As humans, we’re way past the age where the driving points in choosing a job (any work for that matter) were meeting our basic needs – food, clothing and shelter. In today’s fast paced corporate world, the decision criteria for choosing jobs is quite a complex combination of aspects. Job seekers today are more aware than ever, having instant access to unlimited amount of information using their mobile phones, tablets or computers. As an employer, if you want to attract fresh talent and yet retain the ones you already have, it’s important to think about your company as a “brand” and job seekers and existing employees alike, as consumers. For being an employer brand, staying impressive and attractive while also keeping your promises is the only way to survive and thrive in today’s times.
Marketing.. Branding.. or Both?
An organization has two brands:
1. the “Consumer brand” (to sell its products and services)
2. the “Employer brand” (to attract and retain employees)
Ask a few people about what it’s like to work for Apple; you’ll hear words like fresh, creative, technologically advanced, suave, etc. but the weird part half of these people would never have even worked at Apple. This also goes for organizations like L’Oreal or Google. This is why the world of employment branding is so fascinating. Just like corporate brands, the fame often comes before the experience. Businesses have started to realise that just like the values and ethics they advertise to clients, there’s a clear need to instill and reflect their “employer values” to their existing and potential employees.
Take for instance, when startups grows into a larger company, their staff requirements change dramatically. Managing this can be crucial to their growth and success. At this stage, they are so concerned with communicating with external audiences, that little time is spared to think about employees.
For growing companies in such situations, employees are at the heart of what makes brand storytelling come to life and what creates meaningful experiences for customers. They are like that portion of the iceberg which you cannot see but must never ignore.
How to attract and retain top talent?
Glassdoor CEO, Robert Hohman, passionately talks about his view on the importance of employer branding and the world of work. “As a world, we have shifted away from a lever-based society to a world that is fueled by skilled workers doing knowledge work. The thing that is new is that you can hire 10 amazing people and they can each have a dramatically disproportionate effect on your company.” Company branding falls under the not-so-flattering category of statistics. As per Glassdoor research, 29% of job seekers feel that their potential employers don’t emphasize enough on their employer brand image which deters them from applying for a job with those companies.
Without a known and positive employer brand, it’s highly unlikely that companies will achieve a high turnover. Employees want to be associated with a strong employer and without it, higher attrition rates are inevitable. so a continuous process of brand building is always needed to reduce attrition and achieve higher engagement, in time this would eventually lead to higher productivity.
Not to mention, employment branding also helps companies stand out among their competition and attract top talent. A survey conducted by Glassdoor found that 94% job seekers want to hear about what makes the company unique or special, and 84% of people would change jobs if the new employer had a significantly better employer brand.
Below image credit and courtesy: Marketing Tech Blog (www.marketingtechblog.com)
What drives your brand?
A website is a great starting point, and if you’re on social media that’s even better. You’re probably running regular campaigns and wondering what your next marketing campaign should be. But what about your employees? We know that customers have relationships with people, not companies. If you’re not investing in your people, your marketing activities are only going to have limited success.
Building an impressive employer brand is not only about HR-created videos that showcase your culture, social media presence and campaigns. Sometimes being unconventional and involving everyone at your company can bring exciting results. We’ve picked out two great examples from here in India, that highlight such an approach. Both organizations made an outstanding attempt at uniting employees to showcase themselves, bringing their employer brands to life in the process:
- Experience Commerce- As a Digital marketing agency, they rolled out a campaign called “Mission Hiring.” Tapping into the fact that they are one of India’s coolest digital agencies, they called hiring managers to show off what it’s really like to work on their team. They did a great job of not only articulating what kind of talent Experience Commerce is looking for, but also showcased the cultural values of the company. Their employees were lauded for their humor, creativity, ability to step up in a tight spot. As a bonus, they also demonstrated just how quirky (in a very good way) their new team would be with their future hires.
- Talentica Software- They are an offshore product development company. When they scored their 200th and 201st hires, they wanted to celebrate in style. Apparently the winning idea was to welcome the lucky employees number 200 and 201 by choreographing an elaborate dance routine to Gangnam Style. The video went viral socially and gave the company tremendous visibility- but the best part was that it showed off the company’s warm, friendly and quite dance-gifted employees.
While often overlooked as just “the people who work for the company”, employees are the biggest marketing asset that a brand can have. Believe it or not, employees rank higher in public trust than a firm’s PR department, CEO, or Founder. 41% of us believe that employees are the most credible source of information regarding their business. When a customer interacts with your employees, in person or with their work, your PR and marketing department are put to the test. To truly make brand stories come to life, we have to be willing to lead our brand storytelling internally. Every person who represents our brand must understand what makes the company unique. By getting employees excited about our story, we’re able to build a unified, cohesive team that is proud to tell its stories.
The whole story of the need & manner of building a Company Brand can be boiled down to the following:
Sure, you need a strategy, long-term thinking and budget to build your employer brand; but you can always develop quick hits by coming up with entertaining and impactful ideas like the ones above. Just don’t forget that the most important part of running successful campaigns like these is engaging your company’s employees and tapping into their creativity, personality and talents.
So, on a closing note, always remember: Put employees first, Make your “employer brand” more attractive, and stay consistent in your values/ethics externally as well as internally.
Deeba is polymath at sumHR. She manages engagement activities at office and loves to create “art” in her writings. When not working on the virtual world, she lets herself be consumed by wanderlust to venture on her belief of being a learner for life.
By Deeba Tromboo / .