The original article was published in the UK's Personnel Today as article 3 in a 4 part series in the lead up to the 2012 UK Employer Branding World Series Summit in London on 21 March 2012 where Brett was the Summit Chairing and keynote speaker.
Without a doubt, advances in new technologies, the emergence of social media and the popularity of mobile devices have encouraged companies to rethink how they communicate employer branding messages to employees, candidates and other key stakeholders.
The speed of the transition from print to online, and the need to integrate online and offline communications, caught many companies by surprise. A significant number are only just starting to catch up.
When social media first became popular, many companies resisted its surge and simply reacted by banning employees from accessing sites such as Facebook and Twitter during working hours. However, this attitude no longer holds weight. To get around the ban, employees simply brought their own smartphones to work and used them away from the prying eyes of their supervisors.
Due to its potential size, scope and scale, social media has become appealing to businesses of all sizes around the world. Successful use of social media has had a positive impact on employer brand equity for companies such as Starbucks, Sodexo, Coca-Cola, Zappos and Philips.
Organisations are required to react to changing consumer and employee behaviour and embrace new media that are fast becoming entwined into our daily lives for social, business and commercial reasons.
A strong employer brand is built upon mental (image) and physical availability (market reach), so it should work towards building consistent associations that you want your employees, candidates and other key stakeholders to have about what it's like to work at your company. Your social media strategy should work towards expanding your market reach to your target audience using the most effective internal and external communication channels.
Employer brand managers need to know what their distinctive employer brand assets are. Readers are familiar with the distinctive brand assets of companies such as Google (employee benefits and working environment), Zappos (company culture) or being able to easily recognise some brands simply from their logo (Nike). Employer brand managers need to reinforce such distinctive assets in their communications rather than frequently changing their way of addressing candidates.
Understand which media are most effective
Success in today's new media landscape requires diversity in online and offline employer brand communications, and the need for integration across platforms. Only around 1% of fans of the biggest brands on Facebook are actually engaging with the brands, according to a study from the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute, an Australia-based marketing think tank that counts Procter & Gamble, Coca-Cola and other major advertisers as supporters.
An integrated approach to employer brand communications strategy
This second article of a two part series (read part 1 click here) discusses how leading companies are deploying best practice employer branding communication initiatives to attract and engage talent.
Employer Brand International’s (EBI) 2011 Employer Branding Global Research study shows there are a plethora of channels being used by organisations to communicate their employer brand (see figure 1). The main channels include:
Figure 1 – The main communication channels companies are planning to utilize to communicate their Employer Brand during FY 2011/2012
click on image to enlarge
Source: © Employer Brand International
With the increasing number of channels available to communicate your employer brand the key is to ensure integration and brand messaging consistency across your most effective channels.
A few years ago, Philips, the multinational Dutch electronics corporation realised they needed to update their communication channels. Traditional media including, print advertising and online job postings was generating fewer and fewer response. Philips understood people increasingly prefer video over pictures and listening over reading. Above all, people like to hear an inside story directly from involved people.
In the first of a two part series Brett Minchington explains the importance of a well planned Employer Brand Communications Strategy.
Building employer brand equity that creates competitive advantage in attracting and retaining talent takes time. The smart companies transition through an initial research and concept phase (usually takes between 3-12 months depending on company size, geographic spread, etc) to develop their employer brand strategy. It should also involve an analysis of the effectiveness of current communication strategies to promote the company’s employer brand and employer value propositions (EVP’s).
Whilst an increasing amount of companies such as Google, Starbucks, UnitedHealth Group, IBM, Sodexo, Deloitte and Deutsche Bank are deploying a coordinated approach to their employer brand communications, there are still many who lack the strategic foresight required to build employer brand strength and a clear understanding amongst the target audience of the benefits of the employment experience offered by the company. Google have been effective over a long period in ‘telling their employment story’ through engaging imagery (e.g. the physical working environment inside the Google offices), video and articles published around the world. On most occasions it is someone else telling the story. There is nothing more powerful than a third party endorsement! I have been fortunate to be a guest at the Switzerland offices on two occasions and it’s easy to see how a working environment can have a positive impact on productivity. But it doesn’t happen by chance, there’s a well thought out strategy that supports Google’s employer brand communication efforts which has seen it consistently ranked as a ‘great places to work,’ and admired by its peers.
Article originally published in South Africa's leading HR publication, HR Future
Brett is an International monthly columnist on employer branding for HR Future
This article provides some insights into Employer Value Proposition development as featured in Brett's new book Employer Brand Leadership - A Global Perspective.
In the second of a two part series Brett Minchington discusses how to bring your employer value proposition (EVP) to life!
Communicating your employer value proposition (EVP) is one of the most challenging, but rewarding initiatives undertaken by leaders.
As stated in part 1 of this series, the EVP is a set of associations and offerings provided by your organisation in return for the skills, capabilities and experiences an employee brings to the organisation.
Original article published in International Association of Business Communicator's, "CW Bulletin"
Since its inception in the early 1990’s the concept of Employer Branding has been the domain of the Human Resources department. Today best practice employer branding is involving the input of the internal marketing and communications departments to support the HR function in what can be a complex process to develop an employer brand for competitive advantage in today’s market where talent and skills are in short supply and increasing demand.
International employer brand strategist, author and presenter, Brett Minchington MBA discusses the role of communication in executing your employer brand strategy.
Your employer brand can be defined as “the image of your organization as a ‘great place to work’ in the minds of current employees and key stakeholders in the external market (active and passive candidates, clients, customers and other key stakeholders).”
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