Whether you want one or not, every company has an ‘employer brand’. This is your reputation as an employer.
For well over a decade now, HR professionals have been applying the principles of marketing in the pursuit of ‘employee of choice’ status for their organisations. In the process, they have expended enormous amounts of time, energy and money in advertising and promoting the ‘employer brand’.
In the current climate, where we are experiencing tougher times, the employer’s brand is really on show, as organisations will be judged on how they manage through the tough times of restructuring and redundancies.
Employer branding is central to the concept in HR Marketing. It defines the personality of a company as a preferred employer. It usually answers one basic question – why should anyone join the company (instead of any other company), and what make the company a great place to work.
The employer brand is the most powerful tool for attracting, engaging and retaining the right ‘talent/culture fit’ that will help leaders grow their organisation.
Like any brand, your employer brand is about perception. It involves basic product marketing strategies; however in this case your product is your people and the employment experience, your customers are your employees and prospective employees.
Steps to developing an employer brand:
1. Understand your business objectives – what is the vision and strategic direction for your organisation?
2. Identify your talent needs – determine what talent, skills and knowledge are needed to accomplish key business objectives in the future.
3. Determine the employer brand attributes – determine those key attributes that define the employment experience with the organisation. Make sure that the messages you communicate to prospective employees are accurate and true.
4. Link the employer brand to the corporate brand – understand your organisations current branding position to decide how to best leverage the employer branding strategies off your consumer brand.
5. Develop the employer message and creative concept – present the employment experience in the most compelling way. Develop messages that will engage the right candidate. For example if you are targeting Gen Ys ensure your marketing messages and images are attractive to that demographic.
6. Measure results – you cannot improve what you cannot measure. To determine if you are ‘living the brand’ as an employer, solicit feedback from recent hires and those employees who are identified as high potential talent.
7. Execute the brand strategy and evaluate – unveil the employer brand initiatives in-house to gain support among employees to help engage new talent. Linking rewards and recognition to such initiatives as the employee referral program can be a very effective way of getting employee support.
What do you think are some of the most effective employer brands in Australia today ? How does a small business develop an employer brand ?