“A great brand is a promise, a compact with a customer about quality, reliability, innovation, and even community.”
Stephen B. Shepard
A brand is a promise. When a person thinks of certain top brands there are a few qualities that come to mind. Take Apple for instance. When I think of Apple I think of creative, innovative, easy-to-use, intuitive and elegantly designed technology. When a brand consistently delivers on their promise they are able to build stronger relationships with their customers, relationships that people identify with. A strong brand pulls people in so much so that people begin to identify themselves with the brand identity. Remember the old ad campaign, “Are you a Mac or a PC?” Those ads were so effective because the team at Apple knew there was a large group of people who defined themselves in some way by the computer they used, which in turn allowed Apple to build a community of fans.
What is an Employer Brand?
According to the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM), an employer brand is “what the organization communicates as its identity to both potential and current employees.” An employer brand should be an extension of the corporate brand and the two should ideally be closely linked. A corporate brand communicates the product or service expectations to its customers and the employer brand communicates expectations of how employees will be treated when delivering those products and services. If a brand is a promise to its customers, an employer brand should be a promise to its workers.
Why is an Employer Brand Important?
A strong employer brand can be a powerful tool in both talent acquisition and retention. When a company keeps its promises to its workers, word spreads, making it easier for organizations to attract new employees. A strong employer brand also helps candidates understand what the company stands for and what to expect, which helps them to decide if the employer’s brand promise aligns with their personal goals. If the company delivers on that promise the employee is likely to stick around a lot longer because their expectations are being met, which reduces turnover, builds loyalty, and improves employee engagement, which is similar to how long lasting customer relationships are established through the corporate brand.
How Can I Define My Employer Brand?
Use these tools to help define your employer brand:
- Ask your talent network what matters most: A great way to begin to define your employer brand is to listen to your workforce: past, present, and potential. Conduct a survey to see how applicants, employees, and alumni view your organization’s promise and how often those expectations are met.
- Get back to your core: Review your organization’s mission statement and core values. It is important to understand the why of your company so you can craft a message that will attract the right “who” for your company.
- Talk to your customers: Your customers interact with your employees on a regular basis and a great way to look at your organization’s reputation from the outside and will help you determine if your corporate brand and employer brand are aligned. Information from your customers will also help you gauge if you are meeting the expectations of your workers. Unhappy employees tend to create unhappy customers, so this source of information is critical.
- Craft an employer brand promise: Determine what your greatest strengths as an employer are and make a pledge to deliver them to your employees consistently. Your ability to meet the expectations of your employees is the most important aspect of defining your employer brand. Use this promise to craft your messages, inform your interview process, and define employee engagement programs. Take look at this playbook by LinkedIn for more insight on crafting your employer brand.
Employer branding is a powerful tool and can be used to build a loyal and committed workforce. It can reduce time-to-hire, employee turnover, and your overall hiring costs while creating long lasting relationships. Investing time in understanding who your organization is and what it promises is fundamental to fulfilling those promises which in turn will strengthen your corporate brand and have an impact on your bottom line.
Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) solutions from Advanced RPO can help you evaluate and improve your hiring processes to get the talent you need to succeed. Contact us today to learn more about our high-touch solutions.