Leila had just got a new job at Company X. She was excited at the fact that she would be working for a bigger brand, a more established organization, and of course with better pay. She called her friend Georgina to tell her the good news.
Georgina had recently gained a new colleague, Max who had moved from Company X. So after congratulating her friend heartily, she reached out to Max to ask a few questions about Company X. He had nothing good to say, nothing at all.
"I feel sorry for her," he said so bluntly "She will not survive that place. It is horrible; they lure you in with the pay. From there, everything that happens in there will dilute anything good about the pay. They micromanage, they will not give off-days even when your kids are sick, they clock watch, being late for a few minutes will cost you a warning, simply put, they are horrible employers.”
True to Max's word, Leila did not last four months at Company X., unfortunately, she had not talked to Georgina before signing her contract.
In 2021, Employers who want to thrive, attract, and retain top talent must develop a strong, spotlessly clean, and attractive Employer Brand.
What exactly is an Employer Brand?
Employer Brand simply means your Company’s reputation as an employer. Is it reputed as a great place to work? Is it a place that is attractive to eyes outside of the company? This is completely different from the Corporate Brand that the organization markets to potential customers.
Employer Brand is your Unique Scent -William Tincup
How do you strengthen your Employer Brand?
The first step in the Employer Branding journey is the reminder that you cannot own or control your brand as an employer. You can only influence, manage or cultivate it. There are few ways you can do this;
1. Develop and Enrich your Employer Value Proposition (EVP).
Has your HR department drawn up an Employer Value Proposition (EVP)? If not, then they should. This is ideally just a document that shows potential candidates why they should work for you and explains why your employees remain with you. What attracts them in terms of; Reward and recognition, Compensation & Benefits, Flexible and Work From Home Arrangements, Work Environment, Career Development, Perks like Travel Allowances, Lunch Allowances, Bonuses, etc
Listen to the needs of the employees and address them accordingly as they may vary depending on the different generational groupings accommodated in your organization. The first Employer Brand ambassadors are already existing employees. If they are not proud to work for your organization and are not even open to recommending their friends or family to work with you, then your Employer Brand is deep in the pits or is fast heading there.
At the College of Human Resources Management, our slogan for our Employer Value Proposition is Home of Humane! Our employees know that they will not be treated inhumanly under any circumstances.
Develop a resonating slogan for your EVP and let employees identify and attest to it at all times.
2. Enhance your Employee Experience.
From the application process to the interview, to the onboarding, to their stay up until the day they leave, you must ensure that the employee experience is positive.
Ensure timely responses to your candidates when they send in applications, do not keep them waiting at the reception for hours before interviews, do not “ghost them after interviews; in short, treat them well and even if they are not successful, they will remember their wonderful experience interviewing with you.
The Employee Experience is everything in Employer Branding.
The CHRM Administration Team - 2021.
Who is Responsible for Driving the Employer Brand and Why?
It is widely believed that HR is the driver of the Employer Brand. Maybe they are because a Strong Employer Brand's first beneficiary is HR. It becomes extremely easy to attract, engage and retain top talent. Recruitment becomes easy and inexpensive leading to increased output and productivity.
However, the responsibility does not fully weigh in on HR. The organization’s leadership, from the very top and down to the line managers, is responsible for influencing the Employer Brand.
How employees are treated by their immediate managers and supervisors may dilute negatively any efforts put in by HR towards strengthening the Employer Brand.
So how can this be countered? By ensuring that drivers of Organizational Culture have it embedded in the DNA of all Managers and Supervisors, the slogan of the organization's EVP.
Practices like micromanagement, verbal and emotional abuse of employees, overworking employees, poor pay structures, lack of recognition, no communication from the top, and toxic work environments, are all recipes for poor Employer Branding.
Drive vibrant Social Media campaigns involving your employees to ensure they remain the first and main influencers of your employer brand.
How do you improve your Employer Branding?
. Draw up an Employer Brand Strategy
This must be carefully crafted and aligned to the company's mission, vision, and values. The Employees must be made to understand and buy in into this strategy. If this is not done, then it will fail way before it takes off. They are the first owners of the Employer Brand and if not well communicated to, then they will not take part in the effective implantation of the strategy.
. Look at where you are currently.
Conduct a survey both internally and externally. Internally to assess what your employees think of you as an employer. Are they happy? Are they proud to work there?
Externally to potential candidates to get their views on the organization. What have they heard? Are they attracted to working for you? What about those who have worked for you previously, what do they have to say about their experience?
. Measure Progress
Once you begin the implementation of the strategy, measure periodically to see if the desired results are being yielded. If not, adjust accordingly to stay on course.
In 2021, and especially in the pandemic period, employer branding is becoming a difficult feat. Difficult yes, impossible no. This may just be a period to strengthen your employer brand and watch your organization thrive beyond this period.