let’s make this happen person. It means being part of a family who will support you and encourage you to keep moving forward. There will be trials, there will be challenges, and there will be victories. If you’ve got the heart, we’ve got your back – and together, we’ve got this.

We provided an Employer Brand Toolkit containing a range of media layouts.

The creative used a ‘spliced’ concept – a unique device which would showcase VolkerWessels UK’s people alongside the projects they have contributed to, capturing the human side along with the aspirational. Its use was defined in the employer brand guidelines.

The pièce de résistance was our employer brand essence video, and accompanying employee bio videos, which used iconic drone footage to really capture the proposition and showcase their new identity.

This became the focal point of the new careers site, and upon launch, has been widely distributed and shared across the company’s social media sites.

One final word from the client

Unlike generalist design or branding agencies, SMRS have a strong background, expertise and knowledge of creating employer brands. As a result, we can be confident that our authentic employer brand is underpinned by robust research and messaging, an understanding of its impact on each stage of the candidate lifecycle, and that best practice has been employed in its development.”

At the end of a long and thorough process, we are now pleased to have a series of videos, brand guidelines and a flexible toolkit of assets that will serve us well as we work to continue to attract and retain the best industry talent going forward.”

Hilary Kendrick, Head of Corporate Communications