All Things Talent spoke to Mallika Galani, Global Lead, Employer Branding, Sun Pharma who cited the various nuances around Employer Value Proposition (EVP) and the relevance of Employer as a Brand in today’s age and time.
ATT: In this era of increased globalization, what is the criticality and importance of employer branding?
MG: The phenomenon of globalization is not new, but, what is new is the fact that we have entered an era of unparalleled talent scarcity around the world, making the role of employer brand very critical for an organization. While it is extremely important for companies to brand products/services, it is becoming more critical to brand one’s culture (consisting of leadership, organization practises, climate within the company etc.) that helps attract the right talent which in turn helps build terrific products/services. Over time, methods of reaching out and communicating to targeted talent segments has evolved. Today, the largest medium leveraged is the social media. It has played a huge role in shrinking the conceived six degrees of separation, forcing brands to be a lot more relevant, genuine, and authentic to their target audience.
ATT: How can companies measure the ROI of Employer Branding?
MG: All organisations invest in their employer branding strategy to address a number of business challenges, and with that in mind, ROI can be measured by analysing to what extent the business challenges are addressed. Metrics such as quality of hire, number of applicants, size of talent pipeline, application versus acceptance ratio, employee referral etc. would form a balanced scorecard. However, I believe it will become equally important to articulate and communicate your employer brand internally in a manner such that it becomes a demonstrated EVP externally. Best employer brands will be driven by the best employees, which in turn, will lead to companies becoming an employer of choice, making employer branding a shared responsibility of everyone within the organisation.
ATT: A lot has been said about Employer Branding being like marketing, but it still remains under the umbrella of HR. How can HR professionals contribute towards building a better Employer Brand?
MG: To get employer branding right, you need to think like your employees and not like your customers. Employer branding tells a distinct story, one that addresses every aspect of the employee lifecycle–the experience from a prospective employee to current and till the time the employee separates. It is impossible to assess the external impression of ones’ brand without knowing what the internal brand ambassadors feel, as they are the ones living, eating and drinking your brand values each day. Just as marketing is entrenched in the story of a company’s product or service, HR is immersed in the story of the employee.
ATT: Has Employer Branding enabled you to attract better talent than traditional practices?
MG: Talent acquisition has undergone significant change in recent years, with a fundamental shift in the way that organizations source and engage with talent. “Posting and praying” will continue to decline as forward-thinking organizations will proactively attract the best candidates through their story telling. I will take an example of our own HR team at Sun Pharma. It is not very often we come across a Pharma company with a HR function comprising of members from cross industries and varied experiences, coming together having raised the capability and engagement levels. The challenge lies in addressing ‘how you are perceived’ while being absolutely transparent about ‘what you are’ and ‘what you want to be’ as an organisation.
ATT: Is Employer Branding a fad or is it here to last?
MG: Employer Branding is not new. Though some may just be leaping on the bandwagon, every organisation has an employer brand that exists – it may just not be the one they want. In todays’ environment of increasing skills shortages, talent has become a critical competitive advantage for organisations. Traditional sourcing methods will become increasingly ineffective, so a strong employer brand which acts as a magnet to attract skills to your business will be the difference between commercial success and irrelevance.