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This article provides insights from Brett's new book "Employer Brand Leadership - A Global Perspective?" For full details please visit the publisher's website click here>
Building market based assets with employer branding
Your employer brand is “the image of your organisation as a ‘great place to work’ in the mind of current employees and key stakeholders in the external market (active and passive candidates, clients, customers and other key stakeholders). The art and science of employer branding is therefore concerned with the attraction, engagement and retention initiatives targeted at enhancing your company's employer brand."
A strong employer brand is built upon mental (image) and physical availability (market reach) so your creative should work towards building consistent associations you want your employees, candidates and other key stakeholders to have about ‘what it’s like to work at your company.’ Your strategy should work towards expanding your market reach to your target audience using the most effective internal and external communication channels.
However the biggest challenge I find for managers responsible for the employer brand strategy is they don’t understand the science of branding and lack knowledge in branding principles and practices which have been informed by decades of research into how brands grow.
Common employer branding mistakes
Some of the most common mistakes I see made by companies include:
Original employer branding article published in South Africa's HR Future and New Zealand's Human Resources Magazine
Have you read Brett's new book "Employer Brand Leadership - A Global Perspective?" For full details please visit the publisher's website click here>
The Profit v Engagement Paradox
Optimising employee engagement has been a common objective of companies over the past five years. This shift in focus has been driven by a more informed view on the relationship between employee/customer engagement and profit.
Studies by global consulting firms such as Gallup, ISR and Hewitt have shown higher levels of employee engagement lead to higher sales revenues and profits. One of the most well know examples that demonstrated this relationship is Sears who used an ‘employee-customer-profit chain’ to analyse aggregated data from 800 stores, finding that employee attitudes towards their company and their jobs lead to positive employee behaviours toward customers. Sears found that a five percent increase in employee satisfaction drives a 1.3 percent in customer satisfaction, which results in 0.5 percent increase in revenue growth.
Studies also show higher levels of customer engagement lead to stronger financial performance. A 2009 study by Wetpaint and Altimeter Group found companies that are both deeply and widely engaged in social media surpass their peers in terms of both revenue and profit performance by a significant difference. The study found Mavens (defined as brands that are engaged in seven or more channels and have an above-average engagement score) had significantly higher revenue growth, gross margin growth and net margin growth over the previous 12 month period compared to their peers that engaged in fewer channels and had below-average engagement scores.
The Profit & Engagement Matrix
The main objective of a company is to maximise profit whether this is measured in financial outcomes (e.g. private and publicly listed sector) or social good (e.g. not-for-profit and Non-Government Organisation (NGO) sector) or a combination of both (e.g. Government sector)
To encourage companies to define their strategic focus and develop strategy that achieves a better balance between profit and engagement objectives I developed The Profit & Engagement Matrix.
The framework will assist leaders to develop strategies that consider the needs of all stakeholders and do not favour one (e.g. shareholders) at the expense of others (e.g. employees). The framework can also be used as part of the strategic review process to assist leaders to better understand when and where profit, and employee/customer engagement trade-offs will need to be made based on the strategic priorities of the company at the time.
This article provides some insights into "Building employer brand equity as featured in Brett's new book Employer Brand Leadership - A Global Perspective.
Original employer branding article published in South Africa's HR Future Magazine
A company has one brand and the art and science of employer branding provides a focus for the role of the ‘employee’ in building brand equity.
In addressing the challenge of measuring the ROI of your employer brand strategy your approach can be informed by previous research in marketing, specifically in the area of brand image and brand equity.
Brand associations are the determinants of brand image. Keller defines brand image as an amalgamation of the perceptions related to the product related/non-product related attributes and the functional/symbolic benefits that are encompassed in the brand associations that reside in consumer memory.
Marketing literature supports the concept that product brand equity is strengthened when the brand image resonates with the consumer. As brand awareness heightens, consumers begin to develop positive identification with the brand. The more positive the brand is perceived to be, the more highly identified the consumer becomes with the product. As social identity theory suggests, in the end, the consumer purchases the brand because of the positive self-concept that results from feeling membership with the brand. In a similar manner, as potential employees find positive aspects of the employer image, they are more likely to identify with the brand, and will more likely choose to seek membership with the organisation for the sense of heightened self-image that membership promises.
Article originally published in South Africa's leading HR publication, HR Future where Brett is an International monthly columnist on employer branding.
Could this be your most undervalued talent attraction asset?
With the global population estimated at over 6.8 billion people, it’s staggering to learn there are nearly 2 billion people internet users around the world. What is even more staggering is that the fastest growing region in the world is Africa with over 2,300 % growth in users during the period 2000-2010. Compare this to around 145% growth in North America during the same period and it is clear to see that Africa is getting connected!
Developments in internet technologies to support talent attraction efforts have also been rapid during this period. The use of the internet for activities central to the recruitment process has shifted the paradigm of traditional paper based methods. The recruitment process is now being supported by rich media, videos, social media, RSS feeds, podcasting, blogs, and applicant tracking systems (ATS).
Google’s keyword tool says there is an average of 506,000,000 searches per month using the keyword search ‘jobs.’ Jobseekers are no longer just interested in finding a job; they are becoming more particular in gaining a better insight into a company’s culture, values and employment benefits before joining. A company’s employer brand rates highly on a job seekers list and one of the most effective ways to communicate your employer value propositions (EVP’s) and provide an insight into, “what it is like to work here,” is through your careers website.
In most cases, the information on careers sites is simply a replica of the "about us" section of the main corporate website. It’s boring and does very little to engage visitors to your site and may actually be doing your employer brand damage.
The purpose of your careers website should be to:
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.
With the increasing fragmentation of offline and online channels used to communicate, ‘What it’s like to work for this organisation,’ it pays to ensure the employment experience you project to current and future employees is matched by what you can realistically deliver upon throughout the employee lifecycle from hire to retire.
At the heart of your employer brand strategy should be your employer value proposition (EVP). Your EVP is an employee-centred approach that is aligned to existing, integrated workforce planning strategies because it has been informed by existing employees and your external target audience. In its simplest form, your EVP is a set of associations and offerings provided by your organisation in return for the skills, capabilities and experiences an employee brings to your organisation.
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Please consider Brett's new book "Employer Brand Leadership - A Global Perspective" For full details please visit the pubisher's website click here>
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