An effective employer brand should articulate the things that engage people and highlight what your organization offers, or can offer, to people that work there. It’s less about the look that you ultimately use to portray your brand, and more about the spontaneous response your audience(s) have about your organization. It’s about a compelling way to tell your story and build your reputation. And while you have a role in trying to influence your reputation, in the end, others will decide how they want to think about you.
In principle, the Employment Brand is no different than a consumer brand. For consumers, the brand helps them understand the value proposition of your products or services. In an employment context, the brand helps your future and current workforce understand your Employment Value Propositions(s). It speaks to their feelings, and how it strikes a chord with them.
In the end, you want your employment brand to be so clear and compelling that your employees instinctively know – and will tell others – that they work for a great organization. This not only keeps your current workforce engaged, but it’s also a sure-fire way to ensure that future employees will be attracted to the opportunity to join you.
Nuuvo-B2E provides a wide variety of services and deep expertise in employer branding.
Strong Employer Brand/Best Employer?
To be designated a ‘Best Employer’ is a great accolade, but is it enough to achieve the desired results? Or is it a self-fulfilling prophecy that will have you constantly trying to position your organization as being all things to all people? Will being a ‘Best Employer’ force HR and Marketing departments into the habit of homogenizing the employee message to a point where it loses its impact, and its meaning?
The fact remains that different types of people are right fits for different types of companies. In response to this, there needs to more focus on what it takes to build and sustain an overall employer reputation that attracts and engages the ‘right’ talent.
Employer Branding Services
Discovery is the first step, to help develop an understanding of where you are, and where we need to go with you. Once this baseline is established, we can start on the Development stage, transforming these thoughts and findings into creating the framework, brand messaging and platform. And with all that in hand, the Execution stage involves getting the word out – disseminating the brand through the appropriate channels.
Before you start to enjoy the tastes of a strong employer brand, you have to set the table. This means doing the necessary planning, soul searching and exploration that will contribute to your efforts.
With a foundation of planning and information acquired during the Discovery stage, the Nuuvo-B2E team can begin work on developing your brand strategy and messaging platform.
With a thoughtful and impactful employer brand in hand, it’s time to get it out there and start to enjoy the fruits of your efforts – a dynamic and effective talent acquisition and employee engagement program.
Some things to consider when developing your Employer Brand:
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Before you start branding, take stock of where your organization is going in the next 12, 24, 60 months. Will there be any changes in strategy? What will your hiring plans look like? Is there a domestic plan? International? All of these answers will be very useful in informing your brand direction.
Target audience considerations are really important. You have to think about the people with whom you will be attempting to communicate, both in demographic terms (age, income, education) and psychographic terms (personality, values, attitudes, interests, lifestyle). Additional considerations are how you deploy the employer brand for both your external AND internal audiences. These findings will help guide your employer branding efforts on many levels.
The Employer Value Proposition (EVP) is the holy grail of employer brand development. It is at the heart of an effective branding effort, and is often glazed over in the case of brands that are only based on catchy slogans or images. A good EVP will incorporate everything employees experience and receive while being a part of an organization - both natural, obvious and expected rewards (i.e. Compensation and benefits), as well as extra and unexpected aspects of the working experience.
A focus on Message Architecture is important to consider. This refers to a hierarchy of information that flows from the main message, whatever that may be. This ensures the flexibility of the information, and avoids the tendency to homogenize the message to try to make it resonate in the same way for everyone. Remember, different types of people are right fits for different types of companies. Focus on what it takes to build and sustain an overall employer reputation that attracts and engages the ‘right’ talent.
It's one thing to develop a great employer brand by using the right methodology and having the right people at the table. But how do you know how effective your efforts are over time? How do you report ROI to company leadership? How do you know to make adjustments to your strategy? Developing a meaningful set of tangible criteria to measure at the start of the effort will be of incredible value later on. Factors such as overall applications, visits to application ratios (conversions), candidate quality, time-to-hire ratios, and other relevant metrics are some of the basics to consider, but there are many others that may be just as relevant (if not more) to your business goals.
Marshal McLuhan was a great Canadian, and someone who predicted the birth of the Internet 30 years before it was invented. He was an academic and a philosopher of communications theory, who coined the phrase, 'The medium is the message', which meant that the medium influences how the message is perceived.
Choosing the right communication mix will greatly impact the effectiveness and targeting of your brand. In the current environment, a digital strategy - including social media, website, e-mail delivery, etc. - is essential, but you must also think of your audience (see above) to determine other suitable vehicles to use to get your message in front of them.
As an essential part of your HR strategy that will help guide your efforts, an employer brand is a living, breathing entity that will evolve over time. It needs care and attention to maintain its effectiveness. As initiatives are planned - whether externally-facing, such as campus programs or recruiting; or internal, such as employee programs, engagement, benefits rollout, annual compensation planning, etc. - the employer brand will be there to assist. The activities that will revolve around executing the employer brand, either on its own or as an overlay to these initiatives, will be part of monthly, annual and longer term business planning.
Now comes the fun part - the art, the concept development, the big ideas. The product of this exercise is often confused with the actual employer brand. However, there is an important distinction: this is simply the various ways in which the elements that comprise the employer brand are represented.
The brand is the system and personality that will INFORM the creative development. The creative will include images, icons, slogans, keywords, short copy, long copy, etc. and will extend from the brand. The tangible products can include websites, e-mail templates, collateral materials (posters, brochures, etc.)
You've worked hard, built it and got everyone onboard. Now its time to execute...to put it out there. If you followed the points laid out above, you know your goals, who you're trying to speak with, what success looks like and how to measure it. There will be smaller projects and larger ones; regular monitoring and adjusting as you go is a logical and organic part of the process. Keeping yourself and everyone else in adherence with the standards established as part of the exercise is essential.
It's a big task, Employer Branding. And far too important to not get it right. There are many things that can be done in-house, provided you have the capabilities. But there are 2 key ingredients: impartiality and expertise. The research and introspection that must take place to determine the critical components of the Employer Brand are best done by an unbiased outside partner who won't be swayed by internal politics, personal preferences and who will recognize elements that an insider may take for granted. Its the old adage of "saying what you NEED to hear, rather than what you WANT to hear".
Nuuvo-B2E can assist. With over 20 years experience assisting organizations to find their voice and tell their stories, we can work with you to uncover and articulate the themes that will set you apart and build a compelling body of employee-focused communications. The result? Finding the RIGHT candidates; keeping your best employees; lower recruiting costs; productivity gains and service excellence - all things that make you want to ask the CEO, "why the smile, boss?"
Nuuvo-B2E can assist.
With over 20 years of experience assisting organizations to find their voice and tell their stories, we can work with you to uncover and articulate the themes that will set you apart and build a compelling body of employee-focused communications.
The result? Finding the RIGHT candidates; keeping your best employees; lower recruiting costs; productivity gains and service excellence.
All things that make you want to ask the CEO, "Why the smile, boss?"