1st June 2018
Building a strong employer brand is critical for organisational performance
Mike Roe, CEO, Footdown
With the business landscape becoming increasingly complex and unpredictable, competition for talent is accelerating and many senior executives are realising that having a strong employer brand is just as important as the general corporate brand as it can play a crucial role in boosting organisational performance, competitiveness and growth.
For a long time employer branding fell under the responsibility of HR and marketing departments but due to social media’s emergence, companies can no longer afford to rely on recruitment advertising to build a positive employer brand.
Employee advocacy is becoming a critical aspect of a brand’s public image and many organisations have had to become more transparent and adjust their company culture so it garners employee loyalty successfully.
This shift in strategy brings senior leaders and organisational values into the spotlight, making employer branding a critical strategic priority for top management and all other organisational layers.
So how can companies compete effectively in this quest for talent and promote a robust, attractive and engaging employer brand?
The first step should be a thorough assessment of your employer brand’s awareness and reputation – understanding where your organisation stands in terms of employer branding lets you prioritise issues that need addressing immediately and highlights areas that will take time to improve and perfect.
Thankfully, due to technological advancement, senior managers no longer have to go through long, disruptive and expensive processes to access in depth, reliable insights about the intricate organisational ecosystem.
Nowadays progressive organisations use innovative, automated diagnostic tools that deliver, in a matter of minutes, relevant insights necessary for shaping an engaging, compelling company culture and employer brand.
Regardless of the chosen tool, the key features you have to keep in mind are anonymity and confidentiality. Only in this way can you truly understand what your employees need in order to leverage their full potential and improve organisational performance.
Employees are not just a number
Your employees handle every-day activities and can be a priceless source of information regarding customer feedback, the company’s strong points and potential weaknesses.
A key factor in the strongest talent retention strategies is the ability to nurture the current workforce and successfully letting people know they are more than just a number.
By encouraging your staff to identify the difficulties and dysfunctions encountered in their work and asking them to propose improvement initiatives you’ll create an inclusive company culture that makes employees feel their voice and opinions matter.
Building brand advocacy
Once you have evaluated your current employer brand and reputation it’s time to define how you’d like to be seen as an employer and translate this into a clear and compelling set of company values.
Create an authentic message and engaging tone of voice for your brand so that current staff and potential candidates know exactly what to expect as an employee.
Ensure that everyone understands the value and impact a strong employer brand has on the success of the business and the role each person needs to play in sustaining a consistent brand experience and reputation.
Make sure the brand voice is consistent both internally and externally. Clear discrepancies between the public image and how your employees view the company create confusion and can alienate valuable candidates, customers and potential investors.
Be proactive in using social media and communications channels to share company values and highlight your strengths to build an authentic and appealing employer brand reputation.
Keep employees and potential candidates engaged through regular communication but don’t forget it’s a two way street – listening to your employees and regularly gauging their perception should be just as high priority as periodic newsletters, social media posts and team building.
As the competition for talent is becoming more challenging, employee advocacy is growing ever more important and reputations are defined by an employer’s values and vision.
If you want to attract top talent make sure you nurture and value your existing employees and treat them as customers of your employer brand. In the end your employees can be your greatest brand ambassadors or harshest critics.