The ability to attract the best talent is paramount for the growth of any organisation and more so in highly competitive sectors where skillsets are in high demand. Several organisations rely on marketing, public relations and company performance to build a brand for the company and therefore rely on these routes to attract the right kind of talent. These avenues sometimes fall short since searching for a job now is more like shopping for a better job and in such a scenario, your company’s reputation is more important than ever. So, what really forms part of your corporate reputation, or what falls under the corporate brand?
Six dimensions of the corporate brand
There are effectively six aspects to keep in mind when outsiders engage with you. Let’s call them the six dimensions of the corporate brand. It is essentially engagement with six of your key stakeholders: customers, trade, media, investors, community and existing as well as potential employees. Each stakeholder has specific priorities and therefore needs a specific approach to be engaged with.
This brings us to why we need an exercise to build an employer brand. It emanates from what we believe is an ‘Employer Brand’. An employer brand is a dimension of your corporate brand that enables a potential employee to decide on working for you and for existing employees to continue working for you. At the heart of ‘Employer Brand’ is Employer Value Proposition (EVP). An EVP is the unique value proposition that an employer has for its existing and potential employees, much like a consumer product brand would have for its product. An EVP sets an employer apart from other employers in a cluttered job market.
Building an Employer brand
Here, threekey questions possibly have the answers to how you can build an Employer Brand:
Are you committed to finding the truth or putting together a ‘pleasing the bosses’ campaign?
Are you falling in the trap of fake marketing?
Are you ready to go all out in expression as a seasoned marketing pro?
Doing more than the ‘pleasing the bosses’ campaign: Identifying a truly unique EVP
Identify a true and unique proposition that gives you an added hiring advantage over your peers. We recommend that you identify this proposition exclusive of the guidance by the senior leadership of your company. It is important to do this from a third-party perspective using a two-point agenda which is intense deep diving at the employment promise and lookingat (by constantly challenging) what is so unique that will also appeal the potential employees. We recommend a 360-degree EVP analysis which aims at ‘finding the truth’ and not just ‘please the bosses’. Look at the bigger picture and engage with your six stakeholders in this process:
People who have quit your organisation to join the competition
Placement consultantswho hire for you and your competition
Fresh hiring – at all three levels
Your loyalistswho have stayed with you for at least five years
HR – engage with R&R, Compensation, Training and teams conducting exit processes
Engaging with this list of stakeholders enables a true finding and gives you an employer brand valuation in comparison with others. It also ensures that this finding comes from your stakeholders and not internal company assumptions. This approach ensures an insideout, true and holistic view on your standing in the job market in comparison to your peers.
Don’t fake the employer promise: Find the truth and keep the truth
Considering the intense clutter in the job market, you will feel tempted to seek more attention and make your employer proposition far more creative and attractive than it really is. This could get so far removed from reality that you might set it up for misinterpretation and possibly fake the promise.
When positioning your EVP for a new employee, you must also remember that the new employee who joins you will soon be interacting with your existing ones and if he/she experiences a deviation from the promises you made,it could backfire strongly. Not to forget, employees are highly sensitive and expressive in the current scenario we live in.
After finding the truth, it is important to keep the truth. It is crucial to be creative in a matter of speaking when addressing your potential employee but it should not be markedly away from your core proposition. Your creative layer should be enough to help you in the sustained promise delivery to the employee. Remember, an employee joins you so that you aren't just making a marketing expression but a true career promise.
Going all out: Confident and consistent messaging
Your employee touch points need to exude confidence and consistent messaging. Think like a media buyer and campaign manager when you reach out to your target audience, as a mainstream marketing professional would. Right from hiring ads, Facebook pages about life at your organisation, website, campus placements, hiring consultants, job fairs, hiring processes, hiring negotiations, offer letters, intranet pages, events and town halls, everything needs to have the same message, the same communication and the need to speak the same language.
In a world ruled by social media and limited attention spans, one negative review could end your elaborate campaign. Finding the true promise is therefore just as important as delivering it in the right manner.
In a nutshell, finding the true employer value proposition, sticking to the truth with just the right amount of creativity and then communicating it consistently and tirelessly, forms the key to building a successful employer brand.
Nishant Parashar is the Founder and Director of engage4more, an employee engagement and employer branding company.
Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not in any way represent the views of exchange4media.com