This is an excerpt from “Launching a Successful Employer Brand: Practices that Distinguish Top Employer Brands” by Hudson RPO and HRO Today magazine. To download the full report, visit http://EmployerBrandGuide.com
According to a survey by LinkedIn, “The State of Employer Branding,” 83% of global recruiting leaders agree employer branding is a critical driver of their ability to hire top talent.
So what exactly is an employer brand? Simply put, an employer brand is an organisation’s reputation as an employer. A desirable employer brand attracts the right talent to a company – not only in terms of skill set, but in cultural fit as well. Employees who are a good fit are typically more productive, more engaged and more likely to stay with a company for the long-term, which should be a boon to any employer considering the high cost of recruiting, onboarding and turnover.
While a strong employer brand will help you attract top talent, the reality of how your employer brand is reflected across the organisation will ultimately determine the organisation’s ability to retain this talent. Bridging the image-reality gap is a key challenge for many companies that struggle to meet their brand promise.
In a recent Hudson RPO and HRO Today magazine study of 234 global HR executives and their employer brand behaviours,” a little more than half (55.3%) of survey respondents said they believe that an employer should be authentic, while 52.1% responded that the employer brand should be consistent with company practices. Other important characteristics and their response rates are detailed below:
Important Characteristics of an Employer Brand
||Top Employer Brands
||Other Employer Brands
|Consistent with company practices
|Consistent with customer brand
Source: Hudson RPO & HRO Today’s study:
“How to Launch a Successful Employer Brand: Building on the Practices of Top Employer Brands”
If there is a disconnect between how you present the company to the outside world, how your employees view the company and what it is actually like to work there, your brand will confuse and fail to engage both external and internal stakeholders. Remember your employees can either be your organisation’s strongest brand ambassadors, or your biggest critics.
Employer branding affects every touch point the organisation has with the employee, starting with the recruitment and onboarding process. It then extends to every aspect of their employment – including training and development, support networks, the development of career paths and benefits and incentives – right through to their exit from the organisation and beyond.
Obviously, if the employer brand states certain expectations, they must be delivered, otherwise the messaging backfires. Empty employer brand promises lead to turnover spikes, which in turn leads to increased recruitment costs and money wasted on supporting employer brand initiatives.
For example, if an organisation touts workforce flexibility, it then must offer work arrangements such as flex time programs, compressed work weeks, telecommuting and/or job sharing.
When developing your employer brand it is fundamental that you consider a number of questions from the outset:
- What attributes of the organisation make it attractive and compelling to both current and potential employees?
- What are the typical characteristics of your high-potential employees that you would like the rest of the population – as well as candidates you’ll be hiring in the future – to have?
- What perceptions do the rank-and-file employees have of working in your organisation? How would you like these perceptions to change?
Even if you think you know the answers to these questions, ask for your employees’ input through an online survey or via focus groups. The goal here is to acquire a more honest, well-rounded view of the employer brand. Strong employer brands are built from the inside out.
Plus, demonstrating to employees that their voices are valued and heard is a key part of the employer branding process. Employees will feel a strong sense of employer brand ownership and will be more likely to promote the brand with their wider community.
The Hudson RPO/HPO Today study affirms that organisations with top employer brands actively engage their employees in promoting the brand – 75.7% for top employer brand companies versus 51.0% among other brands.
To discuss your employer branding strategy today, contact a Hudson RPO representative and download the complete employer branding strategy report.