Maintaining the Employer Brand
Written by Geoff Newman on 05/08/2010
Employer branding first surfaced in the 1990s during the war for talent. Now, however, organisations are surrounded by choice with the number of applications that they receive for each position. So is investment in employer branding worthwhile? The CIPD says it is, suggesting that actions that affect the way people regard businesses will be pivotal in ensuring the future of organisations. Below, therefore, are some tips on how to maintain the employer brand:
1. Sell the benefits of employer branding.
Measure the impact of clear branding so that it’s more than simply ‘nice to have’. Qualitative feedback on the branding is useful for reflecting the organisation’s mood. Use language that suits your business as well, so for example don’t call it ‘branding’ if you find it more valuable to discuss ‘protecting your corporate reputation’ instead.
2. Connect it to other business strategies.
Connect employer branding to wider business plans and strategies, and join together colleagues from various disciplines (like PR and marketing) to share insights and techniques. A clear and consistent message should be given to everyone about your employer brand.
3. Attempt the ‘on a shoestring’ challenge.
Promote what you already offer as a business, since many staff don’t realise the value or extent of their benefits. Simple and low-cost ideas can also make a difference so long as they are pitched to appeal to your people.
4. Be engaging.
Engaged employees have been shown to be satisfied, perform better and be less likely to quit. Since so many feel insecure at work, retaining employees is not so much of a trouble as it may have been, but people should still be kept engaged to maintain their support for the future.
Difficult conversations should not be avoided. But day-to-day communication is also very important. Passing information on from managers to staff is essential, and as much care should be given to internal communication as it is to press releases. Although brand damage can arise from disgruntled staff on the internet, some employers have benefited from using blogs and forums within their organisation to discuss business issues.
6. Think in the long-term.
Maintain or create a good reputation for your organisation in the recruitment market to attract future graduates. The ways in which the economy can induce changes in culture and new ways of working should be considered for this. But don’t forget that your top talent also needs to be looked after. Retain the employees you need.