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Building market based assets with employer branding PDF Print E-mail
Written by EBO Editor   
Wednesday, 09 March 2011 20:13

Original article published in HR Future Magazine

Upcoming events on Brett's 2011 Employer Brand Global Tour click here>

This article provides insights from Brett's new book "Employer Brand Leadership - A Global Perspective?" For full details please visit the publisher's website click here>


Building market based assets with employer branding

Your employer brand is “the image of your organisation as a ‘great place to work’ in the mind of current employees and key stakeholders in the external market (active and passive candidates, clients, customers and other key stakeholders). The art and science of employer branding is therefore concerned with the attraction, engagement and retention initiatives targeted at enhancing your company's employer brand."

A strong employer brand is built upon mental and physical availability so your creative should work towards building consistent associations you want your employees, candidates and other key stakeholders about ‘what it’s like to work at your company,’ and your strategy should work towards expanding your market reach to your target audience using the most effective internal and external communication channels.

However the biggest challenge I find for managers responsible for the employer brand strategy is they don’t understand the science of branding and lack knowledge in branding principles and practices which have been informed by decades of research into how brands grow.


Common employer branding mistakes

Some of the most common mistakes I see made by companies include:

  • Creating recruitment advertising that doesn’t build or refresh relevant memory structures or associations about what it is like to work for the company
  • Viewing employer branding as merely a recruitment strategy or short term recruitment advertising campaign
  • Failing to conduct research with the  internal and external audience to determine what makes their employer brand distinctive
  • Paying premiums for low reach media that is sold by vendors as ‘reaching a niche audience’
  • Relying on a ranking in ‘best places to work’ surveys as the sole metric for the employer brand strategy
  • Promising in recruitment advertising what can’t realistically be deliver on in the real employment experience
  • Investing massive amounts of recruitment advertising in short bursts and then going silent during the periods in between
  • Failing to collaborate across departments responsible for corporate, consumer and employer branding initiatives (e.g. human resources, marketing, communications) resulting in a disjointed approach
  • Over complicating employer brand metrics and focusing too much on return on investment (ROI)
  • Derailing progress because of an untrusting organisational culture
  • Using a different recruitment message across multiple channels and changing the message for each campaign in pursuit of campaign creativity and innovation (or simply to win an award!)
  • Conducting employee research and not using the findings to improve and address the gaps and/or failing to communicate the results to survey participants (i.e. fear of delivering bad news!)

All of the above practices impact and derail employer brand growth.

How brands grow

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