International Employer Brand strategist and author, Brett Minchington MBA defines your employer brand as, “The image of your organisation as a great place to work as perceived by your internal (current employees) and external audience (active and passive candidates). To achieve sustainable growth in today’s climate companies must focus their collective efforts on developing their employer brand to attract and retain talent before their competitors do.
To build a best practice employer brand program Minchington recommends companies need to understand how their current employer brand is perceived by employees and candidates the company would like to convert into new hires. This should involve vigorous research to discover the key drivers of the employer brand, the employer value propositions, why employees choose to join the company and why they choose to leave.
Companies should assess the effectiveness of how they communicate their employment experience to the target audience. Developments in internet technologies have been rapid and assist recruiters to speed up the hiring process to attract the best minds. The use of the internet for activities central to the employment process has shifted the paradigm of the traditional recruitment process. The recruitment process is now being supported by career websites, RSS feeds, podcasting, blogs, rich media and e-recruitment technology that allow companies to build relationships with potential employees. This is being supported by traditional recruitment activities including press advertising, career fairs, billboard recruitment ads, on-campus marketing, alumni events and sponsorship.
“Too often talent is left waiting for a recruiter’s call to advise them of the next steps in the application process. In today’s talent short market companies will miss out on the best available talent if they are slowed down by bureaucratic recruitment practices,” Minchington said.
Companies should assess how their employer brand aligns with their corporate and consumer brands. Minchington asks companies to consider if they are sending mix messages to their consumers who are potentially also the target audience or a valuable source of referrals for vacant positions.
A leading Australian financial institution, St George Bank has developed an employer brand positioning using the theme, ‘Good with People, Good with Money.” This theme is relevant to both St George’s employees and their customers. Recruitment communications are developed around this theme to carry the employer brand and customer promise. An effective communication plan to promote the employment experience should be build on a robust employer brand strategic framework that aligns people management policies and practices and has clear line of site in the strategic plan. It should be authentic and not simply a set of slogans and glossy advertisements.
Leaders should understand how environmental factors impact on their ability to attract and retain talent. Minchington says, “In countries such as Japan and Italy the ageing population is placing increasing pressure on the health and education industries to transfer the knowledge from retirees to younger workers who will be responsible for the future growth of their organisations.”
To measure return on investment in employer branding Minchington advises, “There is no standard of measurement that fits every organisation, nor should there be – all organisations are different. Cost per hire, turnover rates, absenteeism, head count, engagement levels, time to fill, retention rates, time to productivity, total costs of labour to revenue, and candidate satisfaction rates are all examples of metrics that will assist managers to measure their ROI on employer brand programs.”
On a recent tour of the new Google offices in Zurich, Switzerland, Minchington was reminded of the outcomes of having a strong employer brand. “Google employees are a powerful front line tool to communicate to potential hires what they can expect from joining the company and an endorsement to current employees that they have made the right choice. The benefits show in their retention rate and bottom line performance of this benchmark employer brand firm.
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