Article: What you didn’t know about Employer Branding

Employer Branding

What you didn’t know about Employer Branding

Firms can derive significant value from Employer Brand Management, as opposed to just looking at Employer or Talent Branding
What you didn’t know about Employer Branding

There seems to be a renewed interest around Employer Branding, with many organizations looking at investing into building, sustaining, and leveraging their Employer Brands to attract the right talent, engage high-potentials, and retain best-performers. While the nuances of the terminologies used (Talent Branding, Campus or Recruitment Branding, Employee Value Proposition, etc.) and the intent may differ, what is less understood, and perhaps what is more important, is the science that constitutes the process of Employer Branding.

As pioneers of Employer Branding in India, we have helped organizations across sectors and regions to discover, develop and implement their unique Employee Value Proposition (EVP). What firms appreciate the most is that not only does effective implementation of the EVP bring about significant cultural transformation within the organization, but it also leads to a positive shift in relevant business and people metrics.

According to Richard Mosley, author of the first book on the subject, the focus shouldn’t be just on Employer Branding, but on Employer Brand Management. ‘Employer branding’ refers to the most tangible form of employer brand management, representing the consistent application of the brand logo and other elements of visual design to identify and differentiate the brand. This, however, is a very small aspect of Employer Brand Management. What is of significance, and should be the focus of organization-wide initiatives, is the broader range of elements that shape brand experience and reputation. This requires consistent and concerted coordination to bring about a real change in people processes, including (but not limited to) recruitment, onboarding, talent management, performance management and leadership development.

In short, firms can derive significant value from Employer Brand Management, as opposed to just looking at Employer Branding or Talent Branding in a piecemeal fashion. Additionally, firms that focus too much on brand-awareness campaigns (outside-in) and too little on alignment of the EVP with their people-processes (inside-out) run the risk of creating an image-reality gap in the minds of employees. Organizations would do well to ensure that what the employees experience on a daily basis (‘the everyday’) is in line with the core EVP messaging.

Advocacy, not advertising: Firms that invest significant time and effort in discovering the best of their organizations through focused research, developing their unique EVP, and ruthless implementation would reap huge dividends in not only attracting the right kind of talent, but also winning referrals through creating a pool of employee advocates: undoubtedly the best source of hiring for any organization.

 

The following table helps dispel some of the myths surrounding Employer Branding:

What Employer Branding is not

What Employer Branding is

A quick-fix, a sprint that will fix all organizational woes by way of a few interventions.

A journey, an endurance race that requires developing great people practices over a period of time thereby conferring a significant performance advantage and sustainable growth.

A short exercise that requires only external research to capture essential elements of the brand.

A 360 degree research-driven project that requires capturing detailed perspectives of multiple entities both internal and external to the organization.

A one-time communication to the external world on what your organization stands for as an employer.

A continuous, sustained, creative and targeted communication exercise both internal and external to the firm that attracts the right profile of candidates, engages and retains them.

An advertisement (branding)-centric exercise.

A focused initiative that looks at improving people-process touch-points for employees across the hire-to-retire spectrum, thus making the Employee Value Proposition (EVP) come alive.

An initiative that focuses only at the current, ‘as-is’ state of the firm.

A project that looks at the ‘best’ of the firm, through the lens of the past, present and the future. Thus the EVP gets built on both current realities and future aspirations.

A one-way promise, from the employer to the employee.

A two-way, employment deal where both employer and employee ‘give-and-get’ get tightly interlocked.

Topics: Employer Branding, Recruitment

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