Employer branding is the process of promoting a company, or an organisation, as the employer of choice to a desired target group, one that a company needs and wants to recruit and retain.
The process facilitates the company’s ability in attracting, recruiting and retaining ideal employees – referred to as Top Talent in recruitment – and helps secure the achievement of the company’s business plan.
If employer branding is the process, the employer brand is the identity of a company as an employer of choice.
Employer Brand is not an optional extra
An employer brand is an important part of the employee value proposition and is essentially what the organisation communicates as its identity to both potential and current employees. It encompasses an organisation’s mission, values, culture and personality. The term Employer Brand was first defined in the mid-1990s: it denoted an organisation’s reputation as an employer, as opposed to its more general corporate brand reputation.
Employer brand is becoming strategically more important to CEOs, Human Recourse Managers and Marketing Directors. When researchers from Harvard Business Review asked these C-Suite executives about their main employer brand objectives for 2020, they indicated the following points as their main goals:
1. Securing long-term recruitment needs
2. Building the employer brand on a global level
3. Distinguishing the company from competitors
A multi-functional approach to successful Employer Branding
The employee brand should truly reflect what is extraordinary about the organisation and must be aligned with its customer brand. The alternative to successful employer branding – and perhaps even a catastrophic scenario – is to be considered as a generic employer, unspecific in offerings and unnoticeable to promising career seekers.
To develop a first-rate employment brand strategy, organisations may want to consider the following points:
• Be clear on the company’s business, vision, mission, values and culture.
• Understand the organisation’s business objectives and what talent is needed to accomplish those objectives.
• Define the company’s unique attributes.
• Conduct internal research to understand how the organisation is perceived by its current employees, as well as by its target candidate group, and what these employees or potential employees want from the organisation.
• Identify top talent, and ask what those employees like about working for the company. Determine the attributes of these star employees that the organisation would want to attract.
• Conduct external research to learn how the organisation is positioned in relation to the competition. Research may be conducted through applicant surveys, as well as via Internet searches, social media or firms that conduct reputation monitoring.
• Define an employee value proposition that clearly communicates the value of the brand the organisation is developing.
• Develop an employee marketing strategy.
• Align the employer brand with the overall company brand. Work with the marketing and communications groups to ensure a holistic branding approach.
• Develop and use metrics to assess and track the success of the employer brand. Metrics may include quality of hire, brand awareness, employee satisfaction and employee referrals.
Effective employer branding is the combination of market research, advisory services, communications and marketing to achieve both a credible and desirable brand position. Being a cyclical process, constantly measuring performance and adjusting activities and strategies to continuously improve, it begins with understanding unique employer qualities and continues into sustaining the employer brand as a living, vibrant and attractive entity.