Human resources and marketing need to get in bed together. By Andrew Usher, Billy Blue Creative.
18th November, 2008 by Andrew Usher
With skills shortages facing almost every industry, it is not surprising that employer branding has become a top priority for many organisations. Like many business strategies it has arrived with it's own buzzwords and marketing terminology that make it sound overly strategic and complicated.
Strip it down
And it's really not that sophisticated. Your employer brand is the unique culture that can only be found inside your organisation and is therefore what makes you different from the next place. As with any brand, it is the promise of an experience (in this case, the employment experience) and it's this experience that you need to market.
Know what you've got to offer
Start by identifying the values and personality traits of your employer brand. Define the functional benefits of working at your organisation and the emotional benefits. This information will help you identify your 'Employer Value Proposition' (or the sum of what you have to offer). The EVP, values and personality then helps steer the creative direction for the employer brand 'look and feel' and ensures that the messaging reflects the experience.
Show you care
Employer branding is a long-term recruitment and retention strategy and requires investment, commitment and patience. Don't do it by half. The employer brand 'look and feel' must be applied consistently across all employment marketing or any touch-point in the employment lifecycle, from basic job adverts to career websites, information packs and induction material. Creative employment marketing shows that you value your culture enough to invest in how it is expressed, this in turn reassures your audience that the same care will be placed in your efforts with them. Creative employment marketing and employer brands enable you to attract candidates who demonstrate like-minded behaviours and who share the same values as your organisation.
Managing your brand means actively managing your culture
In my experience, organisations that have successfully managed their cultures are the ones who have identified a core set of behaviours that all employees must display in order for the company to achieve its goals. These behaviours then drive recruitment, selection and performance management processes, and subsequently play a large role in defining the culture.
Your employer brand is the promise of an experience and an important image that must be carefully managed. It should compliment your core brand with its own identity, personality and a unique 'look and feel'. From the way you answer the phone, to how the career section looks on your website. It all says something about you as an employer, and should be consistently themed.
HR and Marketing have to work hand-in-hand on this one I'm afraid.
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