A robust and positive employer brand can make your organisation stand out against the competition in the hiring market. Research shows that 84 percent of the world’s most attractive employers say employer branding is one of their top priorities.
Key messages on employer brand
- Be authentic – an employee’s perception of authentic business leadership is the strongest predictor of job satisfaction, commitment to the organisation and happiness at work
- Be transparent – a values-based approach to business is increasingly popular
- Be employee-centric – the best employers provide a positive environment that encourages employees to deliver their best performance
- Use your employee advocates – share their positive employer brand stories
- Keep learning – to adapt your strategy for optimum performance
Don’t rest on your laurels, it’s important to monitor and measure so you can adjust messaging at need so you maintain your advantage in the competition for talent. Employer brand initiatives are most likely to fail when HR policies are not aligned with the employer brand promise.
Focus on a great employee experience – it brings several advantages to employers (Herman & Giola, 2001). It lowers marketing costs, as the organisation becomes more attractive to customers and investors. Employee performance increases, as both the employer and employee are more engaged and less stressed. Planning processes are facilitated due to improved retention of employees.
Don’t make assumptions
Check and measure. Talk to your people. Towers Watson research shows that companies tend to play it safe – “first by assuming they know what’s truly relevant to their employee groups and second by shying away from emotion. When companies dive deep into understanding employees’ preferences, they are often surprised by what employees deem important”.
Take the trouble of collating data and seeking input on an ongoing basis. Bear in mind it’s important to use the information that you garner. Don’t focus on making changes to recruitment policies and ignore issues that impact workplace culture if that’s where staff point up areas of concern.
Susan LaMotte, CEO and Principal Employer Brand Strategist for exaqueo, told us “research is so important because it not only supports assumptions that you may have but it also dispels those myths or assumptions that you have. That way you can make sure that as you’re building your brand and you’re marketing it, that you’re actually communicating the authentic experience rather than what you’re assuming that it is from the boardroom, from the ivory tower.”
An adaptable employer branding strategy is important in a competitive landscape. Evolving employment trends mean organisations need to be agile and awake to the social media environment. HR professionals need to build a culture that creates a great environment for all employees, staff and contractors, temps and management.
And let’s not forget
- To analyse competitors and their employer brand experience
- Involve the marketing team in order to harness synergy and ensure effective horizon-scanning to align employer brand strategy with organisational strategy and future needs.
- Employer brand evolves as needs and circumstances change, so aim to assemble a team to champion, manage and develop the brand for optimum effectiveness
- Plan ahead by setting objectives and measures for success but be willing to adapt and adjust
- Understanding brand strength and how the organisation is perceived by employees is vital in enhancing corporate success and to maximising the value of your culture and vision.
- Brands breed engagement – the discretionary time and effort that employees put into their jobs, and that customers or service users notice and remember
The metrics that work in any given situation will vary and the results of brand initiatives will not be immediate but we would encourage you to build a better understanding of the impact of brand on employees and applicants.