Employer branding refers to a concerted effort by an organization to project its unique identity and superiority in the employment market as an attractive employer to potential job candidates. This is synonymous to branding an organization as an attractive and interesting place to work for (just like it would be striving for branding its final product to customers as well). The benefit of employer branding spills over in many critical areas of a business. It contributes to a chain of benefits for practicing firms. Simply put, it helps to attract the best talents in the industry that would ultimately spell success and superiority in the market place.
Here are six strategies (based on observation of best practices by multinational corporations) to help you develop a strong employer brand:
1. Brand your product first
Employer branding cannot take place in a void. This must be interlinked with your overall branding campaign of the final product. A strong external brand can create a story in the job market for which potential candidates would be attracted to compete for a job. Working for a strong brand with much reputation provides both external (social) and intrinsic (psychological) rewards for an employee. These social and psychological motives would ultimately inspire the best talents to seek jobs at your place.
2. Fair Recruitment through Engagement
Are the talented candidates sure that your organization will hire him/her on a fair basis? Talents cannot be recruited and nurtured unless the employer believes in fairness. Lot of talented candidates won’t apply if there is a perception that they would not be considered on a fair ground. “Professionalism” in employer branding means that you project a positive image through honest communication and fair recruitment process. Some would argue that, complete fairness in all recruitment events cannot be ensured, because this is not practical. Organizations go through pressures from many quarters, as well as through their own internal agenda. Well, some organizations handle the situation by not providing these “back-door” employees any critical task that is crucial to their success. Keep your fairly recruited talents upfront in the battling arena where the key roles of heroes need to be played.
Recruitment process also needs to be re-engineered. The traditional interview method might be obsolete by now because anybody can be trained to do well in front of an interview board. This may not necessarily reflect the candidate’s future performance in the organization. Can you make your recruitment process more engaging? Can you make the candidate go through multiple stages of case solution, group discussion, oral interview on problem solving and like? Engagement reveals more of a candidate that needs to be known to decide whether he/she would be a right fit for the organization. Even a talented candidate might become irrelevant for a job because of this specification misfit (i.e., his/her expertise may not be useful and relevant for the job he/she is applying for).
3. Internal Branding
Once recruited, how do you nurture your employees for internal branding? Internal branding refers to educating, indoctrinating, and training its employees to know the philosophy of the company, its products, values and environment with the pulse and reflection of the company’s leadership and direction. It helps in achieving rational and emotional attachment of employees with the organization. Starting with educating employees about organization and brands, it ends up with employees “loving” the organization and brands, thereby they start “living the brand”. It is about knowing, liking, loving and living sequence that an employee needs to be moved on through company’s ongoing internal branding efforts. It would ultimately result in “internal brand evangelists”, who would go a long way to spread the good word, not because they are being paid for their jobs, but because they love and live the brand from their hearts. Of course, competitive compensation package is a must to sustain this like-love-live sequence. Under-compensated employees would have a feeling of deprivation, and love for an organization cannot sustain in the long-run without money in it.
(to be continued)