11 Essential Employer Branding Tips to Keep in Your Back Pocket
Searing a fire-heated symbol into the flesh of livestock is one way to think about branding. In HR circles there’s another, hot, branding practice. It’s about winning front-of mind presence among top talent, securing renown as an employer of choice, building relationships and developing strategies that inspire and engage internal stakeholders.
In two words: employer branding.
While Corporate Social Responsibility plays a part in shaping an organization’s reputation, strategic employer branding influences the perceptions of employees and prospective candidates in a profound and very real way.
As consumers we purchase product and service brands that reflect our likes and interests and sometimes even our sense of self. Carrying a Hermes handbag or wearing a Rolex timepiece, scoring an original Banksy (is that even possible) or dining in a Michelin restaurant produce altogether different feelings than carrying or wearing “great find” knock-offs, hanging a garage-sale print or eating at a local fast food chain.
Consumer branding imparts defining, emotional experiences each unto themselves. Employer branding is similar.
Imagine you’re at a social gathering when conversation shifts to (of all things) work. What comes to mind if someone says they work for BMW? Walmart? Disney? Google? There’s an immediate association with that employer brand, right? Sometimes it’s a strong, positive association. Other times, not so much.
How to make employer branding a happening thing
How organizations make affirmative employer branding happen and stick, begins, as always, with leadership leading the charge.
Carry these other 11 tips for employer branding in your back pocket and pull them out as reminders from time to time:
- Employer branding applies from the moment a potential candidate expresses interest in joining your organization through to the day they leave.
- Clearly define and communicate your mission, vision, and values. They are, after all, the bricks and mortar of your employer brand.
- Make certain all levels of management understand their responsibility and role in employer branding. Train and train and train again. Actions speak loud.
- Appoint an employer brand champion – whether that’s your CEO at the helm or a formal paid position depends on the culture of your organization.
- Align policies, processes, and procedures with your employer brand. If your organization touts itself as green, make sure you’re doing the right things. Do you donate tired furnishings to local charities or ship castoffs to the landfill? How is that paper shredder helping or hindering? What cleaning products does your custodial staff use?
- Demonstrate exemplary corporate citizenship be it local, regional, national or global in a way that fits with the image your organization wants to project.
- Know your partners. If you outsource any part of your business to any part of the world with questionable labor standards, you’re gambling with your employer brand equity.
- Speak their language. Use digital tools and other emerging technologies to advance preferably interactive communication. This is an especially important consideration as generations who have grown up with technology take on a greater presence in the work world.
- Ask and analyze. Use employee surveys, external benchmarks and other intelligence gathering tools to measure and monitor how your branding is perceived by those it’s meant to influence. Are there any emerging trends worth investigating? What are the latest labor statistics suggesting? How do your employee engagement survey results compare with other years and other organizations?
- Nurture your network. If your organization runs an employee alumnus program your employer branding is a major beneficiary. If your organization doesn’t, now is as good a time as any to set the alumni wheels in motion.
- Support continuous learning in a manner that opens your organization up to others. Host or take part in conferences, workshops, webinars and social events. Strike a Speakers Bureau. Step into the spotlight. Make your organization known.
About Patricia Bell Newson
A graduate of Canada’s leading Journalism Degree program, Patricia Bell Newson is an accomplished writer and communications specialist. As a key member of the TalentMap team, Pat leads the company’s thought leadership with full force producing weekly content on employee engagement and best practices in employee surveys. Pat’s experience in advising leaders on strategic approaches to sensitive issues, priorities, and policies together with her ability to research and easily grasp various concepts regarding the workplace has been a great asset in creating valuable insights for HR leaders.