Sunday, September 19, 2010

Employer Branding

Employer Branding is still quite new and perhaps misunderstood term. Some professionals see it more as a modern buzz word, while others feel it is so intangible that it is difficult to qualify.

Employer Branding means building an identity, a story, a culture that has the ability to talk to the right target populations wherever they may be around the world. Employer Branding distinguishes a company from its competitors !

The employer brand is “the image of your organization as a ‘great place to work’ in the minds of current employees and key stakeholders in the external market, and is concerned with the attraction, engagement and retention initiatives targeted at enhancing a company’s employer brand.”

Corporations have finally understood, that it is very important to develop an employer brand that makes sense for their organization. Talented candidates need to identify with companies that can offer the type of career they are looking for and the environment that appeals best to them. Communication and transparency is vital.

An employer brand must be managed consistently and exists whether a company actively manages its Employer Value Proposition (EVP), or not. The disciplines used for managing a corporate brand are increasingly used by the human resource and talent management community to attract, engage and retain talented candidates and employees in the same way marketing applies such practices in attracting and retaining clients.

A company’s corporate brand speaks to all key audiences – clients, prospects, investors, media, and partners – all stakeholders – including existing and potential employees. Employer brand is a facet of the corporate brand, not a separate competing brand. The two are inextricably linked and they have to be aligned.

Corporate branding is not just tagging your logo onto everything you is the core values that define what your company stands for. Think long and hard about your identity. Is this branding campaign simply like a big advertising campaign, or is it a campaign to tell the world who you are? If it's the former, you're in for a tough time. If it's the latter, you have a shot at making it through a difficult branding process and coming out on the other side stronger, with a deeper, wider moat to protect you from the competition.

There is a definite global shift in candidate attitudes to employment, career development, employers of choice, international mobility, work-life balance, women in the workplace, etc… Companies need to understand that this modern & transparent “attitude” is not simply a trend, but, a reality.

It is becoming increasingly competitive to attract and retain talent (at all levels). With the increasing global shortage of talent driven by an aging population, increased mobility of workers, especially generation Y’s, migration, and technological advances, attracting the right talent for your organization will become increasingly difficult.

Companies that spend time and money on employer branding reap the benefits. Just a few…

1. Companies that ‘live the brand’ spend less on advertising…companies like Starbucks and Google.

2. Companies with consistent, distinctive and deeply held values tended to outperform those companies with a less clear and articulated ethos.

3. Retention costs are significantly lower than the costs associated with hiring, training and integrating a new employee, not to mention time lost when the role is not filled.

4. Companies with a strong EVP/brand recruit the best talent and curb attrition.

5. Employees more likely to be engaged and perform consistently at a higher level when employer brand is strong.

Employer brand management should be a priority for companies of all sizes. Remember, while an unsatisfied customer tells ten people about his experience, an unsatisfied employee tells a hundred.

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