Getting your employer brand strategy right will require a dedicated and disciplined approach. However, advertising no longer has the impact it once did.
We are now in the age of the customer which has placed more responsibility on organisations to clearly define the role of employees in delivering signature employee experiences. For example, customers would have experienced a seamless experience from the moment they decided which airline to fly to when they exited the airport at their destination.
This does not happen by chance. It is a result of aligning the employer brand strategy at an organisational level so that HR systems, policies and processes have an impact across all lines of the business and influence company culture focused on optimising the customer experience on every single flight.
Digitalise your employer brand strategy and think mobile first
The digital technologies underlying talent attraction, engagement and retention may not be new, but they are being used to new effect. Enormous amounts of information are accessible as never before-from what’s being said about your company online to internal forums focused on improving business processes.
Analytical and processing capabilities have made similar leaps with algorithms scattering intelligence across digital networks. Mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets and phablets make that information and computing power accessible to users around the world.
As these technologies gain momentum, they are profoundly changing the strategic context of employer branding. Research by Employer Brand International found social media (58%) to be the number one channel for communicating the employer brand whilst only 21% are using a mobile optimised career website to communicate their employer brand.
Focus your employer branding resources
The focus for the employer brand leader is on recruitment at companies such as Facebook, Amazon and KPMG. However companies such as LinkedIn, IKEA and Amtrak have adopted a holistic approach to employer branding across the total .
History shows that companies transition towards a strategic approach to employer brand management after two to three years of adopting the concept. This is consistent with how employer branding evolves inside a company as expertise and experience builds across the leadership teams.
It is clear that with the increasing talent shortages around the world we will begin to see many more follow the lead of companies such as Google, IBM, Marriott, 3M and EY in recruiting leaders to leverage the value an employer brand strategy has on profitability and sustainability.
Whilst there are company culture and structural issues in re-organizing and implementing a holistic employer branding function if the trend of appointing employer brand managers continues as it is has in the USA, Europe and the UK over the past few years there is no doubt the role of the employer brand leader will become more commonplace in places such as Russia, Brazil, UAE, Poland and Asia as companies in these regions seek the benefits gained by those companies who are already three to five years into their journey.
As talent from emerging markets join online professional networks it will create challenges and well as opportunities as companies are forced to expand their market reach beyond their own borders and tap into the on-demand workforce which is experiencing significant growth as barriers to entry decrease in industries such as taxi’s, home help and fast food.
Even in the employer brand industry new business models are launching which reduces the time to audit and develop an employer brand strategy in half simply by using smart technologies to collect internal and external insights compared to the traditional cumbersome face-face focus groups and leadership interviews. Not only is time saved but the cost is also reduced.
Research by PwC and LinkedIn assessed country’s talent adaptability which is the rate at which people switch between roles and sectors, the rate at which they’re promoted and the number of jobs left open in a market.
The research found visibility from online professional networks leads to better hiring. Online professional networks give organisations access to a larger talent pool and critically, to passive candidates as well as those actively looking for a job. Similarly, talented people can explore well beyond their own borders and have access to far more information on potential employers.
Build employer brand leadership capability
Managing the employee experience across the employment lifecycle should be a shared responsibility. Employer brand leaders need to build awareness and capability in employer branding principles and practices across the organisation rather than relying on only one or two leaders to manage the function as has been traditional practice.
Train leaders in employer branding and educate them on the role of employer branding in contributing to company value. As a minimum teach leaders to answer the following questions:
What is employer branding?
Why is it important?
Which companies are leading the way in employer brand strategy?
How do we measure return on investment (ROI) of employer branding?
How will market trends impact on how we attract, engage and retain talent over the next 5 years!
10 years ago employer branding was a nice to have. It has now become a strategic imperative, whilst we see big name companies adopt a strategic approach to employer branding, the majority of companies are still focused on using employer branding for recruitment only leading to an employee experience that is inconsistent and disjointed and far from what was promised before they join your organisation.
Achieve better employer branding this year, along with the employees you have right now!