What is Employer Branding?
Success in business can no longer depend on obsolete organizational structures and divided functional departments. Today’s pace of change requires organizations to adapt their business model, make it flexible, and responsive to constant changes in the market. Both generations themselves and their values are changing. That is why nowadays, employer branding becomes more important for the company than ever. Salary isn’t the core reason in a person’s decision to choose a certain job. The environment, sphere, and culture in which they fall play a much more important role in taking the final solution. And so the brand of the employer is a manifestation of this culture.
Definition of employer branding
HR branding’s concept includes two industries: personnel branding and employer branding. Personnel branding is provided by such measures as training and execution control, as well as the use of a dress code. Its goal is that the company’s employees are recognizable and are associated with the company’s label. Employer branding is a business concept that includes a number of programs to attract, engage, and retain valuable employees whose main goal is to improve the employer brand.
Nowadays the brand of the employer is not associated with business expansion and worldwide fame. It is more about taking care of the employees every day and creating more attractive working conditions for them. Strong employer branding has a number of impressive values associated with the actions of the company and related to both the material achievements of existing employees and potential ones.
In the company with successful employer branding, there is a close relationship between the consumer, employer, and corporate brands. This means that the brand of the employer is reflected in the behavior of company leaders and affects company policy, corporate ethics, and culture.
Importance of employer branding
Advertising is the engine of sales, the same thing with employer branding: the more your company’s vacancies are sold, the more people who want to get a job for you. And for this, it is very important to create a favorable image of the organization on the labor market.
It is noteworthy that in companies with high employer branding the level of employee’s rotation is minimal, and the line of candidates has no end and edge. This, respectively, positively affects the level of motivation of employees within the company, the level of their involvement and effectiveness. They are afraid of losing their jobs.
The brand of the employer works both for the ordinary employee units and for the top managers who prefer to work in stable companies, where everything is transparent, structured and there are clearly expressed development prospects. Highly professional top managers do not waste their valuable time working in an unpromising company, even for a very large salary. Every valuable employee and the more senior manager is eager to see the result of their work.
A strategic approach to employer branding
Companies should look at employer branding development in a strategic way. Given that in the coming years, the main labor force will be millennials, that means it is worth focusing on them. This generation is more interested in self-employment, entrepreneurship, and work, which offers them freedom and conditions for independent work.
Important steps to build an employer branding strategy:
The way the company perceives itself and the way others perceive it does not always coincide. The company needs to research how potential candidates see it in order to understand the strengths and weaknesses of its employer branding. This will help to build better communication with managers, employees, and candidates and understand what they are looking for in potential employers.
- Employee value proposition.
After the company’s research, an employee value proposition (EVP) should be created. This is a set of advantages of the job to existing and potential employees. The company should do what it promises, otherwise, the strategy will lose its meaning.
There is no need to turn the company’s work upside down. In the beginning, the company can simply change some rules and methods of working with staff, and then step by step introduce new strategies so that this does not cause inconvenience to employees.
- Company’s mission.
The basement of good employer branding is the mission for which the company works. The company must make dedicated efforts to make sure its mission is meaningful and to be proud to tell clients about it. The mission should depend on what is close to the company’s goals and what is important for potential candidates.
- Introducing the employer branding.
After defining the mission, it’s time to tell candidates about it. Information can be shared using:
- online campaigns;
- training materials;
- company’s website;
- recruiting advertising;
- social media;
- specialized events and job fairs.
Wherever the company tells about itself, consistency is the key to build promotion campaigns. For example, if this is a promotion in social networks, representatives of the company need to stay in touch with candidates, follow the regularity of publications, and communicate with the audience.
- Rating the results.
An employer branding assessment is necessary in order to be able to adapt or change the process and make it more suitable for the audience.
The ROI of internal employer branding
Branding of the employer gives great advantages: the loyalty and involvement of employees grow, the cost and speed of selection decrease, the attractiveness in the external target audience increases. The growth in the number of companies with a developed value proposition is forecasted by 2021. That fact confirms the interest of the business in developing good employer branding.
However, working with an employer branding usually has a delayed effect that cannot always be seen right away. Accordingly, the risk of investing time and money increases. In order to avoid such a risk and correct errors in time, it is necessary to measure the effectiveness of employer branding.
There are two dimensions of ROI concerning employer branding: external and internal. The first is focused on tasks related to attracting the right employees, their motivation, and quick adaptation to work. The internal brand of the employer is aimed at solving problems in the field of retention, motivation, and employee involvement.
Promotion of the employer’s branding to external target audiences is evaluated by the following KPIs (Key Performance Indicators):
- Promotion of a company in the rankings of the best employers.
In this case, KPI can be either a specific place (in the top 10, in the top 20) or simply strengthening existing positions. Advantages are an independent assessment of the company’s success in the field of the employer’s branding and comparison of itself with competitors in the labor market. For its use it is important to choose a rating, to understand the principle of its formation and pay attention to the target audience, which is a respondent of this rating.
- Comparative preference among competitors in the labor market.
This is one of the indicators in a number of ratings, it may be more useful than the overall position. To use it, it’s important to pay attention to the audience the company is interviewing. The ideal situation is to conduct the company’s own research when the audience is formed completely to its need. In the case of such a KPI, it is important to carry out a similar analysis using the same technique with a certain frequency so that you can see the dynamics.
- Employer branding recognition.
Here we talk about the percentage of the target audience that knows about the employer (and, accordingly, an increase in this percentage over time). This is a very basic indicator, which is relevant for niche companies that do not have a well-known brand. And, of course, it’s important to compare the company’s perceptions with how their competitors are doing.
- The desire to work in the company
This indicator shows the percentage of candidates from the market who know the company and are ready to consider it as a future employer. This indicator is directly related to what candidate funnel will ultimately be like. In addition, this indicator is interesting to watch for different target audiences, to compare with competitors, which also requires labor market research.
- Image of employer branding.
This is a qualitative indicator, and it is based on the changes in the image of the employer, and researching when it becomes more clear, understandable, and well-known for the audience. The company can also monitor mentions and social moods (mentions of companies on the Internet and the media).
The ROI of external employer branding
Customers’ love directly depends on the employees. A strong employer branding keeps employees active and satisfied, meanwhile, they give the client their best. Therefore, it is a good and powerful thing to know the level of their performance.
- Employee involvement
It is relevant if the company makes regular measurements of employee involvement in work and their satisfaction, and especially the satisfaction of new employees. The attitude of newcomers most accurately shows how the brand’s promises ultimately correspond to reality.
- Willingness to recommend a company as an employer.
If employees are not ready to recommend a company in which they are working, then this is an important signal. Therefore, it is recommended to use this indicator for monitoring. And without it, it is very difficult to launch and develop referral programs in companies.
- Employee turnover and average work experience in the company.
This indicator shows the percentage of employees who quit voluntarily. In addition, here it is needed to pay special attention to critical audiences and the terms of the life cycle of employees (the average working time of the employees)
- Evaluation of the employer brand attributes.
It is a comparison measure of brand promises and specific employee experience. Making a positive and consistent brand experience has a great impact on people’s impression of the company and its products.
Creating an excellent employer branding is the key to attracting talents and creating a wider circle of candidates with the right skills. The company must study its current market position, identify change needs, and set up strategic employer branding campaigns.
The increase in the number of prospective specialists also means that companies need to invest more in employer branding. This is due to the fact that today employees expect much more than a stable income and promotion once every few years. Companies must ensure an open and free working culture, along with all possible amenities and a competitive salary, taking care of their general well-being. Nevertheless, the most important thing is to treat employees as their main asset in order to become an employer, for whom everyone wants to work.