Over the last few years, employees are increasingly behaving like consumers when choosing to join or stay with an employer. Coming straight to the point, understand that a positive employer brand can be a way of differentiating one organisation from another and a way of creating a strong, distinctive and attractive identity with which current or potential employees can identify. This brings us to a set of questions and things what one also needs to look at i.e. How strong is your product? Will it survive the expectation of the ever so changing consumer?
The Need to Create an Employer Brand
If we look at an employee as someone out to buy a TV set and the employer as the brand, the question is…what do you look for while buying a TV? Why do you prefer a certain brand over another? That also brings us to a fundamental question of, what does your existing and potential talent pool think about you? Why would someone want to work with you? Is there a certain perception about you as a company in the minds of existing and potential employees? With a shrinking talent pool, increasing cost of talent acquisition and fierce competition, there is an increasing need to become an employer of choice for people. A company that people want to work with! Think of a company that is flooded with requests in the ‘careers’ section with people wanting desperately to work with & you get the picture.
If the above holds true, and one of the benefits of having the right perception means lower acquisition and retention costs, a successful company will be one whose ability to ensure that both internal and external customers (in this case existing and potential employees) hold a ‘nearly similar’ feeling about the organization. This means that you need to ensure that you are doing the right things to get through to people at all levels and to that effect having a concrete Employer Branding Strategy in place is critical.
Your Employee Is the Real Customer
Managers do need to remember that excellent compensation today is a matter of hygiene and a good employer brand is one that actually gets a an employee on a discounted compensation program. This statement is also a factor of the quality of internal experiences that an employee has drawn from the day the candidate was interviewed, through appraisals and day to day work life and even after the employee is no longer with the company. Also remember that Employer Brand Value is a factor of the quality of your internal experiences and external perception.
At this point it would be judicious to clarify what Employer branding is not.
- It’s not just packaging or a fancy CSR Campaign.
- It’s definitely not just an advertising campaign or a slogan one can associate with.
- It’s not only about townhall events or throwing a party for employees at an offsite.
- Not about selling your company to a person but about attracting them to it.
In fact, it’s a lot a more to do with your (a company) DNA. The culture you bring in. The people you choose and the fine balance between ideas and execution that matter as well. The true test is does your product hold up?