Celebrating Success: Magnet Awards 2024 Winners Shine Bright in Employer Branding Excellence

Magnet Awards 2024 Winners are here!

In the exciting world of employer branding, where stories about finding great people and making workplaces awesome come together, a special moment shows us what’s possible. That moment is the Magnet Awards 2024.

When we were networking with people in the employer branding space last week at the Magnet Awards 2024, it wasn’t once or twice mentioned how important it is to have this employer branding community in Finland.

I could not agree more.

I started to build and develop the unexisting employer branding domain in Finland in 2010, and for the longest time, I was the odd loner. To me personally, seeing such a buzzing community as it is today makes my heart so warm.

What are the Magnet Employer Branding Awards?

The Magnet Awards aren’t just about fancy prizes; they’re about cheering on new ideas, hard work, and doing things well in the Finnish employer branding community. Awards like these are like the Northern Star in the night sky, guiding us to a future where every company cares about its people, helps them grow, and shares the incredible growth and development stories of their people with others.

If these awards are unbeknown to you, this is, as are the descriptions of each award, a direct copy from the Magnet Awards Finland website:

The Magnet Employer Branding Awards is a competition about creativity, communication, strategy, and impact. The goal is to celebrate the best employer brand initiatives and professionals in Finland and build a strong knowledge-sharing community. There are six different award categories employers may submit nominations for. The crowning will take place during an award ceremony where employer branding professionals and advocates will come together to share and learn from each other.

The purpose of these awards is to raise the awareness level of Employer Branding in Finland. By recognizing forerunners, we believe it can impact the overall value of strong Employer Brands and therefore your competitive advantage in the market! 

For us employer branding professionals, the Magnet Awards mean much more than just getting a pat on the back. They prove that building employer brands, telling employer brand stories in captivating ways, being authentic and transparent with people, and always trying to do better can make a big difference.

Magnet Awards 2024 Winners Airbus Maiju with Emine
Airbus Finland’s Maiju Karppinen and Emine’s Nora Nykänen, with Emine founders

Emine’s Favourite Magnet Awards 2024 Winners

This year, we’re bursting with pride to announce some amazing wins.

First, our fantastic teammate Nora won the top prize as “Employer Branding Professional of the Year (Agency).”

She’s been working super hard to serve our clients and customers and consistently grow and develop as an employer branding professional.

Her win is a big high-five to us here at Emine, inspiring others to do great things, too.

But wait, there’s more good news!

Magnet Awards 2024 Winners Maiju Karppinen
Airbus Finland’s Maiju accepting the award for Creating an Employer Brand

Our pals at Airbus Finland grabbed the big prize for “Creating an Employer Brand.”

This win shows how, working together from the ground up to develop their employer brand based on our Magnetic Employer Branding Method™️, we’ve made their company a place where so many of their employees have already wanted to contribute their stories and experiences as Airbus Finland employees. Management has provided us with information to communicate their business transformation through employer branding content.

Furthermore, our weekly working buddy, Maiju Karppinen from Airbus Finland, was recognized as a finalist for the Employer Branding Professional of the Year (in-house) award.

Next, let’s not forget our buddies at Sweco Finland. They bagged the second spot for their “Best Employer Brand Campaign.” Our teamwork in telling everyone about their green projects has not only made people notice but also brought in talented folks who want to help out.

Magnet Awards 2024 Winners Finalist Sweco Finland with Susanna
Sweco Finland’s Minna-Liisa Nurmilaakso and Annamari Henno with Emine’s Susanna

These wins aren’t just about winning shiny trophies; they’re about sharing stories that matter, learning new stuff, and getting everyone excited about making their workplaces awesome.

All Magnet Awards 2024 Winners

Engaging Employee Advocacy Initiative

OP Financial Group with the Orange Wave campaign and the award presented by me, Susanna.

“This award honours those who understand that a company thrives not just through the voices of its leaders but also through the voices of every single employee. In our quest for the Engaging Employee Advocacy Initiative Award, we sought employee advocacy initiatives that spark and sustain conversations. The finalists in this category are LähiTapiola/LocalTapiola Group and OP ryhmä, OP Financial Group.

Imagine walking into this garden. Initially, only a few flowers bloom – these are our early advocates. But as the season progresses, every kind of flower bursts into life, each with its unique hue and fragrance.

This is the power of true employee advocacy: a diverse garden thriving with the colours and scents of every voice. This award celebrates not just engagement but a culture where every employee feels valued, heard, and integral to the company’s narrative.

The initiative that captivated us this year did something extraordinary. It wasn’t just about creating buzz; it was about creating a wave – an Orange Wave, to be precise. This vibrant, catchy campaign rolled through the company, bringing genuine reactions and a flood of video content that painted the workplace in bold, bright strokes of orange.

It was like watching a grey canvas come alive with colour, each brushstroke a story of engagement and pride. While the juries admired the campaign’s strategic alignment and creative push, they noted it as a budding garden of potential. It’s a program in its early days, eager to branch out into new waves and embrace an even broader spectrum of diversity. The promise of a lush, vibrant future was undeniable.

So, without further ado, I am pleased to present the Engaging Employee Advocacy Initiative Award to a group that has started to change the landscape of employee engagement with creativity and inclusivity. Congratulations, OP Financial Group, for your outstanding efforts and leading the charge with your inspiring Orange Wave.”

In this category, we’re looking for employee advocacy initiatives that have generated interest, participation, buzz, and continuous engagement over time, retention, and direct impact on the company’s personnel growth and employee pride. E.g. Ambassador programs, mentoring programs, referral programs, ERGs, communities of practice/interest, etc.

Wild Ideas

Sitowise One Potato at the Time, with the award presented by Tiina Rolig from Microsoft.

“It’s an honour to highlight the standout initiative in the Wild Ideas category. It is a campaign that has demonstrated the effectiveness of innovative communication in facilitating important organizational changes.

The campaign’s strengths lie in its unique and emotionally intelligent approach. Using humour and empathy to overcome internal resistance to change is simply a brilliant move. The strategy was notable for its clear articulation of business needs and the creative approach to addressing them.

It successfully engaged stakeholders, setting clear objectives and KPIs. The campaign’s creative flair, particularly its humorous take on overcoming resistance to change, has been both inspiring and cost-effective.

The potential cost of not transitioning smoothly to the new (ERP) system was wisely averted through this strategic initiative. As we acknowledge the success of this campaign, we also reflect on the valuable lessons it has imparted.

Change can be embraced with creativity and a touch of humour, making the process not just bearable but also enjoyable. Thank you to the team behind “One Potato at a Time” for their innovative contribution to the field of employer branding. The winner is Sitowise! Congratulations!”

This category is all about creativity, innovativeness, boldness, and thinking outside the box. We’re looking for employer brand activations that push the envelope e.g. campaigns, videos, events, guerilla marketing tactics, etc. This need to be differentiative and potentially something disruptive in your own industry.

Creating an Employer Brand

Magnet Awards 2024 Winners Airbus Finland

Our client, Airbus Defence and Space Finland, with the award presented by Christina Poulsen, Metso.

“I am honored to be here today and present you the best entries in Creating an Employer Brand -category. They are Airbus Defence and Space Oy and OP Financial Group.

The winner demonstrated a robust focus on employer branding goals and objectives tied directly to significant business impacts. Their objective for the project was not just an employer brand marketing goal but also an indication of the effective use of employer branding as a leadership tool.

The realistic brand value objectives brought tangible short-term business results and the clear and relevant KPIs further strengthened this strategy. The message was clear and engaging, sparking interest and leaving a strong impression. Their forward-looking approach to their employer branding journey is also praiseworthy. And the winner is… Airbus!”

This category is all about building the foundation for employer branding work. We are looking for those companies that have established an employer brand strategy with key focus areas, creating a clear employer value proposition (EVP) for their target talent segment, and having an actionable roadmap for EB activations in 2023.

Best Employer Brand Campaign (Brand Awareness)

Mehiläinen – with the award presented by Mikko Bäckström, Booming Strategies & Marketing and Kirsi Pihkanen, Jobly.

“The chosen winner in this category is a positive message of encouragement for students to choose their future professional path dedicated to caring for others. At the same time, it is a joyful celebration for those who have already chosen to do so and are embarking on a lifelong mission.

As we all know, the citizens of the world are getting older – some of us sooner and others later. And so, the general need for practical healthcare will be on the increase for decades to come. Despite that, the shortage of healthcare professionals has been an ongoing topic of discussion already for years.

And as we know from the news, every employer in the field faces challenges in attracting and keeping the current workforce. The messaging and visuals of this campaign treat genders, age groups, ethnicities, and languages with diversity and equity, and so this campaign has reached a wide spectrum of both potential and existing employees. In addition, it’s been able to raise both awareness and interest towards the occupation promoted. On top of that, it has increased the number of people choosing to become one. The award goes to Mehiläinen.”

In this category, we are looking for the best employer brand awareness campaign, which can promote your new EVP or career website, etc. It can also have a recruitment marketing aspect to it, but the primary target should be brand awareness. These are typically longer campaigns. We focus heavily on the campaign’s impact.

Employer Branding Professional of the Year (Agency)

Magnet Awards 2024 Winners Nora from Emine

Nora Nykänen, Employer Branding Agency Emine, with the award speech written by last year’s winner, a former employee of ours, Siiri Laaksonen and presented by Kersti Vannas from Instar.

“I’ve spent my whole EB career in agencies, and I can tell you, it’s a great way to see a lot of different things. You get to tackle various client challenges, which is super rewarding. On the other hand, it’s a smart choice for companies to team up with agency pros to tap into that broad experience and knowledge.

We had some fantastic professionals nominated this year, all of whom have done stellar work developing brand strategies, managing many employer branding projects, and leading the way with new ideas in our field.

This year’s winner has truly impressed our jury with their amazing employer branding skills. They’ve also been amazing at building strong, lasting relationships with their clients. They’ve turned initial projects into long-term successes built on trust, respect, and great results. Their dedication to keeping these partnerships going strong shows just how committed they are to making a real impact in EB.”

In this category, we’re looking for employer brand professionals, who do this as their primary focus area. They have extensive knowledge in EB, and a proven track record of developing the brand strategy, managing the entire employer branding palette of initiatives, and acting as a thought leader in the industry.

Employer Branding Professional of the Year (in-house)

Reetta Rautkivi, Mehiläinen, the award presented by Minea Leva, Nordea.

Reetta Rautkivi from Mehiläinen with Emine’s Susanna

“In today’s world, attracting and retaining talented people is crucial. It’s not just about looking good externally; it’s about creating a workplace where everyone feels valued and excited to be there.

This year, I’ve had the privilege of seeing firsthand how projects that focus on employees can make a big difference. What is common for all the nominees (Reetta Rautkivi, our customer; Maiju Karppinen from Airbus Finland; Erja Vilja from OP Financial Group; Anna Ahokas from Fortum, and Helidona Dehari from Nordea) in this category is that they are great at getting employees involved in their employer branding efforts.

They’ve been busy creating strategies and projects that really connect employees to the brands and come up with creative ideas together. But today’s winner has gone above and beyond.

The winner of this category has shown exceptional leadership. Under her guidance, many employees have shared their personal stories, contributing to the development of an authentic employer brand. I would say that dedication to involving employees has been truly inspiring. The company has also implemented innovative strategies that seamlessly integrate employer branding into customer marketing.”

In this category, we’re looking for employer brand professionals, who do this as their primary focus area. They have extensive knowledge in EB, and a proven track record of developing the brand strategy, managing the entire employer branding palette of initiatives, and acting as a thought leader in the industry.

Grand Prix – Most Magnetic Employer Brand

Mehiläinen – with the award presented by Janne Järvinen, Nitor, last year’s winner of the Grand Prix award.

“This event has shown us a wide range of creativity and commitment to Employer Branding across Finland. Congratulations to all the nominees and winners of today!

Aristotle once said, “Excellence is not an act but a habit.”

As we, the jury, decided who should receive the Grand Prix trophy this year, we asked ourselves: Which organization has shown us that employer branding is not just a one-time effort but a continuous part of their work?

While many candidates stood out, there can only be one winner.

The winning organization has consistently demonstrated embedding employer branding into their culture in ways that resonate within and beyond its walls. Now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for.

As a jury member and representative of last year’s winner, Nitor, I am honoured to announce that the winner of the Grand Prix Award, the Most Magnetic Employer Brand of the year 2024, is…and yes, you can take the trophy to the sauna, trust me…and I’m expecting the year of the trophy video from you next year… Mehiläinen.”

The judges select the Magnet Employer Brand Award Grand Prix based on nominations to the above categories. This is THE Employer Branding Award in Finland, given to the most loved (external output) and cared (internal investment) employer brand.

To all the winners, nominees, and friends at the Magnet Awards 2024, huge congrats! Let’s keep dreaming, trying new things, and making workplaces awesome for everyone.

Cheers to this year’s wins and the cool stuff we get to work on in the employer branding domain. Let’s keep shining bright and making employer branding the coolest thing ever!

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