In times where candidates have better control over choosing their preferred employer, it is becoming increasingly important for organisations to establish a strong brand that lends them a competitive advantage and makes them stand out. After all, they say a reputation is worth a gazillion! And Kenneth W Wheeler tells us how to build an employer brand that’s worth exactly that much.
This quotation from Tony H from Zappos sets up the theme of ‘Brand’ beautifully when he says – “A word is a word; a picture is worth a thousand, but a ‘brand’ is worth a million.”
The power of a brand is indeed immense. In fact, it is more relevant today in industrial revolution 4.0 and the prevailing VUCA world – than it was ever before. Thus, if we pay attention and are mindful of investing in building a successful brand – the created brand can certainly be worth not a million but a gazillion! The influence of a well-defined and established employer branding deeply strengthens the positive impact it has on the organisation, the business, its people, and the investors.
The basic definition of Employer Branding ever since the term was first coined by Simon Barrow and Tim Ambler in 1996 has grown in acceptance and scale to now find a place as a top priority strategy for all organisations. To me, the worth of employer branding eventually boils down to 2 critical aspects that every organisation battles out with one another to establish how they are viewed as an employer to both their internal customers (employees) and external customers (prospect candidates).
These aspects are:
- The perceived reputation it creates and
- How a brand establishes an emotional connection to improve every involved stakeholders’ sense of belongingness with the organisation.
With the above context in mind, let us explore some ways in how we can establish a successful employer branding strategy that can exhibit a brand that is worth a gazillion!
Be Aware of Your Unique Brand Ingredients
When you possess crystal-like clarity on what is unique about your organisation, the culture, people, leadership and just exactly what makes you special – you place yourself at a competitive advantage of creating a brand that meets its desired promise. Bring forth the element of just why things are different and how that lends into ensuring that everyone associated with your organisation will have one of a kind professional journey and experience which they remember and cherish.
Identify ways to highlight and communicate how every member of the team can bring forth their unique diverse contribution to collectively build an employer brand that carries a great reputation in the industry. Take time to identify but make sure everyone in the organisation knows and understands the unique you – cracking that attribute forms a strong foundation for building a successful brand!
Create and Share Your Stories with Pride
Utilize the power of storytelling to captivate your audience and make a personal connect. Shout out your success stories with pride.Equip your recruiters to do a great job at delivering your stories with a punch of felt impact and flair of certain excitement. Recruiters when communicating your brand stories must talk about your employee value proposition and… Click To Tweet
Is it about an opportunity to:
- contribute towards improving the ecosystem
- working on a solution that impacts millions across the globe
- have a challenging work environment
- focused on ensuring a good work-life balance
- empowerment or some unique benefits
It is also important for recruiters to identify what values would appeal to which candidate and be good at pitching stories that are more tailor-made depending on the domain, role and department. Base your storytelling on the following structure:
- How you propel innovation keeping quality at the forefront?
- How you promote freedom to experiment?
- How you invest in developing future leaders & future entrepreneurs?
- How you build for scale and build error-free?
- How Talent Management is a success factor for you?
- How you hire, who you hire and why?
- How do you foster on-going learning agility?
Take Advantage of Social Media Platforms
Another fantastic way to put a spotlight on your employer branding is by being effective at projecting your brand successfully in different social media platforms. Showcase yourself as thought leaders and subject matter experts. This can be achieved by adopting the following practices:
- Publish white paper case studies
- Post culture videos – YouTube, attachments on emails used for candidate communication
- Pictures on Instagram capturing the organisation’s hustle and bustle
- Meaningful blogs, posts and articles on social media
- Feature your employee’s stories on your corporate blogs
- Make the career segment of your organisation’s website exciting
- Guide and encourage employees to invest in self-branding and promote harmony between personal and employer branding
- Motivate employees to build and expand professional network connect – make mentors
Let others turn to you as their first thought when they think of seeking inputs from an industry leader. Be a role model that others speak about with passion!
Get Every Soul Involved and Enthusiastic
Ensure the ownership of building a successful brand rests with each employee and the feeling of belongingness is strong amongst every stakeholder of the organisation. Ownership and responsibility must not rest with top management, HR or a few select individuals alone. This objective can be achieved by considering the following:
- Encourage employees to write about their experience on the social media platform
- Conduct awareness workshops and quarterly training sessions
- Be transparent and authentic about your employee value proposition
- Communicate every action related to branding as a company-wide event
- Promote employer branding as an ‘organisation led and people empowered’ engine/mechanism
- Have quarterly meets with select internal champions to consciously work on employer branding as a critical project
- Include specific awards that recognize valuable contribution towards uplifting employer branding – make it a part of your organisation RnR like ‘Best Brand Ambassador’
- Execute employer branding in close alignment with your internal Marketing team.
When you succeed in doing the above, you set up a brand that shines through as a living example across the organisation making the fabric of your culture vibrant, diverse and genuine.
Measure and Calibrate Your Employer Branding
It is of utmost interest to put a mechanism in place to periodically measure and calibrate your employer branding. The business today is very dynamic, and many organisations find themselves rapidly changing and adapting to the constantly evolving business, customer and employee behaviour.It is important to be vigilant and acceptant of the change and accordingly keep plugging the new brand success mantras into your overall employer brand strategy. Use mechanisms like Glassdoor ratings, employee value proposition… Click To Tweet
To Bring it Together
Employer branding is really a call that comes from within and it is governed by the core belief system which is unique to each individual organisation culture and its DNA. It flourishes the right work environment which then leads to a collective sense of belonging in all that an organisation represents. In today’s highly competitive world, a company’s reputation which is its employer brand speaks volumes about the organisation’s character and what it stands for! With focused attention and commitment, the battle of establishing an enriching employer branding can we won by every organisation that puts its mind and attitude to it!