The term ‘employer brand’ gained popularity during the mid-90’s: it represents an organization’s reputation as an employer, vis-à-vis its corporate brand reputation. With the connection between strategy, people performance and business results having been unequivocally established, organisations today have no choice but to build a strong employer brand in order to attract, engage and retain the best of talent. As a result, employer branding is gaining greater strategic importance with each passing day, and many companies are choosing to highlight the quality and dedication of employees in their consumer marketing as well. Organisations that have a strong employer brand are better positioned to win the war for talent, and also more likely to create innovative and superior products and services. Consequently, the strength of the employer brand is today inextricably linked to customer brand experience and, in turn, shareholder value.
Employer branding - What?
According to Tim Grogan, a leading employer brand strategist, an employer brand is the distinct and compelling way in which an organization communicates its uniqueness as an employer; it serves as an invitation to external talent to join, and to existing talent to stay. The employer brand is owned by the organization, role-modelled by HR and driven across company lines.
Employer branding - How?
The approach to building a strong employer brand has evolved over the years. The first and foremost step involves the development of a strong and differentiated Employee Value Proposition (EVP) which resonates well with both current and potential/future employees. An EVP basically refers to organisational attributes that drive employee satisfaction, and highlights the key benefits offered by the company as an employer. These attributes can comprise the organization’s mission, culture and reputation, compensation & benefits, opportunities for growth & development, work-life balance, employee engagement strategy, unique policies, workforce quality, cultural diversity, etc. The EVP should have attributes in each category which are valued by both existing employees and the talent one is trying to attract. Above all, these attributes must be clearly communicated and visible to both internal and external audiences at all times.
The development of an organisation’s EVP is a collaborative process involving participation of the HR department with active support from leadership. Furthermore, the EVP should be co-created with employees and external stakeholders (such as recruiters) to incorporate multidimensional perspectives for a more inclusive development process. It should also be closely aligned to overall business strategy. It is important for organisations to constantly communicate and strengthen their value propositions with employees, prospects, partners and the business ecosystem at large - platforms such as company websites, intranets, newsletters, events, posters, social media, etc. can be effectively used to do so. Additionally, senior management must use every opportunity to reinforce organisational EVPs in their messaging, speeches, and other official and/or informal communication.
Employer branding –Why?
A Corporate Leadership Council survey shows that organisations with well-defined and well-managed EVPs are able to effectively source talent from more than 60% of the workforce ecosystem. On the other hand, organisations with undermanaged EVPs are able to source talent from only about 40% of the talent market. Moreover, 38% of new hires display high levels of commitment in organisations that demonstrably deliver on their EVPs, and this number falls to 9% in organisations that don’t.
The importance of Values in the Employer Branding journey
For business strategy to be effectively achieved, it is crucial that employees subscribe to a common culture driven by core organisational value systems. Companies with thoughtful, distinctly defined and well-communicated values are better able to accomplish passion and performance excellence among employees. At Mahindra Lifespaces, we believe that enabling the home ownership aspirations of our customers and building greenfield cities calls for the creation of an empowering and enriching work ecosystem. Furthermore, our values encompassing Professionalism, Good Corporate Citizenship, Customer First, Quality Focus and Dignity of the individual have been integral to the growth of our organisation. Mahindra Lifespaces has been ranked among ‘the top 5 Great Places to Work” in the Indian Real Estate and Construction industry by the Great Place To Work Institute, and our employees take pride in their association with one of the country’s most respected real estate and infrastructure development employers.
To sum it up, talent attraction is today strongly dependant on employee engagement and advocacy. Organisations that are successfully able to walk the talk on fundamental values like respect, trust, fairness and transparency are able to positively influence the quality, pride, and engagement levels of employees. This in turn helps in building a strongly positive, unique employer brand driven by the biggest consumers of the brand – happy employees!