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Employer Branding. What it is, why it’s needed, and how it needs to be done.

5th May 2017


What is employer branding?

In a nutshell, your employer brand is how others perceive your organisation as a place to work – both from those outside, and importantly, from those within your workplace, too.
Employer branding has for too long concentrated predominantly on advertising, and was very much an outward facing discipline. But times have changed. An outward facing approach just doesn’t cut it anymore.
Why has employer branding now become so important?
We think there are three main driving factors:

1. War for talent

All organisations now realise that there is a global skills shortage. Therefore competition for talent has intensified, as simply there is not enough highly skilled talent to go around.
Furthermore, loyalty held towards organisations is diminishing within the new generation of workers. The days of employees working for the same organisation their entire life are over. New generations in the workplace will up sticks and leave if the organisation does not align with their values, aspirations or other workplace needs. And will do so at a moments notice.
Employer branding when done well, will not only attract the best talent. It will then successfully capture and recruit it. And then, even more importantly it will help engage, retain and harness it – leading to high performing, successful organisations.

2. Talent recognised as a critical factor for success

It may seem somewhat crazy to say, but organisations are finally viewing talent as a critical component. Historically, organisations merely viewed capital and innovation as the core factors to focus on for success. Now they realise it is talent that makes the biggest difference – talent is what separates the good from the great. Consequently – and fortunately – organisations are now treating talent with the same degree of discipline and focus as they do with capital and innovation.

3. Rise of social media

What social media has done is helped to make everything and everyone more connected, and notably more transparent. Therefore social media acts as a window into an organisation, and it is employees who are on view.
This means that employee engagement and advocacy are vital to employer branding and so ultimately talent attraction, engagement and retention. All of which is best demonstrated through social media – something that we will now touch upon in the next section…

How should organisations be approaching employer branding?

What organisations have realised is that their brand narrative must be one that is attractive to both clients and potential employees. Rightly so, organisations have now identified that there is a big overlap between the two groups. And this is what their employer brand must consider and encapsulate.

Employee Value Proposition (EVP)

Just like all values, the EVP is something that every bit of an organisations activity must adhere to.
Organisations should firstly get a clear idea of how their current employee brand is being perceived. Every organisation has an employer brand, whether they know it or not.
Building on from this initial discovery phase, an organisation will then need to identify what it is it stands for – it’s values – and then from these create a clear value proposition.
The Employer Brand strategy will then need to be applied and communicated throughout an organisation and leveraged by employees through social media to be experienced by those outside of an organisation.

Focus on social media

This is still an area being severely under-utilised by organisations. This is hands down the best tool to use to help build an engaging, transparent and authentic employer brand.
Through social media, employers can act as brand advocates, showing the employer brand in action, by sharing inside stories. Remember, employees are the most trusted source within an organisation. They must be empowered to act as brand advocates, and it is through the use of social media – with an employee advocacy program in place – that this can be best achieved.
Organisations clearly need to emphasis the importance of the employer brand, to everyone within the business. And then be sure that every employee is clear on the role that they need to be playing to help create the brand experience needed to build the desired company reputation – the employer brand.

Employer Branding Conclusion

Research shows that consumer and employer brands are still some way off from singing from the same hymn sheet. With recent research from Uinversum (in their 2020 outlook – State of Employer Branding) revealing that only 19% of executives saying that their consumer and employer brands align.
Clearly, there is still plenty of work to be done for organisations in building their employer brand. And this can be achieved by organisations giving employer branding the same level of attention as they do with their approach to consumer communications, and organisational innovation. Notably, by ensuring employer branding has a robust detailed strategy in place to be followed for success.
The Employee Value Proposition, and a focus on social media and employee advocacy are fundamental ingredients for employee branding success.
If you need any help in communicating your Employer brand, then that is something we can certainly help you with, and so please feel free to get in touch.
Until next time…


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