In every business, whether you are a small family operation or a big corporate, creating and protecting your Employer Brand is not only important but imperative in today’s competitive labour market.
This is made even more difficult due to the fact that the employer – employee paradigm has shifted significantly over recent years. We have gone from an industrial age, to a knowledge age to the current information/social age.
As the war for talent increases, organisations around the world have stepped up their efforts in aligning their HR & People strategy to attract, retain and engage talent. This has seen an increase in the focus on Employer Branding, but what is Employer Branding exactly?
Employer Branding is not just an exercise in jazzing up your recruitment ads, coming up with a cute branding slogan, or touting your employee benefits to the world. Your Employer Brand runs much deeper than this and although it impacts on what you project to the external world as an employer, it’s internal purpose is far more important.
Employer Branding should always match your organisational brand, and more importantly your values. This means that the value proposition that your business articulates is truly reflected by the actions of all people, at all levels of the business, all the time. This means that your people are truly connected to your purpose and everyone is living the mission and values of the business every day. (We have written a few blogs about this already).
In simple terms, Employer Branding starts internally and requires a long-term commitment to the engagement, management and development of people within your business.
Employer Branding is about creating an image in the hearts and minds of your current employees and potential candidates that demonstrate your business is a ‘Great Place to Work’. This process is about building and sustaining employment propositions that are compelling and different, which in turn creates a unique cultural proposition for existing employees and potential hires. The success of your Employer brand is about your ability to deliver on your brand promise.
There is nothing worse than an employee who joins an organisation with high hopes about the promises they have been made during the recruitment process about the role, culture and values of their prospective employer. Fast forward to day one and their new employer is the complete opposite of all they were promised and they are left feeling jilted at the altar. This is probably the most common reason new people leave within the first 3 months. The job, values and culture do not match what was promised during the recruitment process.
In a commercial context Employer Branding is the glue that holds the different components of the organisation together to ensure:
- Employer Loyalty
- Performance and;
- Customer Loyalty
In the words of Richard Branson …
“Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.”
This really embodies what Employer Branding is about, it starts with your commitment to engaging your employees. Engaged employees = positive workplace culture and if you have this internally then you are going to find it much easier to attract and retain the best talent in the world.