Many organizations pay attention to branding but overlook the importance of an employer brand, which defines who you are as an employer. Just as your consumer brand tells the public what your brand stands for, an employer brand speaks to your employees – from the newest hire to the CEO – and to your potential employees, the job-seekers whose first encounter with your company may be through your employer brand.
Employer brands also help job-seekers self-select, help HR recruit and train to the brand, and help the entire workforce promote the brand through their actions and communications. The effect it has on quality of hire can separate a good company from a truly great one.
With that in mind, here is a brief overview on the process to create an effective employer brand.
|A few statistics from Employer Brand International|
An employer brand deserves the same study and due diligence as any other major decision your company makes. That means embarking upon a solid research plan that involves employees from every level. Typical research plans include quantitative, in the form of an objective, anonymous survey; qualitative, in the form of focus groups and one-on-one interviews; and ideation sessions, workshops for collective brainstorming. Participants can include employees, potential employees, executives, customers, and even vendors. Be sure to align the findings with your company’s mission, vision, business objectives, and consumer brand.
Once you’ve discovered how people feel about your brand, you should find your niche, the areas where you deliver a singular employee experience that no one else can match.
These concepts can be illustrated through an “employer brand architecture.” Your organization’s vision is the foundation of the structure. Your differentiators make up the “pillars.” The “roof,” your employer value proposition, is the single-minded expression of the benefits of working for your organization.
All this work isn’t just to have a catchy slogan on Monster.com. An employer brand positively affects a number of talent management concerns, from attraction to retention to employee referrals. A strong employer brand creates more engaged employees, which leads to higher profitability.
In 1994, a group of researchers from Harvard University published a study (and later a book) on the Service Profit Chain, arguing for a direct link between employee satisfaction, customer loyalty, and profit. Some subsequent studies put the difference between the best “chains” and the worst as high as 20% – which could mean billions of dollars. More recently, a study by Aon Hewitt found that companies with engaged employees outperformed the stock market by 22% in 2010.