Employer Brand: Get an inside-out approach
How can organisations build a compelling brand that not only attracts talent but also creates the right experience for employees? And how does this in turn serve as a retainer of top talent? Progressive organisations are finding the answer to such a challenge by deconstructing the elements of their own employer brand and introspecting.
Employer branding is the reputation of your organisation as an employer. In other terms, the brand stems from the organisational culture that is further defined around identity, image and perception that an organisation wants to create among its stakeholders. Employer brand has two elements, namely what we are today and what we aspire to be. It is important that the aspirational part of the brand is perceived as achievable both by employees and potential candidates.
Employees – ambassadors of your employer brand
Employer brand should not reflect what the company has already been, what it would like to be or what it will become but what it is now and what its ambitions are. The challenge is therefore to give an authentic speech, which will correspond to the employee experience. The objective is twofold: to encourage employees’ commitment and motivation to increase individual and collective performance, and to retain talent by making the company attractive. Working conditions and management styles surely contribute to improving your employees’ perception of your brand.
Neglecting your employees’ experience means taking the chance to have negative feedback. Indeed, employees who are not satisfied with their working conditions or managers will spread the word. In addition to discussions with friends or networks, social media gives them an opportunity to get their message across. These negative experiences, shared in a viral way, harm the employer brand. Some sites, such as Glassdoor, list the opinions of your employees and alumni. Its such, it is paramount to take care of leaving employees, whether they resign or made redundant, so that they can give positive reviews about the organisation or potentially further the relation as a client.
Hence the importance to build an inside-out approach. Positive reviews and feedback represent a strong distinctive element to your brand.
Headhunters – observers of your employer brand
It happens that a company’s brand message doesn’t match reality. Globally, only 19% of employees perceive a perfect alignment between the message their company conveys and what they experience on a daily basis, according to a study by Weber Shandwick.
In this context, the headhunter is often an indicator for that paradoxal discourse. As an external observer, a headhunter is at the forefront of what is being said about an employer in the marketplace. This is all the more true when a candidate meets all the expectations but stops the process for a company’s bad reputation? Therefore, we can consider a headhunter as a sort of barometer of your employer brand, being the go-between what an organisation think it is and how it is perceived.
When such situations happen, a headhunter’s role is to inform the company, which will be able to introspect and take actions.
Candidates – clients of your employer brand
Recruiting thanks to a positive employer brand has become a reality. Indeed, candidates will first talk to their network and check opinions posted on social media. Let keep in mind that positive feedback does not always reach its target, negatives will inevitably spread. A bad reputation on the market leads to a shortage of CVs… and not of talent.
Just as we are increasingly suspicious of mass marketing, candidates are more and more critical of employer brands that are “ready to consume” and use key words like career, challenges, stimulating environment and diversified missions. Candidates demand emotion, proximity, connection and complicity. When a multinational company promotes “long-term careers” but has a high turnover, it’s quite suspicious. Once again, the authenticity of your employer brand is paramount.
From now on, recruiters play a marketing role by selling the company. A poorly conducted job interview or a lack of response can quickly affect an employer brand.
If the employer brand succeeds in building loyalty among high potential employees, it will serve your customer brand as well.
Go further in your reading, check these following reports:
Employee Rising : Seizing the Opportunity in Employee Activism, survey conducted by Weber Shandwick and KRC Research [infographics]
Aligning your consumer brand and your talent brand, survey conducted by LinkedIn Talent Solution and Lippincott [PDF]